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Humility and Spiritual Simplicity: Excerpts From “Leaves from St. John Chrysostom” by Saint John Chrysostom (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Saint John Chrysostom (vegetarian), born in 347 in Antioch, now Antakya, Hatay, Türkiye, is renowned in Christian history for his eloquence and influential theological contributions. The name “Chrysostom,” meaning “Golden-Mouthed,” was attributed to him, reflecting his oratorical skills.

As a preacher in Antioch, Saint John delivered insightful and articulate sermons emphasizing charity, compassion, and social justice. His sermons addressed the needs and issues of ordinary people, making him a beloved figure among the populace. His candid critiques of wealth and clergy’s moral failings, along with his condemnation of corruption, marked him as a fearless advocate for societal reform. His sermons, commentaries, and letters offer profound insights into Scriptures, ethical living, social responsibility, and the importance of a life lived in accordance with God’s teachings.

We now present excerpts from “Leaves from St. John Chrysostom” by Saint John Chrysostom (vegetarian), translated by Mary H. Allies. These selections highlight God’s kindness in meeting our needs, the value of living truthfully, and the concept of Divine justice where our actions are accountable in the afterlife.

LEAVES FROM ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“I am all things; only hold Me for your own. I am poor for you, and a wanderer for you; I was on the cross for you, and in the tomb for you; I intercede with the Father for you up above, and I came down to Earth as a messenger to you from the Father.”

“[…] If anyone disbelieve in that future judgment, let him consider things as they are on Earth—those in prisons, for instance, those in mines and on dung-hills, possessed men, madmen, those who are fighting with incurable disease, those who are pinched by persistent poverty, those who are mated with hunger, those who are given over to unhealable sorrow, those who are in captivity. Men, indeed, would not now suffer these things if He did not ordain that reward and punishment should await all those who have been guilty of the like transgressions. And if these men incur no penalty in this world, you must take this to yourself as a sign that there is to be something in the next after our departure hence. For He Who is the Lord of all would not chastise some and leave others, who had been guilty of the same or of worse things, unchastised, if He did not reserve a punishment for them in the next world.”
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