Sunday, May 28, 2006

St. John Chrysostom II

Continuing my first post on Chrysostom, I am commenting on his second homily of Matthew. Its almost spooky how practical his homily is even to a contemporary audience. He says:

For, tell me, who of you that stand here, if he were required, could repeat one Psalm, or any other portion of the divine Scriptures? There is not one. And it is not this only that is the grievous thing, but that while ye are become so backward with respect to things spiritual, yet in regard of what belongs to Satan ye are more vehement than fire. Thus should any one be minded to ask of you songs of devils and impure effeminate melodies, he will find many that know these perfectly, and repeat them with much pleasure.

Wow! How appropriate for us.

There is nothing new under the sun.

And how applicable is it for us? How many of us know the lyrics to 1,000 secular songs but not one Psalm? How many of us can recite word for word the script of a perverse movie that we have watched a hundred times yet we cannot recite the Nicene Creed? This was written around 400 AD. Nothing is new, the same issues then are the same issues that affect us today. We will see this in further examples as I post more on his writings.

For if thou wouldest learn how great is the profit of the Scriptures, examine thyself, what thou becomest by hearing Psalms, and what by listening to a song of Satan; and how thou art disposed when staying in a Church, and how when sitting in a theatre; and thou wilt see that great is the difference between this soul and that, although both be one. Therefore Paul said, “Evil communications corrupt good manners.”For this cause we have need continually of those songs, which serve as charms from the Spirit.

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