Sunday, July 19, 2009

John Chrysostom: Man's Free Will Tamable

For you to learn also from what happens in our day, however, that it is possible, if we are willing, to reconcile every person bearing hostility to us, what could be fiercer than a lion? Yet people tame it, skill gets the better of nature, and the beast that is more ferocious and more kingly than all others becomes milder than any sheep and moves through the marketplace causing terror to no one. So what excuse do we have, what pretext, for taming wild beasts but claiming people cannot be placated or brought to be well disposed to us? Actually, ferocity belongs to the beast by nature; so when we prevail over nature, what excuse will we have for claiming free will cannot be corrected?

- 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. 44 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.