“And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly on [Stephen], saw his face as it had been an angel.” (Acts 6:15)
O rare thing: it was in the midst of dispute, in the heat of an argument, that Stephen’s face was transfigured and became angelic, even to the eyes of his opponents. Alas! How many times does argument produce an opposite effect even on those who believe they are defending a good cause! Whether it is in a council, an assembly of theologians or a simple private discussion, it happens that he who is ‘right’ and who perhaps believes he is serving God, loses all love? From that moment on, he is only fighting for himself. His words conceal a subtle dishonesty of which he is not aware. My child, when you contradict the opinion of another man, think of God’s servant Stephen’s face, shining like that of an angel, in the midst of the council. Because love was in his heart, Stephen bore true witness to God.
* This excerpt is from a “Sunday Letter” by Fr. Leo (Lev) Gillet