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COMMANDS OF CHRIST


 

 

 

"LET US GO TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD." (ROM. 13: 11-14) 

Let us go to the House of the Lord, Zion--  a) that He may instruct us in His ways and  b) that we may walk in His paths.

His way of life requires that we cast off the deed of darkness which are carousing, drunkenness, sexual excesses, lust, quarreling and jealousy:  "Make no provision for the desires of the flesh and, secondly, we must put on the armor of light, living honorably as in daylight."

The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect; so you must be watchful and well prepared. And we prepare ourselves by doing everything that He has commanded. For, like everyone, we start with a desire in full vigor but as time goes on the whole of our earnestness withers away. No! Instead of relaxing, we must be more full of vigor. For even in all games and contests, the last minutes are the most important.

For as when morning approaches, even if it is still dark, we do not prepare to sleep; instead, we prepare for the morning work, dressing, leaving our dreams, shaking off our sleep. . .and no stretching and tossing until light is up. So also, let us set aside the dreams of this life and dress up with virtues thus: casting off the works of darkness and putting on the armor of light.

"Make no provisions for the flesh." We may make provision for the flesh but not to "fulfill the lust therefore," like going beyond what is necessary to be healthy. So, be healthy, then spend all thy industry on the care of spiritual things.

The present life is a sleep, our plans are dreams. And, like sleeping persons, we are open to the attacks of all the enemies of the soul, both men and the devil. Most of us are asleep. And the devil is butchering us.

Remove "all strife and envying." Because this upsets the whole family, destroys the children and causes other unnumbered ills.

And put on Christ. Never be without Him. Have Him evermore visible in you by doing His deeds. He needed food, He ate barley bread; He had to travel, He walked; He needed sleep, He slept on wood and rocks and soil, etc. Like Him, be content with what is necessary and all will be well. 

So eat; but eat just to remove the pangs of hunger. Build just to shelter. Do not bedeck yourself with clothing; it makes the flesh too delicate and injures its health. For it is not having much but requiring little that keeps us from being injured. 

St. John Chrysostom

 

 

 

 

(02-29-04)

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