John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

John
Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom
c. 345
407

Greek Archbishop of Constantinople known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders

Author Quotes

The house of mourning teaches charity and wisdom.

Sin is a suppurating wound; punishment is the surgeon’s knife.

Laughter does not seem to be a sin, but it leads to sin.

A friend is more to be longed for than the light; I speak of a genuine one. And wonder not: for it were better for us that the sun should be extinguished, than that we should be deprived of friends; better to live in darkness, than to be without friends

From this it is that countless evils have arisen - from ignorance of the Scriptures; from this it is that the plague of heresies has broken out; from this it is that there are negligent lives; from this there are labors without advantage. For as men deprived of this daylight would not walk aright, so they that look not to the gleaming of the Holy Scriptures must be frequently and constantly sinning, in that they are walking in the worst darkness.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Now I say this for there are some, much less responsive than this audience here, who do not become ashamed at my words, but even speak at length in defense of their behavior. And if you ask, 'Who is Amos, or Abias, or what is the number of the Prophets or of the Apostles?' they cannot even open their mouth. But with regard to horses and charioteers, they can compose a discourse more cleverly than sophists or rhetors. Furthermore, after all this they say: What harm, now? and What loss? Indeed, it is for this reason that I am groaning, namely because you do not know that the thing is harmful, and have no perception of the evil. God has given you a limited period of life to serve Him, and if you squander it vainly and fruitlessly, and to no purpose, do you still seek to learn what the loss is? If you completely squander your days entirely on Satan's pomps, do you consider that you are not doing anything wrong? Though you ought to spend your entire life in prayers and supplications, while actually you waste your life, fruitlessly and for your damnation, in shouting and tumult and base words and quarreling and unlawful pleasure and deeds of sorcery - even after all this do you ask 'What loss is there?' You are not aware that time must be expended more sparingly than anything else, If you spend gold, you will be able to replenish your supply, but if you lose time you will repair the loss with great difficulty for a small amount has been dispensed to us in the present life. Therefore, if we do not use it as we ought, what shall we say when we depart to the next life?

The fast of Lent has no advantage to us unless it brings about our spiritual renewal. It is necessary while fasting to change our whole like and practice virtue. Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restraining our anger, avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things – herein lies the true value of the fast.

You are a man, and yet you spit the venom of a poisonous serpent. You are a man and yet you become like a raging beast. You have been given a mouth not to wound but to heal.

After death no unrepentant person can escape the consequences of his sins, but just as prisoners are led out of their cell bound in chains and brought before the court, so are all souls when they depart hence; they bring with themselves their chains of sins before the dread judgment seat.

Great is the profit to be derived from the sacred Scriptures and their assistance is sufficient for every need. Paul was pointing this out when he said, 'Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, upon whom the final age of the world has come, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope.' The divine words, indeed, are a treasury containing every sort of remedy, so that, whether one needs to put down senseless pride, or to quench the fire of concupiscence or to trample on the love of riches, or to despise pain, or to cultivate cheerfulness and acquire patience - in them one may find in abundance the means to do so.

It is folly to abstain all day long from food, but fail to abstain from sin and selfishness.

Now if we are willing to examine the Scriptures in this way, carefully and systematically, we shall be able to obtain our salvation. If we unceasingly are preoccupied with them, we shall learn both correctness of doctrine and an upright way of life.

The Jews were God's chosen people.

Youth is wild, and requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants, and tutors; and after all these , it is a happiness if it be restrained. For as a horse not broken in, or a wild beast untamed; such is youth. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we fix it in good rules, much pains will not be required afterwards; for good habits formed will be to them as a law. Let us not suffer them to do anything which is agreeable, but injurious; nor let us indulge them, as forsooth but children. Especially let us train them in chastity, for there is the very bane of youth. For this many struggles, much attention will be necessary. Let us take wives for them early, so that their brides may receive their bodies pure and unpolluted, so their loves will be more ardent. He that is chaste before marriage, much more will be chaste after it; and he that practiced fornication before, will practice it after marriage. ‘All bread,’ it is said, ‘is sweet to the fornicator.’ Garlands are wont to be worn on the heads of bridegrooms, as a symbol of victory, betokening that they approach the marriage bed unconquered by pleasure. But it captivated by pleasure he has given himself up to harlots, why does he wear the garland, since he has been subdued?

Although it be with truth that you speak evil, this is also a crime.

Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward & learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.

It is not possible, I say not possible, ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures. It is a well which has no bottom.

Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.

The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it hath bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt.

And all men are ready to pass judgment on the priest as if he was not a being clothed with flesh, or one who inherited a human nature.

Hell is paved with priests' skulls

Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have great wealth and glory than riches can provide. If a child learns a trade, or is highly educated for a lucrative profession, all this is nothing compared to the art of detachment from riches; if you want to make your child rich, teach him this. He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions, or surround himself with wealth, but who requires nothing…Don’t think that only monks need to learn the Bible; Children about to go out into the world stand in greater need of Scriptural knowledge.

Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.

The primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and to give the example of a virtuous life.

Author Picture
First Name
John
Last Name
Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom
Birth Date
c. 345
Death Date
407
Bio

Greek Archbishop of Constantinople known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders