John Chrysostom on the Love of God

John’s homily on Psalm 41 (LXX) is full of excerpts I like. Here’s another I read today:

Ἐπεὶ οὐ τοσοῦτον φιλεῖ ἡμᾶς μόνον, ὅσον παιδία μήτηρ φιλόστοργος, ἀλλὰ πολλῷ πλέον, ἄκουσον τί φησιν· Εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἐπιλάθοιτο, φησὶ, γυνὴ τῶν ἐκγόνων αὐτῆς, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ οὐκ ἐπιλήσομαί σου. Τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγε δεικνὺς, ὅτι πάσης φιλοστοργίας θερμότερος ὁ περὶ ἡμᾶς αὐτοῦ πόθος ἐστίν.


So he does not love us in this manner only, as a loving mother with her children, but much more so! Listen to what was said, “For even if a women forgets her children, I will not forget you.” Thus it is clear, then, that his love for us is far greater than any parental love. (PG 55.161).

Even in my budding Greek skills, I’m starting to appreciate why he is called the “Golden-mouthed” and the “Heavenly-trumpet.” If only I could do it justice in translation!

Alex

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