Monday, April 23, 2007

An ancient voice for the day #11

Chrysostom (349-407):

"This is what a lot of people are inclined to say when we exhort them to take pains over a virtuous life or show enthusiasm for the reading of Scripture. This is not for me, the person says: I haven’t left the world, have I? I haven’t become a monk, have I? What are you saying, human being that you are? Are you leaving it to them alone to find satisfaction before God? He wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, and he wishes no one to neglect virtue. Listen, after all, to what he has to say by means of the inspired author: “I desire not the sinner’s death as much as his conversion and life.” No hindrance came to the good man, did it, from intercourse with his wife or family cares?

(20) Accordingly, I beseech you, let us not deceive ourselves, but the more we are embroiled in these cares, so much the more should we take the remedies available in the reading of the Holy Scriptures. . . . Hence, I beseech you, let us not approach the contents of Sacred Scripture idly, but read them with attention so as to gain benefit from them and at least at this late hour be in a position to follow the way of virtue as God would have us do."

Source: FC, Vol. 82, Homilies on Genesis 18-45, Homily 21.19-20 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1990), pp. 64-65.

For an excellent compilation of quotes of the Church fathers teaching on the primacy, sufficiency and ultimate authority of Scripture, get a copy of Holy Scripture:The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol III- The Writings of the Church Fathers Affirming the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura.