"God said, 'Let a firmament be made in the middle of the water, and let it keep one body of water from the other.' This is what happened."1.
WITNESSING AS I DO, dearly beloved, your daily gathering here with such enthusiasm, I am filled with deep satisfaction, and I do not fail to praise the loving God for your progress. I mean, just as hunger is a sign of bodily health, (39d) so, too, interest in listening to the divine sayings would be taken by anyone as a sure pointer to spiritual well- being. Accordingly, our Lord Jesus Christ too, in the Beatitudes pronounced on the Mount, declared, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will have their fill."2. So who could adequately commend you, now that you have already received this blessing from the Lord of all, and are looking forward to so many more good things from him? Our Lord, you see, is like that: when he sees a soul seeking the things of the Spirit with great desire and earnest zeal, he bestows on it his graces in abundance.
(2) Hence, with a view to your greater benefit, I, too, look forward to being the occasion of an instructive sermon that will lead to an increase (40a) in your love. I mean, for you and your improvement we undergo any effort so that you too may climb more rapidly to the heights of virtue and become teachers about life in God to all those who associate with you, and that we may feel comfortable in more forthright speech seeing that our effort was not in vain or to no purpose. On the con-____________________