Church Fathers, Day 176: St. John Chrysostom advises us to take the medicine that costs you nothing

st_john_chrysostom_4Take the medicine that costs you nothing

The health care you have to pay for is more more easily obtained by the rich than the poor. But Scripture, says St. John Chrysostom, is the medicine that’s free to everyone—and often the poor get even more benefit from it.

You cannot get this medicine (Scripture) by paying money for it. But who­ever shows a sincere purpose and disposition goes on his way with the whole thing.

For this reason, both rich and poor have the benefit of this healing. Where medicine costs money, the man of means certainly gets the benefit, but the poor man often has to go away without gaining anything. But in this case, since no one can pay money for it, but what is needed is faith and a good purpose, whoever has paid these with a ready mind is the one who most reaps the advantage, since these are the price paid for the treatment.

And the rich and poor share the benefit alike—or, rather, not alike, but often the poor man walks away with more. How can that be? It is because the rich man, already distracted by many thoughts, with the pride and haughtiness that come with wealth, living with carelessness and laziness as his companions, receives the medicine of hearing the Scriptures with little attention or earnestness. But the poor man, who has nothing to do with delicate living and gluttony and indolence, and who spends all his time in physical work and honest labor, gathers much love of wisdom for his soul from this experience, and is likely to pay attention more carefully to everything that is said. So, since he has paid a higher price, he walks away with a greater benefit.

St. John Chrysostom, Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren, 1

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Do I give my full attention to the Scripture readings at Mass?

Do I even know where my Bible is at home?

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, let your Scriptures be my chaste delight; and let me neither be deceived in them, nor deceive others out of them.

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