Saint John Chrysostom…

…judges Francis’ idea on the use of internet for catholic education

  • The things of this life are like smoke

Do you see not even the eyes of the body, that when they abide in smoke they are always weeping; but when they are in clear air, and in a meadow, and in fountains and gardens, they become more quick-sighted and more healthy? Like this is the soul’s eye also, for should it feed in the meadow of spiritual oracles, it will be clear and piercing, and quick of sight; but should it depart into the smoke of the things of this life, it will weep without end, and wail both now and hereafter. For indeed the things of this life are like smoke. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 2, no.9)

…judges Francis’ idea that preaching the Gospel does not entail doctrinal and moral principles

  • Neither are the first commandments cruel, nor the second hard and grievous, but all of one and the same providential care

Seest thou not, how the commandments, so far from coming of cruelty, come rather of abounding mercy? And if on account of these thou callest the Lawgiver grievous, and hard to bear with; […] how the God of the old covenant, whom they call cruel, will be found mild and meek: and He of the new, whom they acknowledged to be good, will be hard and grievous, according to their madness? Whereas we say, that there is but one and the same Legislator of either covenant, who dispensed all meetly, and adapted to the difference of the times the difference between the two systems of law. Therefore neither are the first commandments cruel, nor the second hard and grievous, but all of one and the same providential care. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XVI, no. 8)

  • These injunctions have their pleasure and profit in themselves: have it in thy mind that thou art doing it for Christ’s sake, and the pain will be pleasant

Let us then be obedient to His sayings; let us not oppose ourselves, nor be contentious; for first of all, even antecedently to their rewards, these injunctions have their pleasure and profit in themselves. And if to the more part they seem to be burdensome, and the trouble which they cause, great; have it in thy mind that thou art doing it for Christ’s sake, and the pain will be pleasant. For if we maintain this way of reckoning at all times, we shall experience nothing burdensome, but great will be the pleasure we reap from every quarter. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XVI, no. 8)

  • It cannot be that someone virtuous should not have many enemies

For it cannot, it cannot be, that one careful of virtue, should not have many enemies. However, this is nothing to the virtuous man. For by such means his brightness will increase the more abundantly. Let us then, bearing these things in mind, look to one object only; how to order our own life with strictness. For thus we shall also guide to the life that is there, such as are now sitting in darkness. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XV, no. 12)

  • It is not the time for crowns or prizes; but for struggles

This petition having been made, hear what Jesus answers them: ‘You do not to what you are asking for’. For it is not the time for crowns or prizes; it is the time for struggles, conflicts, toils, sweat, trials, and battles. […] This, then, is the meaning of the words “You do not to what you are asking for”. You have not yet experienced imprisonment, you have not yet gone out to proclaim and combat. ‘Can you drink of the chalice that I drink of: or be baptized with the baptism wherewith I am baptized?’ (Mk 10: 38). In this passage he calls his cross and death his chalice and baptism: chalice, for the eagerness with which he drinks of it; baptism, because by means of his death he would purify the whole world; and not only did he redeem it in this way, but by means of the resurrection, although this was not onerous to him. […] He says to them: You will drink of the chalice that I will drink of and be baptized with the baptism wherewith I will be baptized, referring, in this way to death. Effectively, Saint James was decapitated, and John was condemned to death several times. […] You will surely die, they will kill you, you will achieve the crown of martyrdom; but as for being the first, it is not for me to give: those who fight will receive it, by means of their greater effort, in accordance to their greater readiness of spirit. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 8 Against the Anomoeans – The petition of the mother of the sons of Zebedee)

…judges Francis’ idea on Judas being a poor, penitent man

  • Judas’ state was incurable

Christ washed the feet of the traitor, the sacrilegious, the thief, and that close to the time of the betrayal, and incurable as he was, made him a partaker of His table; (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily 71)

  • Due to his nefarious treachery Judas had lost his place and dignity

He not only let his presence be felt at times, but was also at times seen in his form. Examining the facts with care, we observe that the Savior was seen eleven times by his apostles, and was then elevated to his Father. Why was this so? Because he had eleven disciples, since Judas has been expelled from the Apostolic College, and due to his nefarious treachery had lost his place and dignity. Thus, he appears eleven times to his disciples. And not to all at once, but in various ways: sometimes to these, and other times to those, as when he appeared to the disciples in the absence of Thomas, and then when he was present. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily I on the Ascension of Our Lord)

  • Saint Peter wept not because of punishment, but because he denied his beloved Lord

Now Peter did not dare to weep openly, lest he should be detected by his tears, but he went out and wept. He wept not because of punishment, but because he denied his beloved Lord, which was more galling than any punishment. (Saint John Chrysostom quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Lk 22:54-62)

  • The prodigal son repented and did not despair

[The prodigal son would] have undergone the most pitiable death: but since he repented, and did not despair, he was restored, even after such great corruption, to the same splendour as before, and was arrayed in the most beautiful robe, and enjoyed greater honours than his brother who had not fallen. (Saint John Chrysostom. Exhortation to Theodore I)

  • They introduced many new things though Moses had said: “Ye shall not add ought to the word which I set before you”

Observe, how they are taken in their own question. They say not, ‘Why do they transgress the Law of Moses?’ but, ‘the tradition of the elders;’ whence it is manifest that the Priests had introduced many new things, although Moses had said, ‘Ye shall not add ought to the word which I set before you this day, neither shall ye take ought away from it;’ (Deut 4:2) and when they ought to have been set free from observances, then they bound themselves by many more; fearing lest any should take away their rule and power, they sought to increase the awe in which they were held, by setting themselves forth as legislators. (Saint John Chrysostom quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Mt 15:1-6)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s mercy aimed at religious syncretism

  • The Jews will be saved neither by circumcision nor by sacrifices, but only by baptism

‘For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.’ Not when they are circumcised, not when they sacrifice, not when they do the other deeds of the Law, but when they attain to the forgiveness of sins. If then this has been promised, but has never yet happened in their case, nor have they ever enjoyed the remission of sins by baptism, certainly it will come to pass. Hence he proceeds, ‘For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.’ (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily19 on the the Letter to the Romans, ver. 27)

  • They are beloved because of their ancestors, but whose virtue has no influence on them if they do not believe

Nevertheless God has not even now cut short the calling of you, but He waits for all the Gentiles that are to believe to come in, and then they also shall come. Then he does them another kind favor, by saying, ‘As touching election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.’ And what is this? For wherein they are enemies, punishment is theirs: but wherein they are beloved, the virtue of their ancestors has no influence on them, if they do not believe. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 19 on Romans, ver. 28)

…judges Francis’ idea that it is no longer necessary to declare one’s sins to a confessor to be pardoned

  • To know the greatness of pardon, the greatness of sin must be first declared

If you do not confess the greatness of the debt, you do not discover the excess of grace. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 4, On Lazarus and the rich man, pg. 89)

  • To be justified, first tell your sins

Let us then leave this pernicious curiosity, and bruise our hearts, let us mourn for our sins as Christ commanded, let us be pricked at heart for our transgressions, let us reckon up exactly all the wicked deeds, which in time past we have dared, and let us earnestly strive to wipe them off in all kinds of ways. Now to this end God has opened to us many ways. For, ‘Tell you first,’ says He, ‘your sins, that you may be justified’ (Is 43:26); and again, ‘I said, I have declared mine iniquity unto You, and You have taken away the unrighteousness of my heart’ (Ps 32:5). (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint John, Homily 7)

  • He who accuses himself of his sins will have no accuser at the judgment seat of the Lord

The first way of repentance is condemnation of sins. ‘Declare thou first thy sins that thou mayest be justified’ (Is 43:26). Wherefore also the prophet said, ‘I said, I will speak out, my transgression to the Lord, and thou remittedst the iniquity of my heart’. (Ps 32:5) Condemn thyself therefore for thy sins. This is enough for the Master by way of self-defence. For he who condemns his sins, is slower to fall into them again. Awake thy conscience, that inward accuser, in order that thou mayest have no accuser at the judgment seat of the Lord. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily II on the tempter, no. 6)

  • The perfect confession opens Paradise

Do you perceive the perfect confession? Do you see how he [the good theif] stripped himself of his sins on the cross? For it is read in Scripture: Declare thou first thy sins that thou mayest be justified! No one obliged him, no one did him violence, rather he denounced his very self, in saying: And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And then added: Lord, remember me in your kingdom. But before he had laid aside the burden of his sins by confessing them did the thief dare to say the words ‘Remember me in your kingdom’. Do you not see the value of that confession? It opened Paradise! It gave the former brigand the confidence to seek admission to the kingdom! (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily I on the Cross and the thief, pg. 285, I, 3-4: PG 49, 403-404)

