For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
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Gregory the Theologian
Just what is the work of the axe? The excision of the soul that is incurably fruitless, like the tree even after the dung has been applied. And what does the sword do? The sword of the Word cuts through defenses. It does the work of separating the worse from the better. It actually creates a division between the faithful and the unbeliever. It may even stir up the son and the daughter and the bride against the father and the mother and the motherinlaw, the young and fresh against the old and shadowy. Accordingly, what is the latchet of the shoe, which you, John, who baptized Jesus, may not let loose? You who are of the desert, without food, you, the new Elijah, you who are more than a prophet, inasmuch as you saw him of whom you did prophesy, you the mediator of the Old and New Testaments. What is this latchet? It is precisely the message of the advent, the incarnation. No one can make it happen—neither those yet carnal and babes in Christ nor those who are akin to John in spirit. On the Holy Lights, Oration