“A man who is wrathful with us is a sick man; we must apply a plaster to his heart – love; we must treat him kindly, speak to him gently, lovingly. “And if there is not deeply-rooted malice against us within him, but only a temporary fit of anger, you will see how his heart, or his malice, will melt away through your kindness and love – how good will conquer evil. “A Christian must always be kind, gracious and wise in order to conquer evil by good.”

How to treat your enemy?

 Abba Evagrius said, "Sit in your cell, collecting your thoughts. Remembering the day of your death. See then what the death of your body will be; let your spirit be heavy, take pains, condemn the vanity of the world, so as to be able to live always in the peace you have in view without weakening. Remember also what happens in hell and think about the state of the souls down there, their painful silence, their most bitter groanings, their fear, their strife, their waiting. Think of their grief without end and the tears their souls shed eternally. "But keep[...]

Remembering the Blessed Resurrection

One day, while St. Antony was sitting with a certain Abba, a virgin came up and said to the Elder: ‘Abba, I fast six days of the week and I repeat by heart portions of the Old and New Testament daily. To which the Elder replied: ‘Does poverty mean the same to you as abundance?’ ‘No’, she answered. ‘Or dishonour the same as praise?’ ‘No, Abba.’ ‘Are your enemies the same for you as your friends?’ ‘No’, she replied. At that the wise Elder said to her: ‘Go, get to work; you have accomplished nothing.’

What are your virtues?

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. Having abated the disturbance both from the tongues and from the prophesyings; and having made a law to prevent confusion, that they who speak with tongues should do this in turn, and that they who prophesy should be silent when another begins; he next in course proceeds to the disorder which arose from the women, cutting off their unseasonable boldness of speech: and that very opportunely. For if to them that have[...]

Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 – The role of women (2)

After Christ was risen from the dead He laid aside all His passions, I mean His corruption or hunger or thirst or sleep or weariness or such like. For, although He did taste food after the resurrection, yet He did not do so because it was a law of His nature (for He felt no hunger), but in the way of economy, in order that He might convince us of the reality of the resurrection, and that it was one and the same flesh which suffered and rose again. But He laid aside none of the divisions of His nature,[...]

Concerning what followed the Resurrection

Why water? But if any one wishes to know why the grace is given by water and not by a different element, let him take up the Divine Scriptures and he shall learn. For water is a grand thing, and the noblest of the four visible elements of the world. Heaven is the dwelling place of Angels, but the heavens are from the waters: the earth is the place of men, but the earth is from the waters: and before the whole six days' formation of the things that were made, the Spirit of God moves upon the face of[...]

Contemplation on the Liturgy of the blessing of the water (1)

The Kiss And the traitor says to Jesus, “Master.” Indeed, all heretics, like Judas, address Jesus in the same way, “Master.” They kiss Him even as Judas did. Jesus speaks peacefully to them all, since they are all Judases who betray Him: “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of Man?” As for Judas, he is approached by Christ for his false friendship. “Friend, why are you here?” We hear of no one who is good called by that name in the Scriptures. Moreover, to the wicked and the one not weaing a garment he says,[...]

Contemplation on the 9th hour of the Eve of Great Friday (1)

The soul heated like a burning fire will not be quenched until it is consumed; a man who commits fornication with his near of kin will never cease until the fire burns him up. 17 To a fornicator all bread tastes sweet; he will never cease until he dies" (Sirach 23:16-17) Youthful lust is wild, but requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants, and tutors. After all these, it is happiness if it is restrained. For as a horse not broken in, or a wild beast untamed, such is youthful lust. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we[...]

Contemplation on the 6th hour of Holy Wednesday (1)

John 20:1-9 Now on the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, while it was yet dark, unto the tomb, and seeth the stone taken away from the tomb. She runneth, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. And they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the[...]

Commentary on John 20:1-9

Doctor of the Church (A.D. 407) Introduction Saint John Chrysostom's life gives us a sense of the awesome cost of Christian discipleship and of the truth that with God all things are possible. This incomparable teacher, on account of the fluency and sweetness of his eloquence, obtained the surname Chrysostom, or Golden Mouth. His Earlier Life He was born about the year 347 at Antioch in Syria, the only son of Secundus, commander of the imperial troops. His mother, Anthusa, who was left a widow at twenty, divided her time between the care of her family and her exercises of[...]

Who is Saint John Chrysostom?

In Lower Egypt there was an anchorite who was w…

Lust

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! If any man is a devout lover of God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man is a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of the Lord. If any has labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any has wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any has come at the third hour, let him have no misgivings; because he will in no wise be deprived thereof. If any has delayed until the ninth hour,[...]

Sermon on the Resurrection by Saint John Chrysostom

The weather shifts from cloudy to clear and then back to rain; thus it is with human nature. One must always expect clouds to hide the sun sometimes. Even the saints have had their dark hours, days and weeks. They say then that “God has left them” in order that they may know truly how utterly wretched they are of themselves, without His support. These times of darkness, when all seems meaningless, ridiculous and vain, when one is beset by doubt and temptations, are inevitable. But even these times can be harvested for good.

Dealing with spiritual depression or anxiety

A brother asked one of the Fathers, What shall I do? My thoughts are always turned to lust without allowing me an hour’s respite, and my soul is tormented by it. He said to him, Every time the demons suggest these thoughts to you, do not argue with them. For the activity of demons always is to suggest, and suggestions are not sins, for they cannot compel; but it rests with you to welcome them, or not to welcome them. Do you know what the Midianites did? They adorned their daughters and presented them to the Israelites. They did not[...]

Prayer and Meditation