Table of Contents ||| Clement of Rome ||| Epistle to Diognetus ||| St Polycarp ||| St Ignatius ||| Justin the Martyr ||| St. Irenaeus ||| Hermas ||| Clement of Alexandria ||| Tertullian ||| St. Basil the Great ||| Links
Ignatius to Romans
CHAP. IV — ALLOW ME TO FALL A PREY TO THE WILD BEASTS
I WRITE to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice [to God]. I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant. But when I suffer, I shall be the freedman of Jesus, and shall rise again emancipated in Him. And now, being a prisoner, I learn not to desire anything worldly or vain.
Roots of Asceticism : Home