…judges Francis’ attitude towards public sinners, changing Vatican protocol

  • Like Christ, let us also not neglect anything that can convert sinners: warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing, advising

Knowing this, then, let us also not intermit to do all things unto them that sin and are remiss, warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing, advising, though we profit nothing. For Christ indeed foreknew that the traitor was incorrigible, yet nevertheless He ceased not to supply what could be done by Himself, as well admonishing as threatening and bewailing over him, and nowhere plainly, nor openly, but in a concealed way. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 80)

  • How can we pray to God and ask forgiveness of our sins, when we do not amend ourselves? Those who do not have pain for their sins cause indignation and wrath in God

The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when thou thyself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that thou hast sinned; for what manner of offenses will thou entreat God for pardon? For what thou knowest not? And how wilt thou know the greatness of the benefit? Tell therefore thine offenses in particular, that thou mayest learn for what thou receivest forgiveness, that so thou mayest become grateful towards thy Benefactor. […]when the God of all is provoked, we gape, and throw ourselves back, and live in luxury and in drunkenness, and do all things as usual. And when shall we be able to propitiate Him? and how shall we by this very thing fail to provoke Him so much the more? For not so much sinning, as signing without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XIV, no. 5)

…judges Francis’ idea that Christ was stained by sin

  • The Lord’s Death was free from all sin, as the brazen serpent from venom

There a serpent bit and a serpent healed, here death destroyed and a Death saved. But the snake which destroyed had venom, that which saved was free from venom; and so again was it here, for the death which slew us had sin with it, as the serpent had venom; but the Lord’s Death was free from all sin, as the brazen serpent from venom. For, says Peter, ‘He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.’ (1 Pet 2:22). And this is what Paul also declares, ‘And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it’ (Col 2:16). For as some noble champion by lifting on high and dashing down his antagonist, renders his victory more glorious, so Christ, in the sight of all the world, cast down the adverse powers, and having healed those who were smitten in the wilderness, delivered them from all venomous beasts that vexed them, by being hung upon the Cross. Yet He did not say, ‘must hang,’ but, ‘must be lifted up’ (Acts 28:4); for He used this which seemed the milder term, on account of His hearer, and because it was proper to the type. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily 27)

…judges Francis’ idea on John the Baptist doubting the Messiah

  • John is greater than a prophet: in being near to the Messiah

Then having said, that he is greater than a prophet, He signifies also in what he is greater. And in what is he greater? In being near Him that had come. For, “I send,” says He, “my messenger before Your face;” that is, near You. For as with kings, they who ride near the chariot, these are more illustrious than the rest, just so John also appears in his course near the advent itself. See how He signified John’s excellency by this also; and not even here does He stop, but adds afterwards His own suffrage as well, saying, “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11). (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVII, no. 2)

  • John lived on earth as though he were in heaven

Now what He said is like this: “woman has not borne a greater than this man.” And His very sentence is indeed sufficient; but if you are minded to learn from facts also, consider his table, his manner of life, the height of his soul. For he so lived as though he were in heaven: and having got above the necessities of nature, he travelled as it were a new way, spending all his time in hymns and prayers, and holding intercourse with none among men, but with God alone continually. For he did not so much as see any of his fellow-servants, neither was he seen by any one of them; he fed not on milk, he enjoyed not the comfort of bed, or roof, or market, or any other of the things of men; and yet he was at once mild and earnest. Hear, for example, how considerately he reasons with his own disciples, courageously with the people of the Jews, how openly with the king. For this cause He said also, “There has not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist.” (Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVII, no. 2)

  • John the Baptist did not doubt Christ: He had announced that Christ was the Messiah

“Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” That is, he that knew Him before His miracles, he that had learned it of the Spirit, he that heard it of the Father, he who had proclaimed Him before all men; doth he now send to learn of Him, whether it be Himself or no? And if yet thou didst not know that it is surely He, how thinkest thou thyself credible, affirming as thou dost concerning things, whereof thou art ignorant? For he that is to bear witness to others, must be first worthy of credit himself. Didst thou not say, “I am not meet to loose the latchet of His shoe?” Didst thou not say, “I knew Him not, but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and resting upon Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost?” Didst thou not see the Spirit in form of a dove? didst thou not hear the voice? Didst thou not utterly forbid Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee?” Didst thou not say even to thy disciples, “He must increase, I must decrease?” Didst thou not teach all the people, that “He should baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire?” and that He “is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world?” Didst thou not before His signs and miracles proclaim all these things? How then now, when He hath been made manifest to all, and the fame of Him hath gone out everywhere, and dead men have been raised, and devils driven away, and a display made of so great miracles, dost thou after this send to learn of Him? What then is the fact? Were all these sayings a kind of fraud: a stage play and fables? Nay, who that hath any understanding would say so? (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1)

  • John, by leaping in the womb, before his own birth proclaimed Christ

I say not, John, who leaped in the womb, who before his own birth proclaimed Him, the citizen of the wilderness, the exhibitor of the conversation of angels; but even though he were one of the common sort, and of them that are utterly outcast, he would not have hesitated, after so many testimonies, both on his own part and on the part of others. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1)

  • John did not doubt Christ and from the beginning preached that He had come to take away the sin of the world

But in order to our making the truth more evident to you by the comparison of the several statements, producing not only our own sayings, but also what is stated by others; we must needs add some account of them. What then do some affirm? That this which we have stated was not the cause, but that John was in ignorance, yet not in ignorance of all; but that He was the Christ, he knew, but whether He was also to die for mankind, he knew not, therefore he said, “Art Thou He that should come?” that is, He that is to descend into hell. (Jn 8:13) But this is not tenable; for neither of this was John ignorant. This at least he proclaimed even before all the others, and bare record of this first, “Behold,” saith he, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Now he called Him a lamb, as proclaiming the cross, and again in saying, “That taketh away the sin of the world,” he declared this same thing. For not otherwise than by the cross did He effect this; as Paul likewise said: “And the handwriting which was contrary to us, even it He took out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” (Jn 1:29) And his saying too, “He shall baptize you with the Spirit,” is that of one who was foretelling the events after the resurrection. […] To whom it were seasonable to say, “Brethren, be not children in understanding, howbeit in malice be ye children.” For the present life indeed is the season for right conversation, but after death is judgment and punishment. “For in hell,” it is said, “who will confess unto thee?” (1Cor 14:20) (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1)

  • John the Baptist did not send his disciples because he doubted, nor because he had become timid

Whence it is evident, that neither did he send as being himself in doubt, nor did he ask in ignorance. Since no one surely could say this, that though he knew it fully, yet on account of his prison he was become rather timid: for neither was he looking to be delivered therefrom, nor if he did look for it, would he have betrayed his duty to God, armed as he was against various kinds of death. For unless he had been prepared for this, he would not have evinced so great courage towards a whole people, practised in shedding blood of prophets; nor would he have rebuked that savage tyrant with so much boldness in the midst of the city and the forum, severely chiding him, as though he were a little child, in hearing of all men. And even if he were grown more timid, how was he not ashamed before his own disciples, in whose presence he had so often borne witness unto Him, but asked his question by them, which he should have done by others? (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1)

  • John’s disciples were always disposed to be jealous of Jesus

Since in truth John’s disciples were always disposed to be jealous of Him, and reasoned against Him: being then only humbled, when first John abode in the prison. They came at least then, “and told Jesus;” but afterwards they returned to their former envy. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXX, no. 3)

  • The fact that John sent his disciples to Jesus, among other things, indicates their jealousy towards Him

“Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Jesus, he sent two of his disciples, and asked Him, saying, Art thou He that should come? or do we look for another?” (Mt 11,2–3) But Luke saith, they also told John of the miracles, and then he sent them. However, this contains no matter of difficulty, but of consideration only; for this, among other things, indicates their jealousy towards Him. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1)

