John Chrysostom


 John Chrysostom (349– ca. 407, Ioannes Chrysostomos) was the archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, “golden mouthed”, rendered in English as Chrysostom. The Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches honor him as a saint (feast day, November 13) and count him among the Three Holy Hierarchs (feast day, January 30), together with Saints Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian. He is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint and a Doctor of the Church.   

What on earth are you saying? It’s not your business to read the Bible, because you’ve got too many other things to bother about? But that’s the very reason why you need to read the Bible! The more worries you have, the more you need the Bible! The more worries you have, the more you need the Bible to keep you going! People like monks and nuns who have left the troubles of the world behind are quite safe; they are like ships sailing on a calm sea, or moored in a quite harbour. But you are in the middle of this godless world’s stormy sea, and so you need spiritual help and sustenance far more urgently. They live far from the battlefield, out to the sound of gunfire; but you are in the front line, face to face with the enemy, and you are bound to suffer frequent blows and be severely wounded. So you need the medicine-chest close at hand.

-John Chrysostom

Haven’t you noticed how a smith-mason, carpenter, or any other craftsman, however much his back is against the wall, will never sell or pawn the tools of his trade? If he did, how could he earn his living? That is how we should think of the Bible; just as mallets, hammers, saws, chisels, axes and hatchets are the tools of the craftsman’s trade, so the books of the prophets and the apostles, and all scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the tools of our salvation.

-John Chrysostom

When you see the Church scattered, suffering the most terrible trials, consider the rewards

-John Chrysostom

Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect–We must busy ourselves with preparations for our departure from this world. Even if the day when the whole word ends never overtakes us, the end of each of us is right at the door.

-St. John Chrysotom

“Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.”

-John Chrysostom

A love for wealth is abnormal.” He feared that possessions kept for selfish purposes were, in a sense, stolen from the poor. One cannot be rich without keeping others poor. “So destructive a passion is avarice that to grow rich without injustice is impossible,” John argued; “The root and origin of riches must have been injustice.

-John Chrysostom

Indifference to the poor, therefore, reveals poor worship. “You honor the altar at church,” John says, “because the body of Christ rests upon it. But those who are themselves the very body of Christ you treat with contempt and you remain indifferent when you see them perishing.” No person can grow in godliness unless he serves his brethren. It is not enough to worship at the altars of the church. The true altars are the physical bodies of real men and women.

“Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.”  

-John Chrysostom


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