Christian sorrow may be less desirable than
Christian joy. But, for us, being what we are, the sorrow could be more
Christian. The joy always runs a great risk of just being an earthly or even
Because we want to be always in joy, we
account ourselves always in sorrow. And that is because we forget our
advantages and blessings and are ever remembering only our troubles.
Sorrow occurs only with people who think.
Unless we think, we would not know the afflicting quality of the object
conveyed to our minds.
It is natural to have sorrow for the dead,
for we dread death and cling to life. Even the animals, which are so created
as to die each in its own time, flee from death; how much more man, who had
been so created so that, had he willed to live without sin, he would have
lived without end.
Hence, therefore, it must needs be that we
sorrow when those we love leave us by dying. But Christian sorrow is not
without hope, unlike pagan or worldly sorrow. Though it pains on one hand,
on the other, the Divine promise consoles.
Sorrow is most grievous when it is worldly;
that is, if you are in sorrow for gold, for reputation, for the departed
(without hope). He who sorrows for reputation feels envious like Cain. He
who sorrows for loss of wealth repairs not the damage. He who sorrows for
the deceased raises not the dead to life again.
He, alone, who sorrows for sins attains
some advantage for his sorrow, for he makes his sins wane and disappear.
Sorrow is the medicine prepared for this disease--sins, and is only potent
and profitable for the forgiveness of sins.
St. John Chrysostom