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September 10, 2014 + Part 1: On the Providence of God

by St. John Chrysostom

That we must not be overly inquisitive, and that we must wait for the final outcome of things.

Above all, we must not be overly inquisitive, either at the outset or afterwards. But if you are so curious and inquisitive, wait for the final outcome and see how things turn out. And do not be thrown into confusion, do not be troubled at the start. When an inexperienced man at first sees a goldsmith melting the gold and mixing it with ashes and chaff – if he does not wait till the end – he will think the gold is ruined. And if a man who has been born and raised on the sea and is completely ignorant of how to care for the land is suddenly moved to the interior of the country, when he sees the wheat that has been stored away and protected behind doors and bars, and kept free from moisture, suddenly brought out by the farmer, scattered, thrown about, lying on the ground before all passersby, and not only not kept free from moisture, but given over to mire and mud without any protection, will he not consider the wheat to be ruined and pass judgment on the farmer who did these things? But this condemnation does not come from the nature of what is done, but from the inexperience and folly of him who is not judging well, casting his ballot immediately at the outset. If he waited for the summer and saw the fields waving, the sickle sharpened, and the wheat that has remained scattered unprotected and rotted and ruined and given over to the mire now raised up and multiplied, appearing in full bloom, having put away that which is obsolete, set upright with great strength, as though having guards and a watch, raising its stalk up high, delighting the beholder, as well as providing nourishment and great benefit – then he would be highly amazed that, by way of such conditions, the fruit had been brought to such abundance and splendor.

Therefore, you too, O man, especially do not be inquisitive about the common Master of us all. But if you are so contentions and daring as to rage with such madness, then wait for the final outcome of events. For if the farmer waits the whole winter, considering not what the wheat is undergoing during the time of frost, but the benefit he will get from it, much more so, before Him who cultivates the whole world, as well as our souls, is it fitting for you to wait for the final outcome. But by outcome I do not mean only the outcome in the present life – for often it will be here, as well – but also that in the life to come.

The Orthodox Word, "St. John Chrysostom On the Providence of God," No. 294-295, translated by Monk Moses (Worchester) from the original Greek, p. 40-41.

An English translation of the entire text of On Providence of God will be published forthcoming by St. Herman Press.

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Martyr Menodora at Nicomedia

Troparion, Tone 1

Let all who rejoice at their triumph honor these three virgin martyrs, who are united to God as sisters and who pour forth fair streams of grace: Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora, who were in all things courageous; they ever pray to the Trinity for us.

Kontakion, Tone 4

Invincible in your struggles for the Holy Trinity, and through your love for each other as sisters, you defeated the foe of your spiritual life, and with the five virgins, entered victoriously into the Heavenly Mansions where you ever rejoice with the angels in the presence of the King of All!