And said, Thus far shall you come, but no farther: and here shall your proud waves be stopped?
Read Chapter 38
Gregory The Dialogist
46. For what do we understand by ‘doors,’ in a moral sense, but virtues, and what by a ‘bar,’ but the strength of charity? These doors, therefore, that is, these virtuous deeds, the raging sea rends asunder, unless charity of mind, secretly placed against them, holds them together. But all the goodness of virtues is easily destroyed by a temptation of the heart rushing upon them, unless it be kept firm by charity rooted within. Whence also when Paul was, in his preaching, opposing certain doors of virtues to the sea of temptation, he immediately added to them, as it were, the strength of a bar, saying, But above all these things having charity, which is the bond of perfectness. [Col. 3, 14] For charity is called the bond of perfectness, because every good deed which is done, is doubtless fastened thereby, so as not to perish. For any work is speedily plucked up by the tempter, if it is found free from the bond of charity. But if a mind is constrained by the love of God and of its neigh...
Because there is doubtless a limit of the secret judgment, both when the storm of persecution should burst forth, and when it should cease, lest, if not aroused, it should not discipline the Elect, or, if unrestrained, should overwhelm them. But when the knowledge of the faith reaches as far as to the persecutors, the swelling of the troubled sea is appeased, and there does the sea break its waves, because on coming to the knowledge of the truth, it blushes at every thing it has done wickedly. For the broken wave in truth glides back on itself; because wickedness when overcome is accused even by the thought of its own heart; and suffers, as it were, the very violence which it had inflicted, because it feels the stings of guilt, from the depravity which it had committed. Whence it is said to certain persons by Paul, What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? [Rom. 6, 21] As if it were said; Why did the waves of ‘your wickedness raise themselves aloft, which being...
He keeps [the sea] firmly within a sort of barrier, and in some perfect prescriptions of docility, as if he had given it precise commands. I have spoken, he says, and it did not reply, because that happens not only when no constraint forces it but also if the violence of an unchained power whips it quite hard. God has not allowed the sea to stand still and calm, in order that it may proclaim his power, because its nature fights against his commandments, and his commandment rules it everywhere. If water stood still, many people would have attributed its tranquility to the nature of the water; but since, in reality, it is restless and rises from inside, but without the strength to exceed its limits, its restlessness proclaims the power of God. - "Commentary on Job 38.11"