  • John sent his disciples so that Jesus would cure them of their envy

And yet surely he knew full well, that they too were jealous of Christ, and desired to find some handle against Him. And how could he but be abashed before the Jewish people, in whose presence he had proclaimed such high things? Or what advantage accrued to him thereby, towards deliverance from his bonds? For not for Christ’s sake had he been cast into prison, nor for having proclaimed His power, but for his own rebuke touching the unlawful marriage. And what child so silly, what person so frantic, but that so he would have put on himself their character? What then is it which he is bringing about? For that it belongs not to John to have doubt hereupon, no nor to any ordinary person, nor even to one extremely foolish and frenzied; so much is evident from what we have said. And now we have only to add the solution. For what intent then did he send to ask? John’s disciples were starting aside from Jesus, and this surely any one may see, and they had always a jealous feeling towards Him. And it is plain, from what they said to their master: “He that was with thee,” it is said, “beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come unto Him.” And again, “There arose a question between John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” And again they came unto Him, and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but Thy disciples fast not?” For as yet they knew not who Christ was, but imagining Jesus to be a mere man, but John greater than after the manner of man, were vexed at seeing the former held in estimation, but the latter, as he had said, now ceasing. And this hindered them from coming unto Him, their jealousy quite blocking up the access. Now so long as John was with them, he was exhorting them continually and instructing them, and not even so did he persuade them; but when he was now on the point of dying, he uses the more diligence: fearing as he did lest he might leave a foundation for bad doctrine, and they continue broken off from Christ. For as he was diligent even at first to bring to Christ all that pertained to himself; so on his failing to persuade them, now towards his end he does but exert the more zeal. Now if he had said, “Go ye away unto Him, He is better than I”, he would not have persuaded them, minded as they were not easily to be separated from him, but rather he would have been thought to say it out of modesty, and they would have been the more rivetted to him; or if he had held his peace, then again nothing was gained. What then doth he? He waits to hear from them that Christ is working miracles, and not even so doth he admonish them, nor doth he send all, but some two (whom he perhaps knew to be more teachable than the rest); that the inquiry might be made without suspicion, in order that from His acts they might learn the difference between Jesus and himself. And he saith, Go ye, and say, “Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” But Christ knowing the purpose of John, did not say, I am He; for this would again have offended the hearers, although this was what it naturally followed for Him to say, but He leaves them to learn it from His acts. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 1–2)

  • Jesus worked many miracles before the disciples of John to remove their suspicion

For it saith, “when these were come to Him, then “He cured many.” And yet what congruity was there, that being asked, “Art thou He,” He should say nothing to that, but should presently cure them that were sick; unless it had been His mind to establish this which I have mentioned? Because they of course would account the testimony of His deeds surer, and more above suspicion than that of His words. Knowing therefore, as being God, the mind with which John had sent them, He straightway cured blind, lame, and many others; not to teach him (for how should He him that was convinced), but these that were doubting: and having healed them, He saith, “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see; the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them.” And he added, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me;” implying that He knows even their unuttered thoughts. For if He had said, “I am He,” both this would have offended them, as I have already said; and they would have thought, even if they had not spoken, much as the Jews said to Him, “Thou bearest record of Thyself.” Wherefore He saith not this Himself, but leaves them to learn all from the miracles, freeing what He taught from suspicion, and making it plainer. Wherefore also He covertly added His reproof of them. That is, because they were “offended in Him,” He by setting forth their case and leaving it to their own conscience alone, and by calling no witness of this His accusation, but only themselves that knew it all, did thus also draw them the more unto Himself, in saying, Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” For indeed His secret meaning was of them when He said this. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 2)

  • Jesus assured John’s disciples by the miracles performed and provided a remedy for the multitude’s doubt

For the matter indeed of John’s disciples had been ordered well, and they were gone away assured by the miracles which had just been performed; but there was need after that of remedy as regarded the people. For although they could not suspect anything of the kind of their own master, the common people might from the inquiry of John’s disciples form many strange suspicions, not knowing the mind with which he sent his disciples. And it was natural for them to reason with themselves, and say, “He that bore such abundant witness, hath he now changed his persuasion, and doth he doubt whether this or another be He that should come? Can it be, that in dissension with Jesus he saith this? that the prison hath made him more timid? that his former words were spoken vainly, and at random?” It being then natural for them to suspect many such things, see how He corrects their weakness, and removes these their suspicions. […] Wherefore neither doth He discourse unto them in the way of rebuke, but merely sets right their understanding, and defends John, and signifies that he is not fallen away from his former opinion, neither is he changed, not being at all a man easily swayed and fickle, but steadfast and sure, and far from being such as to betray the things committed unto him. And in establishing this, He employs not at first his own sentence, but their former testimony, pointing out how they bare record of his firmness, not by their words only, but also by their deeds. […] And see how He omits all wickedness, and mentions this, which then especially haunted them; and removes the suspicion of lightness.
“But what went ye out for to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.” Now His meaning is like this: He was not of himself a waverer; and this ye yourselves showed by your earnestness. Much less could any one say this, that he was indeed firm, but having made himself a slave to luxury, he afterwards became languid. For among men, some are such as they are of themselves, others become so; for instance, one man is passionate by nature, and another from having fallen into a long illness gets this infirmity. Again, some men are flexible and fickle by nature, while others become so by being slaves to luxury, and by living effeminately. “But John,” saith He, “neither was such a character by nature, for neither was it a reed that ye went out to see; nor by giving himself to luxury did he lose the advantage he possessed.” […] See how He signified John’s excellency by this also; and not even here doth He stop, but adds afterwards His own suffrage as well, saying, “Verily I say unto you, among them that rare born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist.” (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily XXXVI, no. 2)

…judges Francis’ idea on reforming the Church

  • The pagan laws honored pederasty and there were houses for this purpose

They were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty, as well as anointing for wrestling, should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. […] For as to their passion for boys, whom they called their “Pædica,” it is not fit to be named. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily V on Titus)

  • The sin against nature is worthy of thunderbolts and hell

[Men] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel, how bolts are not launched, and all things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile His wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 73, no. 3)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church’s moral teaching

  • Christ punishes and rewards according to the intention of the one who acts

Wherefore it is not simply the thing, but the intent, which He [Christ] both punishes and rewards. […] For this cause, setting thee free from this restraint, He defines both the penalty and the reward not by the result of the action, but by the intention of the doer. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XIX)

  • Reward is the result of following the injunctions of Christ

Let us not therefore suppose His injunctions impossible. Nay, for besides their expediency, they are very easy, if we are sober-minded; and the profit of them is so great as to be an exceeding help, not to ourselves only, but to those also who are using us despitefully. And in this chiefly stands their excellence, that while they induce us to suffer wrong, they by the same means teach them also that do the wrong to control themselves. For while he on his part thinks it a great thing to take what belongs to others, but thou signifiest to him, that to thee it is easy to give even what he doth not ask: while thou bringest in liberality for a counterpoise to his meanness, and a wise moderation to his covetousness: consider what a lesson he will get, being taught not by sayings, but by actual deeds, to scorn vice and to seek after virtue. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily XVIII)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Faith and Luteran belief

  • Let no one communicate who is not of the disciplesLet no Judas receive, lest he suffer the fate of Judas

Shall I say something more fearful. It is not so grievous a thing for the energumens to be within, as for such as these, whom Paul affirms to trample Christ under foot, and to ‘account the blood of the covenant unclean, and to do despite to the grace of the Spirit.’ For he that has fallen into sin and draws near, is worse than one possessed with a devil. For they, because they are possessed are not punished, but those, when they draw near unworthily, are delivered over to undying punishment. Let us not therefore drive away these only, but all without exception, whomsoever we may see coming unworthily. Let no one communicate who is not of the disciples. Let no Judas receive, lest he suffer the fate of Judas. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 82, no. 6)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s love for sinners

  • Those who return to their sins will have to suffer great punishment

Having then all this in your mind, show forth a life worthy of the love of Him who calls you, and of your citizenship in that world, and of the honor that is given you. […] Now then, having to partake of such blessings […] Or rather, what punishment will you not have to suffer, who after so great a gift art running to your former vomit? For no longer are you punished merely as a man, but as a son of God that has sinned; and the greatness of your honor becomes a mean of bringing a sorer punishment on you. Since we too punish not equally slaves that do wrong, and sons committing the same offense; and most of all when they have received some great kindness from us. For if he who had paradise for his portion, for one disobedience underwent such dreadful things after his honor; we, who have received Heaven, and have become joint heirs with the Only Begotten, what excuse shall we have, for running to the serpent after the dove? For it will be no longer, ‘Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return’ (Gen 3:19), and you ‘till the ground,’ and those former words, that will be said to us; but what is far more grievous than these, the ‘outer darkness’ (Mt 25:30), the bonds that may not be burst, the venomous worm, the ‘gnashing of teeth;’ and this with great reason. For he that is not made better even by so great a benefit, would justly suffer the most extreme, and a yet more grievous punishment. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 12, no 3-4)

