Monday, April 22, 2013

St. John Chrysostom on Repentance

Jesus Christ, Pantocrator (source)
St. John Chrysostom on Repentance (amateur translation)
All those who, through stumbling into offenses, have corrupted the temple of God, do not loose hope to the end among yourselves, but through repentance, again renew it. For like a wise man who out of negligence allowed his home to become soiled and corrupted, he properly returns to refashion it, that it might be like a house that was unspoiled from the beginning. In like manner, the inhabitant that is our soul, though it might be soiled and fallen, again is renewed through repentance. Repentance, therefore, raises up the fallen soul, which has been estranged from God, and again becomes His friend. Repentance protects the soul's essence from the darkness, and drives away death. Repentance raises again the fallen soul, lifts up the destitute, heals the broken, and gives health to the traumatized. Let us hasten towards repentance, the promise of the Kingdom, the laver of sins, the mother of salvation. Repentance, the persecution of the devil, the snare for the demons. O repentance, for which Jonah the prophet fled from the face of God, so that he would not be shown a false preacher of death at the turning back of God's fatal condemnation. For you, therefore, met the command of God against the Ninevites, and turned it back, springing forth an uncorrupted spring of life for the Ninevites. Repentance, together with tears, importunes God, and granted to Hezekiah the King life instead of death. O repentance, which hastens from earth to heaven, and surpasses the angelic powers, and approaches the divine Spirit of the Lord's throne, and makes one a communicant with God, and makes one receives gifts from God's very treasury, granting to those who possess you with boldness. O repentance, the physician of the passions, the softener of danger, and the quencher of the fire of anger, and the temperance of wrath, and possessing the unquenchable lamp of love. O repentance, which is born within the heart of man, and as payment pastures one in the heavens. The blessed David, though having fallen into the dual sins of murder and adultery, fled the just punishment. O repentance, dissolving the bonds of sins, and ensures the salvation of souls. Repentance, within a groaning heart, refers back to and entreats God. Repentance, watered with fervent tears from the eyes, makes radiant the baptismal [garment] of souls. O repentance, becoming the medicine that causes man to transform from mortality to immortality.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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