Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sept. 13, 2011 Tuesday: Saint John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom

"Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may recieve your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If,on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver." 
— St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch around 344. His father died when he was a baby. His mother chose not to marry again. She gave all her attention to bringing up her son and daughter. She made many sacrifices so that John could have the best teachers. He was very intelligent and could have become a great man in the world. When he gave speeches everyone loved to listen to him. In fact, the name Chrysostom means “Golden-mouthed.” Yet John wanted to give himself to God. He became a priest and later was made bishop of the great city of Constantinople.
St. John was a wonderful bishop and accomplished a tremendous amount of good. He preached once or twice every day, fed the poor, and took care of orphans. He corrected sinful customs and stopped bad plays from being performed. He loved everyone, but he was not afraid to tell even the empress when she did something wrong.
Because he fought sin, St. John had enemies, even the empress herself. She had him sent away from Constantinople. On the trip he suffered greatly from fever and from lack of food and sleep. Yet, he was happy to suffer for Jesus. Just before he died, he cried out, “Glory be to God!”
St. John died in Turkey on September 14, 407. A terrible hailstorm fell on Constantinople when he died. Four days later, the empress died, too. Her son honored St. John’s body and showed how sorry he was for the harm his mother had done. -From Daughters of St. Paul