  • Sinners who do not feel pain for their sins cause indignation and wrath to God

The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when you yourself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that you have sinned; for what manner of offenses will you entreat God for pardon? For what you know not? And how will you know the greatness of the benefit? Tell therefore your offenses in particular, that you may learn for what you receive forgiveness, that so you may become grateful towards your Benefactor. […] but when the God of all is provoked, we gape, and throw ourselves back, and live in luxury and in drunkenness, and do all things as usual. And when shall we be able to propitiate Him? And how shall we by this very thing fail to provoke Him so much the more? For not so much sinning, as signing without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 14, no. 4)

  • Difference between the two thieves: one received as inheritance the Kingdom of heaven, the other was cast into hell

What great things did the thief do, you ask, who from the cross passed directly to paradise? I will demonstrate his virtue in a few words. While below at the foot of the cross Peter denied, he above confessed! And this I do not say accusing Peter, far be it from me, but rather to manifest the virtue of the thief. The disciple did not resist the threats of a young maid without importance, while the thief, on the contrary, contemplating all of the people that surrounded him, crying out and proffering blasphemies and insults, he did not mind this, nor did he think on the present dishonor of the Crucified one; but rather, passing over all this with the eyes of faith, he pays no attention to these vile impediments, he recognizes the King of Heaven; and with his spirit prostrated before Him, he said: ‘Remember me when You come into your kingdom!’ […] There was, in effect, another thief crucified together with him, so that it would be fulfilled that he would be numbered among the criminals […] Then: the other thief insulted him. Do you see the difference between one thief and the other? Both are on the cross! Both due to their dishonest life! Both for their iniquity! But they did not have the same end! For one received as inheritance the Kingdom of Heaven, and the other was cast into hell. […] There was a difference between the two thieves: one insulted, the other adored; one blasphemed, the other blessed and even accused the blasphemer with these words: ‘Have you no fear of God, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes!’ […] God is a just judge, and his justice goes forth like light that cannot be darkened by ignorance or by shadows. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily I, On the Cross and the thief, PG 49, 403-4)

  • Stained with a thousand crimes, the good thief sought pardon for his wickedness from the Fountain of righteousness

The blessed thief thus taught those that stood by, uttering the words by which he rebuked the other. But when he saw that the ears of those who stood by were stopped up, he turns to Him who knows the hearts; for it follows, And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. You behold the Crucified, and you acknowledge Him to be your Lord. You see the form of a condemned criminal, and you proclaim the dignity of a king. Stained with a thousand crimes, you ask the Fountain of righteousness to remember your wickedness, saying, But I discover your hidden kingdom; and you turn away my public iniquities, and accept the faith of a secret intention. Wickedness usurped the disciple of truth, truth did not change the disciple of wickedness. (Saint John Chrysostom quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Lk 23:38-43)

…judges Francis’ idea on proclaiming the Gospel only with gentleness

  • Imitate Christ by warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing and advising

Knowing this, then, let us also not intermit to do all things unto them that sin and are remiss, warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing, advising, though we profit nothing. For Christ indeed foreknew that the traitor was incorrigible, yet nevertheless He ceased not to supply what could be done by Himself, as well admonishing as threatening and bewailing over him, and nowhere plainly, nor openly, but in a concealed way. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Saint Matthew, Homily 80)

  • Employ all your zeal toward the fruitful care of spiritual things

It is absurd, in fact, that we cannot bear that an evening pass without a lamp aflame in our house; and on the other hand we are tranquil to see our soul without the lamp of doctrine. The greater part of our sins result from this: that we do not immediately light the lamp in our soul. From this, it results that which we stumble each day. From this, it results that we glean many things with the mind, but as if by chance and in passing; in effect, barely has the divine word been heard, before even having crossed the vestibule of the Church, we empty ourselves of this word and having extinguished the light, we walk in profound darkness. If by chance this has happened to us before, may it not happen in the future; but rather may we always have the lamp lit within our mind; and may we adorn our soul before our home. For the latter remains here below; but the soul goes with us to the other life: it is then only just that we should be more consider it as needing greater care. But there are some so foolish as to adorn their homes with golden artwork, and on the floor they put mosaics of various colors, and add pictures of flowers and the splendor of columns and many other ornaments of all sorts; while on the other hand they abandon their soul to a worse state than the most deserted inn, full of dirt, of smoke, bad-smelling, and entirely in abandon. And all of this happens because the lamp of doctrine does not remain alight continually. That is why things that are necessary are neglected, while we diligently occupy ourselves with what has no value. And I say this not only to the rich, but also to the poor. Because many of these also adorn their homes according to their means, while on the contrary they leave their souls uncared for. Consequently, I direct my teaching to one and the other, and I exhort you to take little care of the business of the present life, and to employ all your zeal toward the fruitful care of spiritual things, which are the necessary things. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily in honor of the Holy Martyrs to the people of Antioch)

…judges Francis’ idea on proclaiming the Gospel

  • The prelates who bring wicked men into the churches collaborate with the devil

It is no small danger, which He hereby suspends over our rulers, to whom especially is entrusted the keeping of the field […] Many of the prelates, I mean, bringing into the churches wicked men, disguised heresiarchs, gave great facility to the laying that kind of snare. For the devil needs not even to take any trouble, when he has once planted them among us. […] For, ‘When the blade was sprung up,’ says He, ‘and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also;’ which kind of thing these men also do. For at the beginning they disguise themselves; but when they have gained much confidence, and someone imparts to them the teaching of the word, then they pour out their poison. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 46 on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

…judges Francis’ idea on the pastor

  • While taking care of others, do not neglect yourself

Now thus I bid you reason with regard to your soul also; or rather even much more with regard to the soul; and do thou, forsaking all besides, spend all your care upon it. Do not then while taking thought about the things of others, neglect yourself and your own things; which now all men do, resembling them that work in the mines. For neither do these receive any profit from this labor, nor from the wealth; but rather great harm, both because they incur fruitless peril, and incur it for other men, reaping no benefit from such their toils and deaths. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 55)

  • Order our own life with strictness, for thus we shall also guide the lives of those in darkness

For it cannot, it cannot be, that one careful of virtue, should not have many enemies. However, this is nothing to the virtuous man. For by such means his brightness will increase the more abundantly. Let us then, bearing these things in mind, look to one object only; how to order our own life with strictness. For thus we shall also guide to the life that is there, such as are now sitting in darkness. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 15)

  • When the teacher is bad, the disciples are worse

After this, again another charge: compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves […]and need much toil in order to win over even one […] or rather that they were not only careless, but even traitors, by their wickedness in their life corrupting him, and making him worse. For when the disciple sees his teachers to be such as these, he becomes worse than they. For he stops not at his teachers wickedness; but as when his teacher is virtuous, he imitates him, so when he is bad, he even goes beyond him, by reason of our proneness to what is evil. And He calls him a child of hell, that is, a very hell. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on Saint Matthew, Homily 72)

…judges Francis’ idea on new forms of poverty

  • Baptism makes us brothers of Christ…

But if they are His brethren, why does He call them ‘the least?’ Because they are lowly, poor, and outcast. By these He means not only the monks who have retired to the mountains, but every believer though he should be secular, though an hungred, or the like, yet He would have him obtain merciful succours, for baptism and communication of the Divine mysteries makes him a brother. (Saint John Chrysostom quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena aurea in Mt 25:31 – 45)

…judges Francis’ idea that Jesus is only mercy

  • Jesus reproaches when he wishes to point out that the sin is great, and the punishment and wrath in store for it grievous

‘Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye’ (Mt 7:5). Here His will is to signify the great wrath, which He has against them that do such things. For so, wheresoever He would indicate that the sin is great, and the punishment and wrath in store for it grievous, He begins with a reproach. […] I bid you care for yourself first, in whose case the sin is both more certain and greater. But if you neglect yourself, it is quite evident that neither do you judge your brother in care for him, but in hatred, and wishing to expose him. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily XXII on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

  • Justice, love and truth purify the soul

For these are the things that comprise our life, these are what purify the soul, justice, love to man, truth; the one inclining us to pardon and not suffering us to be excessively severe and unforgiving to them that sin (for then shall we gain doubly, both becoming kind to man, and hence meeting also ourselves with much kindness from the God of all), and causing us both to sympathize with them that are despitefully entreated, and to assist them; the other not suffering them to be deceitful, and crafty. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 73 on Saint Matthew)

…judges Francis’ idea on the poor being the heart of the Gospel

  • The poor in spirit are the humble who are awestruck and tremble at the Commandments of God

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.’

