Wednesday, July 22, 2009

John Chrysostom: Love Fasting Like a Good Wife

Calling all this to mind, recall those days [of peace and fasting] we long for. If you are on the point of laying the table, take the food while remembering this, and you will never be in a position to fall into drunkenness; instead, just as a man with a wife who is steady, self-controlled and a free spirit, with whom he is on fire with love, would not even in her absence be attracted to an immoral and corrupt woman, desire for his wife preoccupying his mind and not allowing a different love to gain entrance, just so is it the case both with fasting and drunkenness. If, then, we were to remember the free and self-controlled woman, on the one hand, we would on the other elude with great ease the common prostitute, mother of all indecency - I refer to drunkenness - the desire for fasting repelling her shamelessness more sharply than any hand.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 1, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, pp. 66-67 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.