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VIRTUE AND VICE


 


 

GOOD TEACHERS (Phil. 3: 17, 4:1)

St. Paul says: "Be imitators of me and mark those who so walk."  As a teacher, be imitators of me; for you know my conduct of life. I have taught not only by words but also by deeds.  Avoid bad teachers who are liken unto dogs.  All of you must imitate me, otherwise, there will be sedition in the community.  

The apostles left a way of life and they wrote this down in an accurate and living way; for they merely wrote down their way of living.  This is the best way to teach; it is easily learned by the disciple.  He who teaches one thing and does the contrary is not a teacher; for to teach well is to teach and lead by deeds.  A good teacher, therefore, is greatly reverenced and because of this the disciples are prepared to yield obedience.  

He who teaches but does not practice what he teaches looks like he is teaching impossibilities.  But if the disciple sees the teacher teaching by word and example, to follow will be easy.  

In the absence of a good teacher, then, go to Christ.  "They shall all be taught by God."  "Learn from Me. . ."  Do not go to bad teachers.  Instead learn directly from Him and from His lessons.  

Learn poverty from Christ and other biblical heroes, like Elijah.  Abraham teaches us how to be virtuous amidst riches.  Elijah shows us the riches of virginity.  John taught us how to be holy without fasting.  Job attained virtue in the midst of a family.  John attained it without a family.  John attained holiness with one one garment;  Job amidst many garments.  

To the good, all can be turned into good; to the evil, all becomes evil.  A good painter is still a good painter in sickness, in poverty, with tools or without tools, at work or at rest. . .because the science is with him.  Thus, the virtuous man is virtuous in wealth, in poverty, in disease and health, in dishonor and in great honor.  

St. John Chrysostom "On Phil"

 

 

  

(03-02-05)

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