Saturday, July 02, 2011

Roused and Warmed with Desire

Each Lord's Day we read, just read, from the holy Scripture. Yesterday I was made aware of a great example of how we ought to listen to the Scriptures as they are read. These are the words of John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) in his Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans.

As I keep hearing the Epistles of the blessed Paul read, and that twice every week, and often three or four times, whenever we are celebrating the memorials of the holy martyrs, gladly do I enjoy the spiritual trumpet, and get roused and warmed with desire at recognizing the voice so dear to me, and seem to fancy him all but present to my sight, and behold him conversing with me. But I grieve and am pained, that all people do not know this man, as much as they ought to know him; but some are so far ignorant of him, as not even to know for certainty the number of his Epistles. ... [T]his blessed Apostle said to the Philippians; 'Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the Gospel.' (Phil. i. 7.) And so ye also, if ye be willing to apply to the reading of him with a ready mind, will need no other aid.

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