Church Fathers, Day 336: St. John Chrysostom tells us this hurts me more than it hurts you

This hurts me more than it hurts youInsults, thefts, even torture—none of these things do any real harm to the person who suffers them, says St. John Chrysostom. But they do lasting harm to the person who does them.So if neither loss of money, nor slander, nor insult, nor banishment, nor diseases, nor tortures, nor what seems more formidable than all those, namely death, harms those who suffer them, but rather adds to their profit, how will you prove to me that anyone is injured, when n … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 335: St. John Cassian says evil is evil, even if God turns it to good


Evil is evil, even if God turns it to goodSt. John Cassian tells how an earnest monk asked a hard question of the wise abbot Theodore: if dying brings a good person to eternal bliss, how can murder­ing a good person be a crime?Germanus: Well then, if a good man does not only suffer no evil by being killed, but actually gains a reward from his suffering, how can we accuse the man who has done him no harm but good by killing him?Theodore: We are talking about the actual qualities of … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 334: St. John Chrysostom say we should fear God, not death


Fear God, not deathWhen the city of Antioch was in danger of total annihilation, St. John Chrys­ostom dared to tell his parishioners that there was nothing fearful about death. The only thing we need to fear, he said, is displeasing God.There is nothing to be dreaded in human ills except sin—not poverty, or disease, or insult, or ill treatment, or dishonor, or death, which people call the worst of evils. To those who love spiritual wisdom, these things are only the names of disasters, n … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 333: St. John Chrysostom says not being with God is the real punishment


Not being with God is the real punishmentWhatever happens to sinners in hell, says St. John Chrysostom, their worst punishment is not being with God.Now, it’s true that most people who don’t have much sense expect to be content with avoiding hell. But I say it’s a far worse punishment than hell to be excluded from the glory of the other world. I think that someone who has failed to reach it should be sorry, not so much because of the miseries of hell, but because of his rejection from h … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 332: St. John Chrysostom wants us to pity the prosperous sinner


Pity the prosperous sinnerSt. John Chrysostom tells us that the person most to be pitied is the sinner who enjoys all the good things in life.Some people are punished here only; others suffer no ill here, but receive the whole punishment hereafter; still others are punished both here and hereafter.Which, then, of these three classes do you think is lucky? Without doubt, the first; those who are punished and purged from their sins here.But which class is second in order? You, … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 331: St. Ambrose questions Why are the wicked joyful?

Why are the wicked joyful?Why are the wicked often prosperous and happy, while the righteous struggle? It’s because they’re not in the game, says St. Ambrose. The spectators loaf about in their luxury boxes, but the athletes who do all the work win all the prizes.Perhaps you are saying, “Why are the wicked joyful? Why do they live in luxury? Why do they not toil with me?”It is because those who have not put down their names to strive for the crown are not bound to undergo the labors … [Read more...]