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Saturday, March 17, 2007
Chrysostom Word for Lent-- best thought i've read in a while
This fabulous quote comes from our Community Reader-- The Deeper Journey-- today's reading. If you are interested, you can track with these readings here. The photo is just for fun. Hat tip to Ben Howard Padawan editor on this spring's reader, for finding this jewel.

But if you would work miracles also, be rid of transgressions, and you have quite accomplished it. Yes, for sin is a great demon, beloved; and if you exterminate this, thou hast wrought a greater thing than they who drive out ten thousand demons. Do you listen to Paul, how he speaks, and prefers virtue to miracles. “But covet earnestly,” he says, “the best gifts: and yet I will show you a more excellent way.” And when he was to declare this “way,” he spoke not of raising the dead, not of cleansing of lepers, not of any other such thing; but in Face of all these he set charity. Listen also to Christ, saying, “Rejoice not that the demons obey you, but that your names are written in Heaven.” And again before this, “Many will say to me in that day, Have we not prophesied in Your name, and cast out devils, and done many mighty works, and then I will profess to them, I know you not.” And when He was about to be crucified, He called His disciples, and said to them, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples,” not “if you cast out devils,” but “if you have love one to another.” And again, “Hereby shall all men know that Thou hast sent me;” not “if these men raise the dead,” but, “if they are one.”

For, concerning miracles, they often, while they profited another, have injured him who had the power, by lifting him up to pride and vainglory, or haply in some other way: but in our works there is no place for any such suspicion, but they profit both such as follow them, and many others.

These then let us perform with much diligence. For if you change from inhumanity to almsgiving, thou hast stretched forth the hand that was withered. If thou withdraw from theatres and go to the church, you have cured the lame foot. If you draw back your eyes from an harlot, and from beauty not your own, you have opened them when they were blind. If instead of satanical songs, you have learned spiritual psalms, being dumb, you have spoken.

These are the greatest miracles, these the wonderful signs. If we go on working these signs, we will both ourselves be a great and admirable sort of persons through these, and shall win over all the wicked unto virtue, and will enjoy the life to come; which we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and might forever and ever. Amen. St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Matthew: XXXII
posted by John David Walt | at 3/17/2007 02:43:00 PM



Blogger Morgan said...

Great thoughts, the comparison of rooting out sin to driving out demons is a really rich one, I'll have to spend some time thinking how that applies to me. Thanks for sharing!

11:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Mark B.

1:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous chad said...

that sticker really catches the whole idea....

11:02 AM EDT  

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