June 24, 2024

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

St. John Chrysostom, an esteemed Early Church Father, embodies the spirit of the epistle of St. Peter, which declares, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Chrysostom’s life and teachings resonate deeply with the call to live as travelers and wayfarers, not citizens, in this world.

Born in Antioch in 347 AD, Chrysostom navigated his earthly journey with a profound sense of detachment from worldly enticements, recognizing the transience of earthly life. His monastic inclinations, marked by rigorous ascetic practices and a commitment to simplicity, underscored his perception of life as a pilgrimage toward the eternal kingdom of God. This perspective is evident in his homilies and writings, where he frequently exhorted believers to view themselves as sojourners, not settlers, in this world.

Chrysostom’s tenure as Archbishop of Constantinople further exemplified his alignment with Peter’s exhortation. Despite the splendor of the imperial city, he maintained an austere lifestyle and tirelessly advocated for moral integrity and social justice, often clashing with the affluent and powerful. His fearless denunciations of corruption and his emphasis on the spiritual over the material mirrored his understanding that true citizenship lies in heaven, not in the transient structures of earthly power.

In his sermons, Chrysostom urged his flock to live with the consciousness of being travelers and wayfarers, to focus on the eternal rather than the ephemeral. He believed that the Christian journey necessitates a vigilant resistance to the sinful desires that distract from the soul’s ultimate destination. His life was a testament to this belief, marked by his eventual exile and persecution, which he bore with unwavering faith and resilience.

Thus, St. John Chrysostom’s life and ministry serve as a powerful illustration of St. Peter’s call. His unwavering commitment to spiritual purity and social justice, his resistance to worldly temptations, and his acceptance of suffering for the faith encapsulate what it means to live as travelers and wayfarers, not citizens, in this world, always yearning for the eternal homeland with God.

“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Hebrews 13:14

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