Friday, August 7, 2009

John Chrysostom: Prayer is Free & Every Old Testament Story was Written for Us

Let us therefore not be negligent or dilatory, even if we are needy and have fallen victim to extreme destitution. Money does not have to be laid down for us to establish our neediness: this physician requires no payment in cash - only tears, prayers and faith. If you come to him with these, you will receive all that you ask, and will go off in complete happiness. This we can learn from many sources, not least from this woman: though she did not lay out gold and silver, only prayer, faith and tears, she received what she asked and so took her leave. So let us not consider the story to be of no advantage to us: "these things were written down to instruct us on whom the ends of the ages have fallen," Scripture says, remember. Instead, let us get close to her and learn how the complaint was removed, and after its removal what she then did, and to what use she put the gift given by God.

- 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, p. 99 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.