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September 17, 2014 + Part 2: 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.

God's economy is directed toward a single end in each of these lives: our salvation and good repute. Even if it is divided in two with regard to time, it is united with regard to objective. Just as at first it is winter and then it is spring, and the passage of each season has a single goal – the ripening of the fruit – so it is with our affairs.

Therefore, when you see the Church scattered, undergoing the utmost sufferings, its prominent members attacked and flogged, its leader carried afar off, consider not only these things, but also the things that will result from them: the rewards, the compensations, the prizes, the awards. He that endureth to the end shall be saved, says the Lord (Matt. 10:22). In the time of the Old Covenant, when the teaching of the resurrection was not yet well known, both things came to pass in the present life. But in the time of the New Covenant, this is not always so. Rather, there are instances where there are painful things here in this life, and the good things await our departure from here.

Nevertheless, since under the Old Covenant the good things of life were coming to pass for them in this present life, especially admirable are they who did not enjoy these things, since without clearly knowing the teaching on the resurrection, and seeing events occurring which were contrary to the promises of God, they were not scandalized, they were not thrown into confusion, they were not troubled. Rather, they submitted themselves to God's incomprehensible providence, not being scandalized by adverse events. Knowing the resourcefulness and inventiveness of His Wisdom, they waited for the end. Moreover, everything that was done to them before the end they endured with thankfulness, and they continued to glorify the God Who allowed these things to take place.

The Orthodox Word, "St. John Chrysostom On the Providence of God," No. 294-295, translated by Monk Moses (Worchester) from the original Greek, p. 41-42.

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 Sophia and Her Three Daughters at Rome

Troparion, Tone 5

You blossomed in the courts of the Lord as a fruitful olive tree, holy martyr Sophia; in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb, your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love. Together with them intercede for us all.

Kontakion, Tone 1

The holy branches of noble Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love, confounded Greek sophistry through Grace. They struggled and won the victory and have been granted an incorruptible crown by Christ the Master of all.