I have been reading a fantastic “book” (sermon?) by St. John Chrysostom as of late. It’s called “On Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring Up Their Children.” It’s heavy stuff and my shallow brain can’t take too much of it at a time but I find it really inspiring. Right before I began reading it, I listened to a sermon on the life of St. John Chrysostom and I am not sure I’ll ever to really be normal after listening to it.
I read on Marriage and Family Life and loved his encouragement to married people on how to live monastically. I’ve heard differing views on his “strict” (or you can read: “faithful” :-P) opinions on adherence to monastic living. Personally, after listening to his life’s story, I have come to believe that his views on Marriage and Monasticism to be quite flattering. He truly believed that marriage was such a high calling that it can also lead you to holiness just as much as being a monk. This is high praise from the philo-monastic.
St John Chrysostom spent many years in prayer and study. He memorized the entire bible and also was able to give long sermons without notes, able to quote the scriptures from the recesses of his brain. I have been really inspired to begin reading the scriptures with my husband during breakfast or dinner while our daughter is around while we discuss them and learn. And start truly studying the Word, make it a part of us.
“Regard thyself as a king ruling over a city which is the soul of thy [child]; for the soul is in truth a city. And, even as in a city some are thieves and some are honest men, some work steadily and some transact their business fitfully, so it is with the thoughts and reasoning in the soul. Some make war on wrongdoers, like soldiers in a city; others take thought for everything, both the welfare of the body and of the home, like those who carry on the government in cities. Some give orders, like the magistrates, some again counsel lewdness, like profligates, others reverence, like the virtuous….Hence we need laws to banish evildoers and admit the good and prevent the evildoers from rising up against the good. And, just as in a city, if laws are passed which permit thieves great license, the general welfare is undermined, and if the soldiers do not devote their ardor to its proper use, they ruin the body politic, and if each citizen abandons his own household affairs and busies himself with another’s, he destroys good order by his greed and ambition — so it is also in the case of the child.”