What is meant by ‘the poor in spirit?’ The humble and contrite in mind. For by ‘spirit’ He hath here designated the soul, and the faculty of choice. That is, since many are humble not willingly, but compelled by stress of circumstances; letting these pass (for this were no matter of praise), He blesses them first, who by choice humble and contract themselves. But why does he say not, ‘the humble,’ but rather, ‘the poor’? Because this is more than that. For he means here them that are awestruck, and tremble at the Commandments of God. Whom by his prophet Isaiah God earnestly accepting said, ‘To whom I look, but to him who is meek and quiet, and trembles at my words’? (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Homily XV)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • Jesus’ actions were not the actions of a pretender; but of someone choosing to suffer everything for the order of the House of God

For he did not merely ‘cast them out,’ but also ‘overturned the tables,’ and ‘poured out the money,’ giving them by this to understand, that He who threw Himself into danger for the good order of the House could never despise his Master. Had He acted as He did from hypocrisy, He should only have advised them; but to place Himself in danger was very daring. For it was no light thing to offer Himself to the anger of so many market-folk, to excite against Himself a most brutal mob of petty dealers by His reproaches and His blows, this was not the action of a pretender, but of one choosing to suffer everything for the order of the House. (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 23 on the Gospel of Saint John)

  • ‘You shall know the truth from Me, and it shall free you from your sins’

‘You shall know the truth,’ that is, ‘shall know Me, for I am the truth. All the Jewish matters were types, but you shall know the truth from Me, and it shall free you from your sins.’ (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 23 on the Gospel of Saint John)

  • Jesus Christ says nothing which is not of God and of the Spirit

‘God is true;’ thus showing, that no man could disbelieve Christ without making God who sent Him guilty of a falsehood. Because, since He says nothing save what is from the Father, but all that He says is His, he that hears not Him, hears not Him that sent Him. […] He says nothing which is not ‘of God,’ or which is not of ‘the Spirit.’ (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 30 on the Gospel of Saint John)

  • Christ’s word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled

Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 82 on Saint Matthew, no. 4)

  • Jesus expelled the merchants to exhibit His zeal for the House of God, and so to correct any suspicion that He wished contradict the Father’s laws

He cast out of the Temple those dealers and money changers, and those who sold doves, and oxen, and sheep, and who passed their time there for this purpose. Another Evangelist writes, that as He cast them out, He said, Make not my Father’s house ‘a den of thieves,’ but this one, ‘Make not My Father’s house) an house of merchandise’ (Jn 2:16). They do not in this contradict each other, but show that he did this a second time, and that both these expressions were not used on the same occasion, but that He acted thus once at the beginning of His ministry, and again when He had come to the very time of His Passion. Therefore, (on the latter occasion,) employing more strong expressions, He spoke of it as (being made) ‘a den of thieves,’ but here at the commencement of His miracles He does not so, but uses a more gentle rebuke; from which it is probable that this took place a second time. ‘And wherefore’, says one, ‘did Christ do this same, and use such severity against these men, a thing which He is nowhere else seen to do, even when insulted and reviled, and called by them ‘Samaritan’ and ‘demoniac’? For He was not even satisfied with words only, but took a scourge, and so cast them out.’ […] ‘But wherefore did He this?’ Since he was about to heal on the Sabbath day, and to do many such things which were thought by them transgressions of the Law, in order that He might not seem to do this as though He had come to be some rival God and opponent of His Father, He takes occasion hence to correct any such suspicion of theirs. For One who had exhibited so much zeal for the House was not likely to oppose Him who was Lord of the House, and who was worshipped in it. No doubt even the former years during which He lived according to the Law, were sufficient to show His reverence for the Legislator, and that He came not to give contrary laws. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 23 on the Gospel of Saint John, no. 1-2)

  • Jesus exposed himself to danger for love of the House of God

For he did not merely ‘cast them out,’ but also ‘overturned the tables,’ and ‘poured out the money,’ […] For it was no light thing to offer Himself to the anger of so many market-folk, to excite against Himself a most brutal mob of petty dealers by His reproaches and His blows, this was not the action of a pretender, but of one choosing to suffer everything for the order of the House. And therefore not by His actions only, but by His words, He shows his agreement with the Father. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 23 on the Gospel of Saint John, no. 1-2)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

  • Christians are called to conflict and fight – not to be laughing and sporting, dissolute and luxurious, and always taking things easily

Yes, for a grievous conflict is at hand, and against the powers unseen is our wrestling; against ‘the spiritual wickednesses’ (Eph 6:12) our fight, ‘against principalities, against powers’ our warfare: and it is well for us, if when we are earnest and sober and thoroughly awakened, we can be able to sustain that savage phalanx. But if we are laughing and sporting, and always taking things easily, even before the conflict, we shall be overthrown by our own remissness. It becomes not us then to be continually laughing, and to be dissolute, and luxurious, but it belongs to those upon the stage, the harlot women, the men that are trimmed for this intent, parasites, and flatterers; not them that are called unto heaven, not them that are enrolled into the city above, not them that bear spiritual arms, but them that are enlisted on the devil’s side. For it is he, yea, it is he, that even made the thing an art, that he might weaken Christ’s soldiers, and soften the nerves of their zeal. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on St. Matthew, Homily 6)

  • Life is not a plaything. Spending all our diligence on earthly things is to betray our own salvation

Life is not a plaything: or rather our present life is a plaything, but the things to come are not such; or perchance our life is not a plaything only, but even worse than this. For it ends not in laughter, but rather brings exceeding damage on them who are not minded to order their own ways strictly. […] Let us therefore become men. How long are we to crawl on the earth, priding ourselves on stones and stocks? How long are we to play? And would we played only! But now we even betray our own salvation; and as children when they neglect their learning, and practise themselves in these things at their leisure, suffer very severe blows; even so we too, spending all our diligence herein, and having then our spiritual lessons required of us in our works, and not being able to produce them, shall have to pay the utmost penalty. And there is none to deliver us; though he be father, brother, what you will. But while these things shall all pass away, the torment ensuing upon them remains immortal and unceasing. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homiles on St. Matthew, Homily 23)

  • The things of this life are like smoke

Do you see not even the eyes of the body, that when they abide in smoke they are always weeping; but when they are in clear air, and in a meadow, and in fountains and gardens, they become more quick sighted and more healthy? Like this is the soul’s eye also, for should it feed in the meadow of spiritual oracles, it will be clear and piercing, and quick of sight; but should it depart into the smoke of the things of this life, it will weep without end, and wail both now and hereafter. For indeed the things of this life are like smoke. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on St. Matthew, Homily 2)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

Suffering in the present life is the remedy against pride, which would turn us astray, against vainglory and ambition. Through suffering the power of God shines forth in weak men, who without His grace would not be able to bear their afflictions. Suffering, patience, manifests the goodness of him who is persecuted. By this road he is led to desire eternal life. Memory of the great sufferings of the saints leads us to support our own, by imitating the saints. Finally, pain teaches us to distinguish false goods which pass away from true goods which last eternally. (Saint John Chrysostom. Consolationes ad Stagir. L. III, quoted by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Life Everlasting and the Immensity of the Soul, Ch. VI)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • Poverty at one time leads to blasphemy, at another to wisdom – according to the disposition of the user

For there are some things good, some evil, some between the two. The good are chastity, and humility, and the like, which when a man chooses he becomes good. But opposed to these are the evil, which when a man chooses he becomes bad; and there are the neutral, as riches, which at one time indeed are directed to good, as to almsgiving, at other times to evil, as to covetousness. And in like manner poverty at one time leads to blasphemy, at another to wisdom, according to the disposition of the user. (Saint John Chrysostom. Cited by St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea in Lucam ch. 12, v. 16-21)

…judges Francis’ idea on anticlericalism

  • The priestly office is discharged on earth, but it ranks amongst heavenly ordinances

For the priestly office is indeed discharged on earth, but it ranks amongst heavenly ordinances; and very naturally so: for neither man, nor angel, nor archangel, nor any other created power, but the Paraclete Himself, instituted this vocation, and persuaded men while still abiding in the flesh to represent the ministry of angels. Wherefore the consecrated priest ought to be as pure as if he were standing in the heavens themselves in the midst of those powers. (Saint John Chrysostom. On the Priesthood, Book III, no. 304)

  • Adorned with a more excellent principality

Certainly the priest is much more worthy of honor and veneration than the king, since he is called to a more excellent principality. (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily on Ann)

…judges Francis’ idea on the words of Jesus Christ upon the Cross

  • He honors the Father, and is not against Him

He uttered this word of prophecy, that He might bear witness to the very last hour to the Old Testament, and that they might see that He honours the Father, and is not against God. And therefore too, He used the Hebrew tongue, that what He said might be intelligible to them. (Saint John Chrysostom. Commentary on Matthew 27:46, quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the Catena Aurea)

