Tag Archives: Saint John Chrysostom

the summit of heaven

Lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven, but to the poor; for if you stretch forth your hands to the poor, you have reached the summit of heaven, but if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing. – Saint John Chrysostom

This is another quote  from Saint John Chrysostom (349-407 AD), the Early Church Father and Archbishop of Constantinople. He is best known for his preaching and public speaking and his name actually means “golden tongue.” He also never wavered in his clear denunciation of the abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders. This is the fifth post I have recently shared that  illustrates this saint’s deep concern for the poor and hungry.

My first post on Chrysostom  shared his statement that  feeding the hungry is greater and more powerful than working miracles. He was showing that walking along side the poor and hungry should be an integral part of authentic spirituality. My last post from the Archbishop focused on the wealth of a Church surrounded by poverty and hunger.

This quote is a perfect summation of Chrysostom’s feelings about authentic spirituality. Unless we are walking alongside the poor our prayers are hollow and our religion is worthless. Sharing with the poor is prayer that reaches the very summit of heaven.

 

it’s all about priorities

Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: “This is my body” is the same who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, and “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me”… What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.

This quote is another one from the Early Church Father, Saint John Chrysostom (349-407 AD). As I have shared in previous posts, Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople, and is best known for his preaching and public speaking as well as his clear denunciation of the abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders. This is the fourth post I have shared over the past week that  illustrates this saint’s deep concern for the poor and hungry.

In my first post on Chrysostom  I shared his statement that  feeding the hungry is greater and more powerful than working miracles. He was showing that walking along side the poor and hungry should be an integral part of authentic spirituality. This quote’s focus is on the wealth of a Church surrounded by poverty and hunger.

All I can say is Amen! or as my preacher friends down in North Carolina would say, “that will preacher, brother, that will preach.

A wealthy Church in a world of hunger and poverty is a guilty Church. Every child that dies from hungry is an indictment against a fat and prosperous Church. Every person that dies of hunger is a recrucifixion of Christ by those of us who claim to be his disciples but feed the organization rather than the hungry.

In the end, I guess it’s all about priorities…maybe it’s about loyalty…or maybe it’s about  faithfulness.  What do you think?

a room where Christ is welcome

Every family should have a room where Christ is welcome in the person of the hungry and thirsty stranger. – Saint John Chrysostom

One of the Early Church Fathers, Saint John Chrysostom (349-407 AD) was the Archbishop of Constantinople. He is best known for his preaching and public speaking as well as his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders. This is the third post I have shared over the past few days that  illustrates his deep concern for the poor and hungry.

In my first post on Chrysostom  I shared his statement that  feeding the hungry is greater and more powerful than working miracles. He was showing that walking along side the poor and hungry should be an integral part of authentic spirituality. The quote above continues that theme.

Our ministry with those in need must be personal. There is no such thing as “Long Range Compassion.”

Real engagement with the poor means knowing their names as well as their needs. We need a place where Christ is welcome in whatever guise he might take. And the first place to prepare is our hearts. It’s all about loving those around us as much as we claim to love the Lord.

 

and the flames dance higher

 … those who have little are not equally held in subjection by their possessions as those who overflow with affluence, for then the love of it becomes more tyrannical. The increase of acquisitions kindles the flame more, and renders those who possess them poorer. 

This quote is from The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople, on the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. and is a good illustration of why he Archbishop was known for his eloquent speech and his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.His concern for the poor can be seen in many of his homilies as well as other writings.

This is the second post on the Archbishop. Yesterday’s post, “a greater work than raising the dead, was the first. I will be sharing several more over the next few days and weeks.

In this statement the Saint attacks the materialism  of the affluent. Echoing the words of Jesus that no one can serve two masters, the Archbishop tells his readers that the more possessions one accumulates the more those possessions own the possessor.

This admonition of Chrysostom rings even more true today. How many of us are bent double by the heavy load of our possessions? How many of us feel the oppressive weight, the tyranny, of more, of bigger, of better. And, we have to have it now.

The more we acquire the more we must have…and the flames dance higher.

 

 

a greater work than raising the dead

“Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead.” – Saint John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407) was an important Early Church Father and the Archbishop of Constantinople. He is best known for his preaching and public speaking as well as his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.

His concern for the poor can be seen in many of his homilies as well as other writings. This is the first of several quotes I will be sharing over the next few days and weeks.

What I like about this audacious statement by the Archbishop is that he unabashedly puts feeding the hungry above one of the greatest miracles of Jesus. Our ministry with the poor is not something to be tacked on to our faith as a “nice religious activity.”

Chrysostom  declares that  feeding the hungry is greater and more powerful than working miracles. Walking along side the poor and hungry has must be an integral part of authentic spirituality.