However much we are stretched by our trials, by so much do our consolations increase, giving us firmer hopes for the future.
For now everything is flowing along well for us, and we are sailing with four winds. Who could have foreseen this? Who could have foretold? Reefs and shoals, whirlpools and hurricanes all threaten shipwreck—a moonless night, darkest gloom, precipices and crags.
And yet through all this we are settled, sailing on such seas that we are no worse off than a ship rocking in a harbour.
Taking all these things into account, therefore, most beloved by God, be lifted up above these tumults and billowing waves. Do not give yourself over to the tyranny of despair, but conquer the storm with reason. You can do it, for the surging sea is not stronger than your ability to master it.
Therefore, in reflecting on these things, scatter the cloud of despondency. Consider this: that the pleasant and sorrowful things of this present life are altogether passing away. If the gate is narrow and the way is hemmed in, still it is a way.
And now, escaping from the earth, and especially from the bond of the flesh, open the wings of your wisdom, not letting it be submerged by shadows and smoke, nor drawn down earthward.
Meditating upon these things within yourself, most beloved by God, throw off this heavy burden of despondency.
Saint John Chrysostom. "Do Not Cry," excerpt from Letters to Saint Olympia. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press (2016).
Saint John Chrysostom (golden-mouthed) on account of his eloquence (c. 349-407) was Archbishop of Constantinople and an important Early Church Father. In 374, he began to lead the life of an anchorite in the mountains near Antioch, but in 386 the poor state of his health forced him to return to Antioch, where he was ordained a priest. In 398, he was elevated to the See of Constantinople and became one of the greatest lights of the Church. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, and for his denunciation of abuse of authority. Of his books in print are The Complete Works of Saint John Chrysostom, Saint John Chrysostom: Homilies on Genesis 1-17, and On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom.Copyright © 2016 St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
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