Bishop of Constantinople
O GOD, who didst give grace to thy servant John, eloquently to declare thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honour of thy Name: Mercifully grant unto all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, LORD God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
St. Luke 21:12-15.
A church which denies God's authority will be in no position to resist the state's authority. It will look to authorities other than the Lord's for its justification, and, in yielding to the state, it will do so in the spirit of cooperation, not compromise, because its true fellowship is with man and the state, not the Lord. Ambrose, in A.D. 385, resisted the state's requisition of a church in Milan, declaring, "What belongs to God is outside the emperor's power." Ambrose said further, in his 'Sermon Against Auxentius', "We pay to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. Tribute is due to Caesar, we do not deny it. The Church belongs to God, therefore it ought not to be assigned to Caesar. For the temple of God cannot be Caesar's by right." The emperor, he added, could be in the church by faith, but never above or over it.
Chrysostom, in dealing also with conflict with Caesar, warned his people, in Concerning the Statutes, Homily III, 19:
"This certainly I foretell and testify, that although this cloud should pass away, and we yet remain in the same condition of listlessness, we shall again have to suffer much heavier evils than those we are now dreading; for I do not so much fear the wrath of the Emperor, as your own listlessness. "
Here Chrysostom put his finger on the heart of the matter: the threat was less the emperor and more a listless and indifferent church. The same problem confronts us today. The greater majority of church members do not feel that Christianity is worth fighting for, let alone dying for. They only want the freedom to be irrelevant, and to emit pious gush as a substitute for faithfulness and obedience. In soap opera religion, life is without dominion; instead, it is a forever abounding mess, met with a sensitive and bleeding heart. Soap opera religion is the faith of the castrated, of the impotent, and the irrelevant. The devotees of soap opera religion are full of impotent self-pity and rage over the human predicament, but are devoid of any constructive action; only destruction and negation become them.
- The Beatitudes: Excerpt from the Commentary on Matthew. Prevost translation, 1851. --- SPL
- The Divine Liturgy --- ORTHODOX PAGE
- Easter Sermon --- ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FOUND.
- On Eutropius --- CCEL
- Exhortation to Theodore, After His Fall: The sinner should mourn for his deeds, and think of the fire of Hell and (what is worse) the loss of heaven, but at the same time never despair. The letter is addressed to a young monk who has fallen in love with a woman and intends to marry her in spite of his vow of celibacy. --- CCEL
- Instructions to Catachumens --- CCEL
- Letters to Innocent I, Pope of Rome --- CCEL
- Letters to Olympias --- CCEL
- Letter to a Young Widow: Addressing the widow of a fast-rising politician who died not yet in his prime, Chrysostom urges her to look forward to a reunion with her beloved husband in heaven; if, on the other hand, it is the sudden end of the couple's social climb which most distresses her, she should remember the teaching of the Greek philosophers (with whose works she is said to be familiar) concerning the transience and peril of earthly glory. And, he adds, during this time of barbarian invasion, there are many widows, including prominent ones. More importantly, widowhood is Biblically an honored state like virginity. --- CCEL
- Letter to some Priests of Antioch: --- NA
- The Lord's Prayer: Excerpt from the Commentary on Matthew. Prevost translation, 1851. --- SPL
- On Lowliness of Mind --- CCEL
- Against Marcionists and Manichaeans --- CCEL
- On the New Testament: --- CCEL
- I & II Corinthians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- On the Paralytic Let Down Through the Roof --- CCEL
- On the Power of Demons --- CCEL
- On the Priesthood: Often considered the most important patristic account of this topic. Stephens translation, 1888. --- CCEL
- Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren --- CCEL
- Homily on St. Babylas: Emphasising the failure of Julian the Apostate to suppress the veneration of the saint in Daphne, a city sacred to Apollo. Stephens-Brandram translation. --- CCEL
- Homily on St. Ignatius: Stephens-Brandram translation. --- CCEL
- On the Statues --- CCEL
- To Those Who Had Not Attended the Assembly, on Resentment: --- CCEL
- A Treatise to Prove That No One Can Harm the Man Who Does Not Injure Himself --- CCEL