Monday, September 14, 2009

John Chrysostom: Scripture a Fire

Wake up there, and dispel indifference. Why do I say this? Because while we are discoursing to you on the Scriptures, you instead are averting your eyes from us and fixing them on the lamps and the man lighting the lamps. What extreme indifference is this, to ignore us and attend to him! Here am I, lighting the fire that comes from the Scriptures, and the light of its teaching is burning on our tongue. This light is brighter and better than that light: we are not kindling a wick saturated in oil, like him: souls bedewed with piety we set alight with the desire for listening. ... Let no one, therefore, dearly beloved, think the rebuke in any way harsh: it is not out of dislike but solicitude that we correct you. Scripture says, remember, "Wounds from friends are more worthy of trust than the spontaneous kisses of enemies." So wake up, I beg you, ignore this fire and pay attention to the fire of the divine Scriptures.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 4 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 72-74 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.