The Words of Saint John Chrysostom

Listed below are some of the teachings of St. John Chrysostom. This is the complementary blog post to Saint John Chrysostom – “The Golden Mouthed.”

On the Church is a Hierarchy – 

“‘To the fellow-Bishops and Deacons’ (Phil. 7:1). What is this? Were there several Bishops one city? Certainly not; but he called the Presbyters [priests] so. For then they will interchanged the titles, and the Bishop was called a Deacon. For this cause in writing to Timothy, he said, ‘Fulfill your ministry’ (2 Tim. 4:5), when he was a Bishop. For that he was a Bishop appears by his saying to him, ‘Lay hands hastily on no man’ (1 Tim. 5:22). And again, ‘Which was given you with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery’ (1 Tim 4:14). Yet Presbyters would not have laid hands on a Bishop.” – Homilies on Philippians, I:I

On the Mass as a true sacrifice – 

“Reverence, now, oh reverence, this Table whereof we all are partakers! Christ, Who was slain for us, the Victim that is placed thereon.” – Epistle to the Romans, 8

Christ is the victim that is offered in the sacrifice of the Mass – 

“For when you see the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, and all the worshippers empurpled with that precious blood, can you then think that you are still among men, and standing upon earth?” – Catecheses, 23:10

On the Holy Trinity – 

“Neither Angel or Archangel can do anything with regard to what is given from God; but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, dispenses all, while the priest lends his tongue and affords his hand. For neither would it be just that through the wickedness of another, those who come in faith to the symbols of their salvation should be harmed.” – Homilies of St. John, 86:4

On the Importance of Grace and Those Who Resist It – 

“And if by grace, it will be said, how came we all not to be saved? Because you would not. For grace, though it be grace, saves the willing, not those who will not have it, and turn away from it who persist in fighting against it, and opposing themselves to it.” – Epistle to the Romans, 18:5

On Prayer and Imposition in the Sacrament of Holy Orders – 

“See how the writer does not speak superfluously; he does not say how, but simply that they are ordained through prayer, for this is ordination. The hand of a man is superimposed, God does the thing, it is His hand that touches the head of the ordinandus, if it is fitting that in some manner he be ordained.” – Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 14:3

The Worth of the Sacraments Does Not Depend on the Disposition of the Priest – 

“For it may be that rulers are wicked and polluted, and their subjects good and virtuous; that laymen may live in piety; and priests in wickedness; and there could not have been either baptism, or the body of Christ, or oblation, through such if in every instance grace required merit. But as it is, God uses to work even by unworthy persons, and in no respect is the grace of baptism damaged by the conduct of the priest; else would the receiver suffer loss.” – Homilies on First Corinthians, 8:2

Matrimony is licit and good –  

“‘Marriage is right,’ you say; I also assent to this. For ‘marriage,’ we read, ‘is honorable and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge’ (Heb. 13:4); but it is no longer possible for you to observe the right conditions of marriage. For if he who has been attached to a heavenly bridegroom deserts him, and joins himself to a wife the act is adultery, even if you call it marriage ten thousand times over; or rather it is worse than adultery in proportion as God is greater than man.” – Letter to the Fallen Theodore, Bk. 2, Chap. 3

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