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COMMANDS OF CHRIST


 

 

 

THE WORDS OF CHRIST (FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY)

(cOL. 3: 12-21)

"Let the Word of the Lord dwell in you richly," i.e. the teachings, doctrines and exhortations of Christ must dwell in your hearts.  And the main teaching of the Word of the Lord is "the present life and its good things is nothing."  

". . .richly. . .," not merely swell but swell with great abundance.  Scriptures must be learned, not lightly nor in any sort of way but with great earnestness.  Only he who is rich in doctrines will bear the poverty, sufferings and calamities that are the shares of those who follow Christ.  

"In all wisdom. . . teaching and admonishing one another."  Virtue is wisdom, lowliness of mind is wisdom, almsgiving is wisdom.  Everything else is folly; and cruelty comes from folly, thus, sin is folly.  

What is more folly than to have 20 garments,10 of which we hardly use while our brothers are naked; or to feed our pets with expensive food while our brothers starve.  

He who is wise gives of his substance because he knows he has the same nature as he who starves.  He has judged wealth correctly who gives wealth no importance.  He who is despiser of glory is wise.  He who knows what is human and what is divine, thus despising one and working at pains for the other is wise.  He who gives thanks to God in all things is wise;  he who considers the present life as nothing is wise because he will not delight in prosperity nor grieve in poverty.  

Listen to wise preachers.  If there is none, procure the New Testament, the Apostolic Epistles, the Acts and the Gospels.  If grief befalls you, if you are in trouble, if loss or death or bereavement befalls you, dive into them as  if a chest of medicine.  

The cause of all evils is not knowing Scriptures.  It is like going into battle without weapons.  With Scriptures, it is difficult to be safe; how much more without them.  

Those learning the way of salvation must not be forever learning; for then they are not taught.  He who is forever learning will never learn.  You must finish learning so as to be able to teach others.  If you are ever learning, it is certain proof that you have learned nothing.  

A reproach to the Jews: "they were still learning even up to old age.  For, as pupils, you should have given your place to others and helped to teach others.  What do you think of one who studies the alphabet up to old age?  In the early times, students were soon appointed to be teachers so the truth spread around the world.  

So, husbands are supposed to teach their wives; parents, their children and bishops are supposed to teach husbands.  But, in most Christian communities, no one seems to be teaching anyone.  

". . .teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs."  Your children sing the songs of Satan and you expect them to behave like saints.  But if they learn first the psalms, there they can learn of true love, wisdom of chastity, of avoiding the wicked, or restraining the belly, and that money is nothing nor glory nor similar things.  

St. John Chrysostom, "On Col"

 

 

 

 

(12-08-04)

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The Winnowing Fan hopes ..." to do what little it could to solve the evils that beset the church."

                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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