June 25, 2014 + How Monastics are to Aide the Church's Leaders


As deacon, priest and bishop he [St. John Chysostom] not only remained a monk at heart (what, after all, was a monk but a Christian striving to live out the gospel to the full?), but continued as far as his new situation permitted, to practice his routine of monstic austerities - for example living alone as much as possible. Consistently with this, he never hesitated as bishop, when the needs of the church seemed to warrant it, to call monks from their seclusion and either ordain them and associate them with his ministry or employ them as missionaries. However romantically he could idealise monks in their secluded retreats, he could never, with his wider understanding of the monastic voation, envisage them as standing apart from the church and its prediciments. As he [St. John Chysostom] was to put it eloquently,

Nothing truly characterises the man who believes in and loves Christ than that he is concerned for his brothers and exerts himself for their salvation. Let all the monks who have withdrawn to the mountain peaks and have crucified themselves to the world heed these words. Let them back up the church's leaders with all the powers at their command, encouraging them by their prayers, their sympathy, their love. Let them realise that if, placed though they are so far away, they fail to sustain with all their efforts those whom God's grace has exposed to such anxieties and dangers, their life has lost all its point and their religious devotion has been shown up as useless.

J.N.D. Kelly, quoting St. John Chysostom, in Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom - Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop, Cornell University Press, 1998.

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Virginmartyr Febronia of Nisibis

Troparion, Tone 4

Your lamb Febronia, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: "I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering. In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You. Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love." Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

Kontakion, Tone 3

You were adorned with the grace of virginity and the beauty of martyrdom, O Febronia, bride of Christ. You wisely carried your lamp and ran to your Bridegroom, receiving an incorruptible crown. Pray for those who faithfully sing hymns of praise to you!