…judges Francis’ prayer in the ecumenical and interreligious Meeting in Sarajevo

  • He who confesses by mouth will easily convince all

‘So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 10:32-33). He not only requires faith which is of the mind, but confession which is by the mouth, that He may exalt us higher, and raise us to a more open utterance, and a larger measure of love. For this is spoken not to the Apostles only, but to all; He gives strength not to them only, but to their disciples. And he that observes this precept will not only teach with free utterance, but will easily convince all; for the observance of this command drew many to the Apostles. (Saint John Chrysostom, cited by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea in Mt 10: 32-33)

…judges Francis’ idea that Christians should always humble themselves

  • Jesus declares himself to be the Master and the light of the world

What then did Christ? Since they were continually dwelling upon Galilee and ‘The Prophet,’ to free all men from this erroneous suspicion, and to show that He was not one of the prophets, but the Master of the world, He said, ‘I am the light of the world(Jn 8:12).’ Not of Galilee, not of Palestine, nor of Judaea. What then say the Jews? (Jn 8:12) ‘Thou bearest record of thyself, thy record is not true.’ Alas! for their folly, […] What was the record He bare? ‘I am the light of the world.’ A great thing to say, great of a truth. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily LII)

…judges Francis’ vision on the divorced who re-marry

  • How shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of it? – If we love our brothers, we must urge them to have pain for their sins

For the disease is not palsy only, but also our sin; and this more than that, by how much a soul is better than a body. Let us therefore now also draw nigh unto Him; let us entreat Him that He would brace our paralyzed soul, and leaving all things that pertain to this life, let us take account of the things spiritual only. Or if thou cleave unto these also, yet think of them after the other. Neither must thou think lightly of it, because thou hast no pain in sinning; rather on this very account most of all do thou lament, that thou feelest not the anguish of thine offenses. For not because sin bites not, doth this come to pass, but because the offending soul is insensible. Regard with this view them that have a feeling of their own sins, how they wail more bitterly than such as are being cut, or burned; how many things they do, how many suffer, how greatly they mourn and lament, in order to be delivered from their evil conscience. They would not do any such thing, unless they were exceedingly pained in soul. The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when thou thyself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that thou hast sinned; for what manner of offenses will thou entreat God for pardon? For what thou knowest not? And how wilt thou know the greatness of the benefit? […] and how shall we by this very thing fail to provoke Him so much the more? For not so much sinning, as sinning without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 14 on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

  • Do all things unto them that sin and are remiss: warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing and advising

Knowing this, then, let us also not intermit to do all things unto them that sin and are remiss, warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing, advising, though we profit nothing. For Christ indeed foreknew that the traitor was incorrigible, yet nevertheless He ceased not to supply what could be done by Himself, as well admonishing as threatening and bewailing over him. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 80 on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

…judges Francis’ idea on offering rosaries

  • God does not despises petitions – He tires when you are silent

He who has redeemed you, has shown you what He would have you do. He would have you be instant in prayer, He would have you ponder in your heart the blessings you are praying for, He would have you ask and receive what His goodness is longing to impart. He never refuses His blessings to them that pray, but rather stirs men up by His mercy not to faint in praying. Gladly accept the Lord’s encouragement: be willing to do what He commands, not to do what He forbids. Lastly, consider what a blessed privilege is granted you, to talk with God in your prayers, and make known to Him all your wants, while He though not in words, yet by His mercy, answers you, for He despises not petitions, He tires not but when you are silent. (Saint John Chrysostom, cited by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea, Lk 18:1–8)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Church closed and ailing

  • While taking care about the things of others, do not neglect yourself

What? hast thou another soul to give for this soul? […] put also the whole world, yet what profit hath he thereby, if the soul perish? […] yea, though thou hadst the world, though thou wast king of the whole earth, thou wouldest not be able, by paying down all earthly goods, with the earth itself, to redeem but one soul. […] Now thus I bid thee reason with regard to thy soul also; or rather even much more with regard to the soul; and do thou, forsaking all besides, spend all thy care upon it. Do not then while taking thought about the things of others, neglect thyself and thine own things; which now all men do, resembling them that work in the mines. For neither do these receive any profit from this labor, nor from the wealth; but rather great harm, both because they incur fruitless peril, and incur it for other men, reaping no benefit from such their toils and deaths. These even now are objects of imitation to many, who are digging up wealth for others; or rather we are more wretched even than this, inasmuch as hell itself awaits us after these our labors. For they indeed are staid from those toils by death, but to us death proves a beginning of innumerable evils. […] For of all things in us the soul is chief. […] but Christ will say unto thee again, ‘What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ on every hand commanding thee to be busied about that, and to take account of it only. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 55 on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, no.4-5)

  • Do not open the doors to corrupt men

And by ‘dogs’ here He figuratively described them that are living in incurable ungodliness, and affording no hope of change for the better; and by ‘swine,’ them that abide continually in an unchaste life, all of whom He hath pronounced unworthy of hearing such things. Paul also, it may be observed, declared this when He said, ‘But a natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness unto him.’ And in many other places too He saith that corruption of life is the cause of men’s not receiving the more perfect doctrines. Wherefore He commands not to open the doors to them; for indeed they become more insolent after learning. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 23 on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew)

  • The devil need not take any trouble when he has planted wicked men among us

It is no small danger, which He hereby suspends over our rulers, to whom especially is entrusted the keeping of the field; […] And He signifies also that the error comes after the truth, which the actual event testifies. For so after the prophets, were the false prophets; and after the apostles, the false apostles; and after Christ, Antichrist For unless the devil see what to imitate, or against whom to plot, he neither attempts, nor knows how. Now then also, having seen that ‘one brought forth a hundred, another sixty, another thirty,’ he proceeds after that another way. That is, not having been able to carry away what had taken root, nor to choke, nor to scorch it up, he conspires against it by another craft, privily casting in his own inventions. […] Many of the prelates, I mean, bringing into the churches wicked men, disguised heresiarchs, gave great facility to the laying that kind of snare. For the devil needs not even to take any trouble, when he hath once planted them among us. […] As the heretics also do, […] for at the beginning they disguise themselves; but when they have gained much confidence, and someone imparts to them the teaching of the word, then they pour out their poison. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 46 on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew)

 …judges Francis’ ideas on the norms of the Church

  • When our works are for Christ’s sake, nothing is burdensome

Let us then be obedient to His sayings; let us not oppose ourselves, nor be contentious; for first of all, even antecedently to their rewards, these injunctions have their pleasure and profit in themselves. And if to the more part they seem to be burdensome. and the trouble which they cause, great; have it in thy mind that thou art doing it for Christ’s sake, and the pain will be pleasant. For if we maintain this way of reckoning at all times, we shall experience nothing burdensome, but great will be the pleasure we reap from every quarter; for our toil will no longer seem toil, but by how much it is enhanced, so much the sweeter and pleasanter doth it grow. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Matthew, 16, no. 14)

  • Laws are not hard and grievous – they proceed from one and the same providential care

See you not, how the commandments, so far from coming of cruelty, come rather of abounding mercy? And if on account of these you call the Lawgiver grievous, and hard to bear with; […] how the God of the old covenant, whom they call cruel, will be found mild and meek: and He of the new, whom they acknowledged to be good, will be hard and grievous, according to their madness? Whereas we say, that there is but one and the same Legislator of either covenant, who dispensed all justly and adapted to the difference of the times the difference between the two systems of law. Therefore neither are the first commandments cruel, nor the second hard and grievous, but all of one and the same providential care. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Matthew, 16, 8)

…judges Francis’ idea on Laudate Si

  • Man alone is more precious in the eyes of God than the entire creation

What is then, the being that is going to come into existence surrounded by such consideration? It is man, great and admirable living figure, more precious in the eyes of God than the entire creation, and God has given so much importance to his salvation that he has not spared his only Son for him. For God has not ceased to do all that was possible so that man would arise to him and sit at his right hand. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies in Genesim, Sermon 2, 1: PG 54, 587-588)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • Sodomites ruin the soul with the body – nothing more grievous than this insolent dealing

And thus not only was their doctrine Satanical, but their life too was diabolical. […] For the murderer dissevers the soul from the body, but this man ruins the soul with the body. And name what sin you will, none will you mention equal to this lawlessness. And if they that suffer such things perceived them, they would accept ten thousand deaths so they might not suffer this evil. For there is not, there surely is not, a more grievous evil than this insolent dealing. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans, Homily IV)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church reduced to a minority

  • If the leaven did not change the whole, would it be leaven?

