Wisdom from St. John Chrysostom


As it is not to be imagined that the fornicator and the blasphemer can partake of the sa-

cred Table, so it is impossible that he who has an enemy, and bears malice, can enjoy the holy

Communion.... I forewarn, and testify, and proclaim this with a voice that all may hear! Let no

one who has an enemy draw near the sacred Table or receive the Lord's Body! Let no one

who draws near have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Do not draw near! Do you wish to

draw near? Be reconciled, and then draw near, and touch the Holy Gifts! - Homily 20

We are commanded to have only one enemy, the devil. With him never be reconciled!

But with a brother, never be at enmity in thy heart. - Homily 20

Praying against one's personal enemies is a transgression of law.

- Homily: Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren

How great punishment must they deserve, who, far from themselves forgiving, do even

entreat God for vengeance on their enemies, and as it were diametrically transgress

this law; and this while He is doing and contriving all, to hinder our being at variance

one with another? For since love is the root of all that is good, He, removing from all

sides whatever mars it, brings us together, and cements us to each other.

- Homily 19: On St. Matthew: On the Lord's Prayer

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him.

If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but

also the eye, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the

hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the

eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ears by not

listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our broth-


- Homily III:8 On the Statutes

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force

... it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither

have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know

how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force,

but by choice.

- Six Books on the Priesthood