On Repentance and Almsgiving

By Gus George Christo | Go to book overview

HOMILY 4

ON REPENTANCE AND PRAYER

1

WHEREVER SHEPHERDS SEE DENSE GRASS, they lead the sheep there; they do not lead them away prematurely, before the flocks have sheared close all of the grass. We, 1. too, imitate the sheep. Presently this is the fourth day that we 2. have put this flock to graze in the way of repentance. Yet, not even today are we prepared to take it away from here. For we realize that there is still abundant grazing coupled with much delight and benefit.

(2) The foliage of the trees, which become shelters for the herds at noontime, do not comfort them as much, do not grant them such desirable and delightful shade, do not lull them to sleep with as much enjoyment, as the reading of the holy Scriptures revives and refreshes the suffering souls and the souls afflicted with faintheartedness. The reading of Scripture destroys the excessiveness and the intensity of pain and grants a consolation that is much more delightful and pleasant than any shade. It grants you much comfort not only in the loss of property, or in the loss of children, or in any other such loss, but even in the worst circumstances of sin.

(3) Once a person is bound by sin and, being tripped up by it, falls, unable to rise again, his conscience devours him. Just as he ceaselessly remembers the sin, he is choked in the

____________________
1.
All Christians, including Chrysostom, are included.
2.
Here Chrysostom is referring to himself in the plural.

-43-

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