St. John Chrysostom ~ Cardinal Newman

pulpitBl. John Henry Newman loved and admired St. John Chrysostom and wrote a long essay about him in Historical Sketches. 

He wrote at the start of the essay: “I am so specially attached to the Saints of the third and fourth century, because we know so much about them. This is why I feel a devout affection for St. Chrysostom. He and the rest of them have written autobiography on a large scale; they have given us their own histories, their thoughts, words, and actions, in a number of goodly folios, productions which are in themselves some of their meritorious works.”

Newman admired St. John Chrysostom’s love for the true faith and his fortitude in defending it. He was edified by his patient endurance of the injustice that befell him for preaching the truth. Angered by his sermons on the pomp and luxury of the imperial court, Empress Eudoxia arranged for his exile in 403. Emperor Arcadius brought him back, but two months later the empress had him exiled again. Of his exile from Constantinople to the frontier of Armenia Newman wrote: “AT length our great Confessor has arrived at his appointed place of exile. He reached it faint and exhausted in body and soul; but, as was usual with him, he soon rallied, and began to colour every thing about him with his own sweet, cheerful, thankful temper. In two days he had recovered his equanimity. He was pleased with all that was in any way pleasant; he made the best of what was bad; he blotted out the trials of the past; he fed his imagination with good hopes for the future. He generously and gallantly threw himself upon his lot, and tenderly embraced the cross…”

Like Newman, let us learn from the example and writings of St. John Chrysostom. As he was dying it is recounted that he prayed: “Glory be to God for everything. Amen.”

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