Category: Patristic Texts

Patristic Texts

Charitable Works Abolish Death!

Do you see the power of the apostle, or rather of the Lord who acted through him? Do you see what a reward she received- even in this life- for her good works? Because tell me, what did she give to the widows that was as great a thing as they gave her? She gave them food and clothing, but they brought her back to life and helped her to be released from death. Or rather, not them, but our merciful Lord, because of the services she had rendered them.

Patristic Texts

Saint John Chrysostom: Second Instruction to Catechumens

I have come to ask first of all for some fruit in return for the words lately said out of brotherly love to you. For we do not speak in order that you should hear simply, but in order that you should remember what has been said, and may afford us evidence of this, by your works. Yea, rather, not us, but, God, who knows the secrets of the heart. On this account indeed instruction is so called, in order that even when we are absent, our discourse may instruct your hearts. And be not surprised if, after an interval of ten days only, we have come asking for fruit from the seed sown. For in one day it is possible at once to let the seed fall, and to accomplish the harvest.

Patristic Texts

Why Christians Venerate the Holy Cross

“When, then, you see a Christian worshipping the Cross, know that his adoration is not given to the wood, but to Christ Crucified. We might as well worship all wood, as Israel worshipped woods and trees, saying, “Thou art my God, and Thou hast brought me forth.” It is not so with us. We keep in churches and in our houses a remembrance and a representation of our Lord’s sufferings and of those who fought for Him, doing everything for our Lord’s sake.”

Patristic Texts

On the Immediate and Ultimate Goals of the Christian Life

When I was in the desert of Scete, where are the most excellent monastic fathers and where all perfection flourishes, in company with the holy father Germanus (who had since the earliest days and commencement of our spiritual service been my closest companion both in the Coenobium and in the desert, so that to show the harmony of our friendship and aims, everybody would say that a single heart and soul existed in our two bodies), I sought out Abbot Moses, who was eminent amid those splendid flowers, not only in practical but also in contemplative excellence, in my anxiety to be grounded by his instruction:

Patristic Texts

Selected Passages from the Teachings of Saint Cosmas of Aitolia

It is proper to begin our teaching with God, and when we finish it to thank God – not that I am worthy to mention and utter the name of God, but I am sure that God suffers me to do so through His great and infinite compassion. God, the all-good and most merciful, my brethren, is one, and whoever says that there are many Gods is a devil. He is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; yet one nature, one glory, one kingdom, one God. He is all light, all joy, all compassion, all love.

Patristic Texts

About Blasphemy by Saint John Chrysostom

There is nothing worse than blasphemy! No sin can be compared with it. Nothing else enrages God so much, as for His name to be blasphemed. For this no one should either be negligent and be swayed himself, but neither should he be indifferent, if he hears his friend or his enemy blaspheming. This sin increases all the evils, disturbs and confuses our whole life and in the end prepares for us unending hell and unbearable punishment.

Patristic Texts

On the Transfiguration of our Lord by Saint Efrem the Syrian

From the land comes the joy of harvest, from the vineyard fruits that give food, and from the Scriptures teaching that gives life. The land has one season for the harvest, and the vineyard has one season for the vintage, but the Scripture when read always overflows with teaching that gives life. The land when it has been harvested lies fallow and the vineyard when the grapes have been picked is unproductive, but when Scripture is harvested the grapes of those who expound it are not lacking in it. It is picked every day and the grape clusters of the hope in it are never exhausted. Let us then draw near to this land and enjoy its life-giving furrows; and let us harvest from it grapes of life, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to his Disciples, ‘There are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of man coming in his glory’.

Patristic Texts

Aspiring to Be Saints by Saint Silouan the Athonite

In the Kingdom of Heaven where dwell the Lord and His most pure Mother, abide all the Saints. There live our Forefathers and Patriarchs who valiantly carried their faith before them. There dwell the Prophets who received the Holy Spirit, and by their exhortations called the people to God. There dwell the Apostles who died that the Gospel might be preached. There dwell the Martyrs who gladly gave their lives for love of Christ.

Patristic Texts

Saint Theodore the Studite on Bartholomew the Apostle

And when he was sent by our Lord to preach, as I suppose, he heard how our Lord said to him: “Go, my disciple, to preach, void out of this country, and go fight and be capax of [valiant in] perils. I have first accomplished and finished the works of My Father, and am first witness; fill thou the vessel that is necessary and follow thy Master, love thy Lord, give thy blood for His blood, and thy flesh for His flesh, and suffer that which He had suffered; let thine armor be debonair in thy sweatings, and suffer sweetly among wicked people and be patient among them that perish thee.”

Patristic Texts

Saint Augustine of Hippo on the Sunday of the Blind Man

We have just read the long lesson of the man born blind, whom the Lord Jesus restored to the light; but were we to attempt handling the whole of it, and considering, according to our ability, each passage in a way proportionate to its worth, the day would be insufficient. Wherefore I ask and warn your Charity not to require any words of ours on those passages whose meaning is manifest; for it would be too protracted to linger at each.