Say, if the leaven being mixed up with the flour did not change the whole into its own nature, would such a thing be leaven? […] Say not, ‘It is impossible for me to induce others (to become Christians)’ – for if thou art a Christian, it is impossible but that it should be so. (Saint John Chrysostom. On the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 20,4)

  • Twelve men ‘leavened’ the whole world

‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.’ For as this converts the large quantity of meal into its own quality, even so shall ye convert the whole world. […] Yea, for it is He that put the power into the leaven. With this intent He mingled also with the multitude those who believe on Him, that we might impart unto the rest of our wisdom. Let no one therefore reprove us for being few. For great is the power of the gospel, and that which hath been once leavened, becomes leaven again for what remains. And as a spark, when it hath caught in timber, makes what hath been burnt up already increase the flame, and so proceeds to the rest; even so the gospel likewise. But He said not fire, but ‘leaven.’ Why might this be? Because in that case the whole effect is not of the fire, but partly of the timber too that is kindled, but in this the leaven doth the whole work by itself. Now if twelve men leavened the whole world, imagine how great our baseness, in that when we being so many are not able to amend them that remain; we, who ought to be enough for ten thousand worlds, and to become leaven to them. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Matthew, homily 46)

…judges Francis’ idea on the multiplication of the loaves

  • The remains of the multiplication exceeded as fragments so that the absent might learn of the miracle

‘And He brake and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.’ The five loaves He brake and gave, and the five multiplied themselves in the hands of the disciples. And not even here doth He stay the miracle, but He made them even to exceed; to exceed, not as whole loaves, but as fragments; to signify that of those loaves these were remains, and in order that the absent might learn what had been done. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Matthew, Homily XLIX)

  • The fragments showed that what had taken place was no illusion

And I marvel not only at the quantity of loaves created, but besides the quantity, at the exactness of the surplus, that He caused the superabundance to be neither more nor less than just so much as He willed, fore-seeing how much they would consume; a thing which marked unspeakable power. The fragments then confirmed the matter, showing both these points; that what had taken place was no illusion, and that these were from the loaves by which the people had been fed. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on the Gospel of Saint John. Homily XLII)

…judges Francis’ idea on our sins drawing us close to Jesus

  • It is not possible to do penance and live in luxury

For this surely is the time of confession both for the uninitiated and for the baptized; for the one, that upon their repentance they may partake of the sacred mysteries; for the others, that having washed away their stain after baptism, they may approach the table with a clean conscience. Let us then forsake this soft and effeminate way of living. For it is not, it is not possible at once both to do penance and to live in luxury. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, 10)

  • Believing is not sufficient for your salvation

For, ‘think not,’ saith he [St. Paul], ‘because ye have believed, that this is sufficient for your salvation: ‘since if to me neither preaching nor teaching nor bringing over innumerable persons, is enough for salvation unless I exhibit my own conduct also unblameable , much less to you.’ (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on First Corinthians, 1Cor 9: 24)

  • He who approaches to receive the Eucharist in sin is worse than one possessed by the devil

Shall I say something more fearful. It is not so grievous a thing for the energumens to be within, as for such as these, whom Paul affirms to trample Christ under foot, and to ‘account the blood of the covenant unclean, and to do despite to the grace of the Spirit.’ For he that hath fallen into sin and draws nigh, is worse than one possessed with a devil. For they, because they are possessed are not punished, but those, when they draw nigh unworthily, are delivered over to undying punishment. Let us not therefore drive away these only, but all without exception, whomsoever we may see coming unworthily. Let no one communicate who is not of the disciples. Let no Judas receive, lest he suffer the fate of Judas. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, 82, 6)

…judges Francis’ idea on the flesh of Christ and poverty as a theological category

  • I blame not those who have houses, and lands, and wealth: be masters and not slaves of your riches

Now if I demand this of you, it will seem perhaps to most of you grievous and burdensome; because therefore of your infirmity I speak not of such perfection, but desire you not to be nailed to riches; and as I, because of the infirmity of the many, retire somewhat from (demanding) the excess of virtue, I desire that you do so and much more on the side of vice. I blame not those who have houses, and lands, and wealth, and servants, but wish them to possess these things in a safe and becoming way. And what is ‘a becoming way’? As masters, not as slaves; so that they rule them, be not ruled by them; that they use, not abuse them. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homiles on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily 19, no. 3)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Virgin Mary was capable to rebel against God

  • The symbols of our defeat are now the cause of our triumph: instead of Eve, Mary

A virgin, a tree and death were the symbols of our defeat…see then, now, how the same are the cause of our triumph…Instead of Eve, Mary; Instead of the tree of science of good and evil, the tree of the Cross; instead of the death of Adam, the death of the Savior. (Saint John Chrysostom. Paschal Homily 22)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christ at the Final Judgment

  • He who now remits our sins, will then appear again to judge all

Let us ever bear in mind this tribunal, that we may thus be enabled at all times to continue in virtue; […] For He who now hath remitted our sins, will then sit in judgment; He who hath died for our sake will then appear again to judge all mankind. ‘Unto them that look for Him,’ saith the Apostle, ‘shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation’ (Heb 9:28). (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of John, homily 39)

…judges Francis’ idea on boasting of our sins

  • Grace is increased in proportion to the intensity of trials: where affliction is, there also consolation; where consolation, there grace

Here he hints at another thing also, namely, that in proportion as the trials waxed in intensity, in the same proportion the grace was increased and continued.

‘Wherefore I take pleasure in many weaknesses’ (2Cor 12:10). Of what sort? Tell me. ‘In injuries, in persecutions, in necessities, in distresses.’ Do you see how he has now revealed it in the clearest manner? For in mentioning the species of the infirmity he spoke not of fevers, nor any return of that sort, nor any other bodily ailment, but of ‘injuries, persecutions, distresses.’ Do you see a single-minded soul? He longs to be delivered from those dangers; but when he heard God’s answer that this befits not, he was not only not sorry that he was disappointed of his prayer, but was even glad. Wherefore he said, ‘I take pleasure,’ ‘I rejoice, I long, to be injured, persecuted, distressed for Christ’s sake.’ And he said these things both to check those, and to raise the spirits of these that they might not be ashamed at Paul’s sufferings. […] ‘For when I am weak, then am I strong.’ Why do you marvel that the power of God is then conspicuous? I too am strong ‘then’; for then most of all did grace come upon him. ‘For as His sufferings abound, so does our consolation abound also.’ Where affliction is, there is also consolation; where consolation, there is grace also. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Second Corinthians, hom. 26, no. 3)

  • By weaknesses, Saint Paul means also persecutions and trials

Do you see that he nowhere glories of miracles, but of his persecutions and his trials? For this is meant by ‘weaknesses.’ (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily on Second Corinthians, hom. 25, no.2)

  • Even more than by sin, God’s wrath is caused by sinning without remorse for having provoked Him

For not so much sinning, as sinning without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. Wherefore it were meet after all this to sink into the very earth, and not so much as to behold this sun, nor to breathe at all, for that having so placable a Master, we provoke Him first, and then have no remorse for provoking Him. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 14 on Saint Matthew, no. 5)

  • How can we expect forgiveness when we take no account sin first?

The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when you yourself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that you have sinned; for what manner of offenses will you entreat God for pardon? (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 14 on Saint Matthew, no. 5)

…judges Francis’ idea on sin and mercy

  • The stain of sin is washed away with tears and confession

Whereas sin induces such a blot, that not even with ten thousand fountains could one purge it away, but with tears only, and with confessions. But no one hath any sense of this blot. (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily XXXVII of the Gospel of Matthew, no. 8)

  • Indignation and wrath are caused in God by sinners who feel no sorrow for their faults

The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when you yourself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that you have sinned; for what manner of offenses will you entreat God for pardon? For what you know not? And how will you know the greatness of the benefit? Tell therefore your offenses in particular, that you may learn for what you receive forgiveness, that so you may become grateful towards your Benefactor. […] but when the God of all is provoked, we gape, and throw ourselves back, and live in luxury and in drunkenness, and do all things as usual. And when shall we be able to propitiate Him? And how shall we by this very thing fail to provoke Him so much the more? For not so much sinning, as sinning without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily XIV on Matthew, no. 5)

  • What punishment awaits those who return to their former vomit, preferring the serpent of sin to the dove of baptism?

