Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Chrysostom: Prayer Can Be Made to God Without Intermediary

You, woman, on the contrary, are not on the point of taking a voyage across the seas, or of shifting to foreign parts, or of undergoing any such hardship. Why mention foreign parts? Without even having to set foot over the threshold of your house, you are able to consult your physician in your room and speak to him without an intermediary on any topic you please ("I am a God nearby," he says, remember, "and not a God far off"), and yet do you delay and hesitate? What excuse will you have? what allowance will be made for you when, though capable of finding on all sides a simple and easy release from the evils besetting you, you are slothful and forfeit your own salvation? This physician, after all, can cure not only childlessness but also any kind of ailment at all both of soul and of body, should he so wish. And the hardship, travel, expense and intermediaries, but that he performs the cure even without pain: he does not put a stop to the problem by iron and fire, as the medical fraternity do; instead, he has only to nod, and all the depression, all the pain and the whole complaint recedes and disappears.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 3, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, pp. 98-99 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.