St. John Chrysostom

JOHNCHRY

The sun gives forth light; it cannot help doing so. Animals breathe in and out; they cannot help doing so. Fish swim in rivers and the seas; they cannot help doing so. What, then, are the things which a Christian cannot help doing?… [A] Christian cannot help being generous. To be a Christian is to acknowledge that everything belongs to God and the human beings are merely stewards of what they possess; so they naturally want to share their possessions with those in need. +St. John Chrysostom

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

St. John Chrysostom

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Let us give thanks to God continually. For, it is outrageous that when we enjoy His benefaction to us in deed every single day, we do not acknowledge the favor with so much as a word; and this, when the acknowledgment confers great benefit on us. He does not need anything of ours, but we stand in need of all things from Him.

St. John Chrysostom

JOHNCHRY

[T]he rich man is not the one who has collected many possessions but the one who needs few possessions; and the poor man is not the one who has no possessions but the one who has many desires.

We ought to consider this the definition of poverty and wealth. So if you see someone greedy for many things, you should consider him the poorest of all, even if he has acquired every one’s money.  If, on the other hand, you see someone with few needs, you should count him the richest of all, even if he has acquired nothing.

St. John Chrysostom

Charitable Works Abolish Death

JOHNCHRY

[The power of charitable works] is so great that they not only cleanse sins but even do away with death itself. Let me explain how.

And who, someone might claim, has become greater than death through charity? Don’t worry, my beloved. Learn, from looking at things as they actually are, that the power of charity has destroyed even the tyranny of death.

There was once a woman called Tabitha, which translates as Gazelle (Acts, 9, 36-43). It was her daily task to earn spiritual riches for herself through charitable works. She clothed the widows and gave them all her possessions. It happened, however, that she fell ill and died.

But see how these women who’d been helped by her were able to repay their benefactress at the right time. They went to Saint Peter, say the Scriptures, and showed him the clothes and other things Tabitha had made and done when she was with them. They missed their mother-figure, probably shed tears, and gave the apostle cause to feel sad on their behalf.

So what did the blessed Peter do? He “got down on his knees and prayed. Turning towards the dead woman, he said, ‘Tabitha, get up’. She opened her eyes, and, seeing Peter, sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive” (Acts  9, 40-1). Read More →

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