Not until then, assuredly, were either the heavens opened, nor did the Spirit make His approach. Because henceforth He leads us away from the old to the new polity, both opening to us the gates on high, and sending down His Spirit from thence to call us to our country there; and not merely to call us, but also with the greatest mark of dignity. For He has not made us angels and archangels, but He has caused us to become ‘sons of God,’ […] Having then all this in your mind, show forth a life worthy of the love of Him who calls you, and of your citizenship in that world, and of the honor that is given you. […] Or rather, what punishment will you not have to suffer, who after so great a gift art running to your former vomit? For no longer are you punished merely as a man, but as a son of God that has sinned; and the greatness of your honor becomes a mean of bringing a sorer punishment on you. […] For if he who had paradise for his portion, for one disobedience underwent such dreadful things after his honor; we, who have received Heaven, and have become joint heirs with the Only Begotten, what excuse shall we have, for running to the serpent after the dove. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily XII on the Gospel of Matthew, no. 4)

…judges Francis’ idea on First Holy Communion

  • A most elevated Sacrament that entwines us with Jesus Christ

That which when angels behold, they tremble, and dare not so much as look up at it without awe on account of the brightness that cometh thence, with this we are fed with this we are commingled, and we are made one body and one flesh with Christ. […] Himself feeds us with His own blood, and by all means entwines us with Himself. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, hom. 82, no. 5)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • The soul is a nobler thing than the body: there is no use of money, while the soul is poor; neither harm from poverty, when the soul is rich

Why then do you mourn, being in a state of poverty? Why do you wail keeping a feast, for indeed it is an occasion of feasting. Why do you weep, for poverty is a festival, if you be wise. Why do you lament, thou little child; for such a one we should call a little child. Did such a person strike you? What is this, he made you more able to endure? But did he take away your money? He has removed the greater part of your burden. But has he cut off your honor? Again you tell me of another kind of freedom. Hear even those without teaching wisdom touching these things, and saying, You have suffered no ill, if you show no regard to it. But has he taken away that great house of yours, which has enclosures about it? But behold the whole earth is before you, the public buildings, whether you would have them for delight, or for use. And what is more pleasing or more beautiful than the firmament of Heaven. How long are you poor and needy? It is not possible for him to be rich, who is not wealthy in his soul; like as it is not possible for him to be poor, who has not the poverty in his mind.  For if the soul is a nobler thing than the body, the less noble parts have not power to affect it after themselves; but the noble part draws over unto herself, and changes those that are not so noble. For so the heart, when it has received any hurt, affects the whole body accordingly; if its temperament be disordered, it mars all, if it be rightly tempered, it profits all. And if any of the remaining parts should have become corrupt, while this remains sound, it easily shakes off what is evil in them also. And that I may further make what I say more plain, what is the use, I pray you, of verdant branches, when the root is withering? And what is the harm of the leaves being withered above, while this is sound? So also here there is no use of money, while the soul is poor; neither harm from poverty, when the soul is rich. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily 80 on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

…judges Francis’ idea on the obedience of a Religious

  • God needs needs not toils, but our obedience

God needs not toils, but obedience. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 56, no. 8)

…judges Francis’ idea on the teaching of moral issues

  • He who has authority to teach, and does not, transgresses the Law

But see whence He begins, and whence He aggravates His blame of them. For they say, He says, and do not. For every one is worthy of blame in transgressing the law, but especially he that bears the authority of teaching, for doubly and triply does he deserve to be condemned. For one cause, because he transgresses; for another, that as he ought to amend others, and then halts, he is worthy of a double punishment, because of his dignity; and in the third place, that he even corrupts the more, as committing such transgression in a teacher’s place. (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LXXII on St. Matthew, no. 72)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Education to the Youth

  • There is no superior art than educating children soundly

For nothing is equal to the soul. Because, ‘What is a man profited,’ says He, ‘if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his own soul.’ But because the love of money hath overturned and cast down all, and hath thrust aside the strict fear of God, having seized upon the souls of men. like some rebel chief upon a citadel; therefore we are careless both of our children’s salvation, and of our own, looking to one object only, that having become wealthier,[…] For our children are less esteemed than cattle; and we take care of horses and asses rather than of children. […] out if we have set a tutor over a child’s soul, we take at once, and at random, whoever comes in our way. And yet than this art there is not another greater. For what is equal to training the soul, and forming the mind of one that is young? (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily LIX on the Gospel of St. Matthew)

  • Use all of your time in preparing admirable statues for God

I have told you already that vice is hard to drive away for this reason, that no one takes thought for his children, no one discourses to them about virginity and sobriety or about contempt of wealth and fame, or of the precepts laid down in the Scriptures. What will become of boys when from earliest youth they are without teachers? If grown men, after being nurtured from the womb and continuing their education to old age, still do not live righteously, what wrong will not children, accustomed from the threshold of life to empty words, commit? In our own day every man takes the greatest pains to train his boy in the arts and in literature and speech. But to exercise this child’s soul in virtue, to that no man any longer pays heed. I shall not cease exhortig and begging and supplicating you before all else to discipline your sons from the first. If thou dost care for thy son, show it thus, […] Raise up an athlete for Christ! I do not mean by this, hold him back from wedlock and send him to desert regions and prepare him to assume the monastic life. It is not this that I mean. I wish for this […] To each of you fathers and mothers I say, […] so must you proceed. Like the creators of statues do you give all your leisure to fashioning these wondrous statues for God. And, as you remove what is superfluous and add what is lacking, inspect them day by day, to see what good qualities nature has supplied so that you will increase them, and what faults so that you will eradicate them. And, first of all, take the greatest care to banish licentious speech; for love of this above all frets the souls of the young. Before he is of an age to try it, teach thy son to be sober and vigilant and to shorten sleep for the sake of prayer, and with every word and deed to set upon himself the Seal of the Faith. (Saint John Chrysostom, On Vainglory and the Raising of Children – no. 17-19, 22)

…judges Francis’ idea on fraternal love

  • Imitate Jesus by admonishing and warning

Knowing this, then, let us also not intermit to do all things unto them that sin and are remiss, warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing, advising, though we profit nothing. For Christ indeed foreknew that the traitor was incorrigible, yet nevertheless He ceased not to supply what could be done by Himself, as well admonishing as threatening and bewailing over him. (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily LXXX on the Gospel of Saint Matthew)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Old Covenant still being valid

  • The Jews when be forgiven neither by circumcision nor by other deeds, but only by Baptism

 “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Rom 11:27). Not when they are circumcised, not when they sacrifice, not when they do the other deeds of the Law, but when they attain to the forgiveness of sins. If then this hath been promised, but has never yet happened in their case, nor have they ever enjoyed the remission of sins by baptism, certainly it will come to pass. Hence he proceeds, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom 11:29).  (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily XIX, Letter to the Romans, no. 6)

  • Beloved, because of their ancestors, the virtue of the latter is useless to them till they believe

 Nevertheless God hath not even now cut short the calling of you, but He waiteth for all the Gentiles that are to believe to come in, and then they also shall come. Then he makes another concession in their favor, by saying, “As regards divine election, they are beloved for the sake of their fathers.” And what does this mean. Insomuch as they are enemies, punishment is theirs: but insomuch as they are beloved, the virtue of their ancestors is useless to them, unless they believe.  (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily XIX Letter to the Romans, n. 7)

…judges Francis’ ideas on Peace

  • He Who Has the Authority to Teach, and Does Not, Transgress the Law

 But see whence He begins, and whence He aggravates His blame of them. “For they say,” He saith, and do not. For every one is worthy of blame in transgressing the law, but especially he that bears the authority of teaching, for doubly and triply doth he deserve to be condemned. For one cause, because he transgresses; for another, that as he ought to amend others, and then halteth, he is worthy of a double punishment, because of his dignity; and in the third place, that he even corrupts the more, as committing such transgression in a teacher’s place.  (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily LXXII on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, no.72)

 …judges Francis’ ideas on whether the Lord always Pardons

  • A Christian goes to heaven not merely as a traveler, but rather as a soldier

For as Paul warns you: “Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:14-15) There is mention of being shod, also of a staff and breastplate. Moses speaks to those who prepare to commence a journey, and Paul gives orders to those who prepare themselves to begin a battle. The former left one land to travel to another, and so are called travelers, but I am going from earth to heaven, and that is why I am a soldier. Why? Because my path through the air is infested with thieves, and demons come out along the way. For this reason, I bear confidence as an unsheathed sword; and for this reason I wear the breastplate of justice; for this reason I gird myself with truth. For I am not merely a traveler, but also a soldier. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life! (Mt 7:14)” (Saint John Chrysostom. II Homily on Abraham)

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