To pagans who blame everything on “fate,” Tatian answers that our miseries are our own fault. Our own free will brought evil into the world—but our own free will can reject evil.
Why should I admit that we’re born by “fate,” when I see such managers of “fate” as the pagan gods?
How can you be “fated” to be sleepless from greed? Why are you “fated” to grasp at everything, and die often? Die to the world, rejecting the madness in it. Live to God, and by understanding him set aside your old nature.
We were not created to die; we die through our own fault. Our free will has destroyed us. We who were free have become slaves; we have been sold by sin. Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have brought about wickedness—but we can also reject it.
–Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 11
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do material things have a strong hold over me?
Do I always want more than I can reasonably use?
Lord, cast out every evil imagination from me, and every impure thought and base desire, all envy, vanity, hypocrisy, lying, deceit, anger, blasphemy, and every motion of the flesh and spirit that is not in accordance with your holy will.
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