Archive for September 13, 2011
Do you wish to honour the departed? Honour him in other ways; namely, by giving alms, performing good works, taking part in the divine services. What good is done him by copious weeping?….
Let us look heavenward; let us reflect on spiritual considerations. How shall we be able to refute the heathen? How shall we be able to exhort them if we do such things? How shall we preach to them of the resurrection? How shall we discuss with them the rest of Christian doctrines? How shall we ourselves live in security? Do you not know that death may be caused by grief? Darkening the soul’s spiritual vision not only prevents it from perceiving what it should, but even causes it much harm. By showing excessive grief, therefore, we offend God and help neither ourselves nor the departed.
By restraining our grief, on the contrary, we both please God and conduct ourselves becomingly in the eyes of men. For, if we ourselves do not succumb unrestrainedly to grief, he will quickly take away the portion of grief we feel; whereas, if we give away to excessive grief, he will permit us to become entirely possessed by it. If we give thanks for it, we shall not be disheartened.
“Yet how is it possible for a man not to grieve”, you will ask,” when he has lost his son, or his daughter, or his wife?” I am not saying: “Do not grieve,” but: “Do not give way to unrestrained grief.”…. Excessive grief indicates that those who give way to it are seeking for something that is above and beyond nature…. Grieve, rather for your sins. This is in truth the best kind of sorrow; this is the soundest practice of Christian teachings. Let us, then give way to this grief continually that we may obtain joy in this life to come, by grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glory be to him for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint John Chrysostom
+1407 ( Doctor Of The Church )