Friday, September 14, 2007

Chrysostom - East's Greatest Saint Points West

I'm a day late on this, I meant to get around to it yesterday (his feast day). First, if you haven't read any Chrysostom.. You are an IDIOT. Just kidding. But seriously, if you haven't - quit reading my blog right now and go read some.

John "Golden mouth" the bishop of Constantinople was/is the East's greatest patriarch. Ironically, he was a Roman Catholic in the strictest sense of the title - fiercely loyal to the pope. I recommend this article on Chrysostom's view of the papacy and you can read for yourself a very pertinent letter on the subject from his own pen to Pope Innocent which starts out:

To my lord, the most reverend and divinely beloved bishop Innocent, John sends greeting in the Lord.
...elsewhere...
Our body it is true is settled in one place, but the pinion of love wings its way round every part of the world. Even so we also although we be separated by a journey of such great extent are nigh to your Piety, and in daily communion with you, beholding with the eyes of love the courage of your soul, the sterling nature of your disposition, your firmness and inflexibility, the great consolation, constant and abiding, which you bestow upon us. For in proportion as the billows mount higher, and concealed reefs increase, and the hurricanes are many does your vigilance wax stronger: and neither the great length of the journey between us, nor the large amount of time consumed, nor the difficulty in dealing with events has disposed you to become supine: but ye continue to imitate the best class of pilots who are on the alert at those times most especially when they see the waves crested, the sea swelling, the water dashing vehemently, and the deepest darkness in day-time.
Good stuff. I also highly recommend his homilies on Matthew.

Update- for a brief bio and outline of his life, check out Mike Aquillina's recent post.

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