Saturday, September 19, 2009

John Chrysostom: Fasting is Great - It Brings Christian Brethren Together

On the other hand, I like fasting because it is the mother of self-control and source of all sounds values. On the other, I like it also for your sake and for your good selves for bringing together this sacred assembly of you people, and for making possible the prospect I relish of seeing you again and allowing me to be sure of enjoying this lovely festival and celebration. In fact, one would not be wrong in calling an assembly of your good selves a festival, a celebration and countless good things. After all, if someone goes into the marketplace and on meeting a friend often loses all depression, whereas in our case we meet not in the marketplace but in church, and do not encounter simply a single friend but are in the company of so many wonderful brethren and fathers, how shall we not be relieved of all depression, how not reap complete satisfaction.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 6 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 97-98 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.