Saint Hilarion (5th century)

Instead, today we fight a more dangerous persecutor, an enemy who flatters us, namely the mighty Roman emperor. He no longer wounds our backs, he bedecks our chests with medals. He doesn’t confiscate our goods; on the contrary, he gives us gifts. He doesn’t force us to be really free by locking us up; he sends us into slavery by honoring us in his palace. He doesn’t attack us with his resources, but he takes possession of our hearts. He doesn’t hack our heads off with the sword, he kills our spirit with gold. He doesn’t officially threaten us with the stake, but he secretly kindles the fire of hell. He doesn’t wage any battles against us, but he adores our Christ, so he can reign unhindered. He proclaims unity, but he prevents communion.”

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