A splendid blog post at TrevinWax contains the following item:
Please pray for me,
that I may have both spiritual and physical strength to perform my duties;
that I may not only speak the truth but become the truth;
that I may not only be called a Christian, but also live like a Christian.
Yet I do not want people to look to me as an example,
for at best I can only be a pale reflection of Christ Jesus;
let people look away from the reflection and turn to the reality.
Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas,
but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ.
So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech,
but instead I may learn to speak with humility,
desiring only to impress people with Christ himself.
– Ignatius of Antioch, 35-108 A. D.
These are interesting sentiments, although I have a feeling that “Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas” is not what Ignatius would say. But the lack of a source is troubling. Where precisely does Ignatius say this?
So, where does this come from? Well, the direct source is probably Janice Grana, 2000 Years since Bethlehem: Images of Christ through the centuries, Upper Room Books, 1999. This contains these very words, but since I cannot access more than a snippet in Google books, I am none the wiser.
Does anyone recognise the words?