Quotations by:
    John Chrysostom


A comprehended god is no god.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
(Attributed)
 
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A servant, indeed, one will be able perhaps to bind down by fear; nay, not even for him, for he will soon leave you. But the partner of one’s life, the mother of one’s children, the foundation of one’s every joy, one ought never to chain down by fear and threats, but with love and good temper. For what sort of union is that, where the wife trembles at her husband? And what sort of pleasure will the husband have if he dwells with his wife as with a slave? Yea, even though you suffer everything on her account, do not scold her; for neither did Christ do this to the Church.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on Ephesians, Homily 20
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Added on 7-Sep-12 | Last updated 7-Sep-12
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Is it not excessively ridiculous to seek the good opinion of those whom you would never wish to be like?

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily 3
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Added on 28-Sep-12 | Last updated 28-Sep-12
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Do you wish to honor the Body of the Savior? Do not despise it when it is naked. Do not honor it in church with silk vestments while outside it is naked and numb with cold. He who said, “This is my body,” and made it so by his word, is the same that said, “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me.” Honor him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 50
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Variant: "Do you want to honour Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honour him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication."
 
Added on 14-Sep-12 | Last updated 14-Sep-12
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Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness. Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs? What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry? What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honour? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted?

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 50
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Added on 5-Oct-12 | Last updated 5-Oct-12
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Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floor and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison. Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbor a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 50
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Added on 12-Oct-12 | Last updated 12-Oct-12
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Just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful and retains an enemy will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils, indeed, if he perceives any of his relations, if but his garment, or his dwelling, or street, he is tormented by the sight of them. For as in the case of those who are beloved, their faces, their garments, their sandals, their houses, or streets, excite us, the instant we behold them; so also should we observe a servant, or friend, or house, or street, or any thing else belonging to those We hate and hold our enemies, we are stung by all these things; and the strokes we endure from the sight of each one of them are frequent and continual. What is the need then of sustaining such a siege, such torment and such punishment? For if hell did not threaten the resentful, yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offences of those who have aggrieved us. But when deathless punishments remain behind, what can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy!

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Statues, Homily 20
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Added on 10-Aug-12 | Last updated 10-Aug-12
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We are commanded to have only one enemy, the devil. With him never be reconciled! But with a brother, never be at enmity in thy heart.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Statues, Homily 20
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Added on 24-Aug-12 | Last updated 24-Aug-12
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As it is not to be imagined that the fornicator and the blasphemer can partake of the sacred Table, so it is impossible that he who has an enemy, and bears malice, can enjoy the holy Communion. […] I forewarn, and testify, and proclaim this with a voice that all may hear! “Let no one who hath an enemy draw near the sacred Table, or receive the Lord’s Body! Let no one who draws near have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Draw not near! Do you wish to draw near? Be reconciled, and then draw near, and touch the Holy Thing!”

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies on the Statutes, Homily 20
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Added on 17-Aug-12 | Last updated 17-Aug-12
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The rich man is not one who is in possession of much, but one who gives much.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
Homilies (AD 388?)
 
Added on 14-Nov-13 | Last updated 14-Nov-13
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For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force … it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) Syrian prelate, preacher, Church Father
On the Priesthood, Book 2
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Added on 31-Aug-12 | Last updated 31-Aug-12
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