Theology on Thursday
John Chrysostom (c. 347–407) was a Church Father who served as the Archbishop of Constantinople (modern Instanbul, Turkey). Known primarily as a preacher, he was an eloquent preacher and public speaker who earned the nickname “the golden-mouthed” (Greek – chrysostomos). He is also known as a theologian and liturgist, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Chrysostom was a fierce antagonist of those who abused ecclesiastical and political authority, and was active in the destruction of pagan symbols and places of worship, including the temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Today’s edition of Theology on Thursday comes from an excerpt of Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, ed. Christopher D. Hudson, J. Alan Sharrer and Lindsay Walker (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999), featuring Chrysostom:
Paul says to let this be your work: to give thanks in your prayers for the seen and the unseen benefits and for God’s goodness to the willing and the unwilling….
I know a certain holy man who prayed this way:
We thank You for all the goodness You have shown us from the first day until now even when we are so unworthy. We thank You for what we know You have done and what we don’t know, for gifts seen and unseen, for gifts of word and action, whether we have received them willingly or not — for all these things that have been given to us, the unworthy.
We give thanks for tribulations and refreshments, for hell, for punishment, and the kingdom of heaven. We beg of You to keep our souls holy, and our consciences pure, worthy of Your lovingkindess….
You who gave the Only-begotten for us and sent Your Holy Spirit to wipe out our sins, if we have willfully or unwillingly disobeyed You, forgive us. Don’t attribute our sins to us. Remember everyone who called on Your name in truth. Remember everyone who wishes us well, or the contrary, for we are all human….