Saturday, July 18, 2009

John Chrysostom: Consequences of Wicked Theatre

Is not the former place the source of ruined lives, broken marriages, squabbles and wrangles in homes? I mean, when you are dissipated with the spectacle there, and become more dissolute and lecherous and resistant to any self-control, on returning home and seeing your wife, it is altogether a more disagreeable prospect, no matter what she is like: aflame with the lust arising from the spectacles, and enthralled by that novel and beguiling experience, for your chaste and comely partner sharing your whole life you have only scorn and abuse, and inflict on her countless taunts, having nothing to reproach her with but ashamed to mention your problem and display the wound you came back home with. You concoct numberless pretexts, looking for irrational grounds for hostility, scorning everything at home while pining for that loathsome and filthy object of desire by which you have been smitten. With the deafening sound of that voice fixed in your soul, as well as the whore's appearance and gaze and movements, and every image of her, you find nothing at home a pleasure to look upon.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on David and Saul, Homily 3, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, p. 41 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.