More Chrysostom on Prayer.

I’ve not posted in quite some time, and I can’t really say that this post represents a return to frequent posts.  However, I came across some Chrysostom that was too good not to share.  As is customary, I give my translation and then the Greek.  Enjoy!

Do you see, then, how powerful are both prayer and petition?  They make men into temples of Christ!  Just as gold, precious stones, and marble make the houses of kings, so prayer creates temples of Christ. “That Christ,” he says, “may dwell in your hearts.”  What greater praise of prayer could ever be, than that it creates temples for God?  The one whom the heavens do not contain, this is the one who enters the living soul through prayers.  “‘The heaven is my throne,'” he says, “‘and the earth my footstool.  What type of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or what place of rest for me?'”  But nevertheless Paul builds him a house through his holy prayers.  He says, “I bend my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Indeed from that, one should know the power of holy prayers, since Paul, the one who ran as though with wings through the entire world, who made his residence in prison, who bore whips and chains, always living in blood and danger, who drove out demons and raised the dead, and who healed sicknesses, he trusted none of these things for the salvation of men, but defended the earth through his prayers, and after the signs and the raising of the dead, he ran again to prayers, just as an athlete returning to the training room right after receiving the crown.

 

And the Greek:

Ὁρᾷς, ὅσον ἰσχύει προσευχὴ καὶ δέησις; Ναοὺς Χριστοῦ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐργάζεται· καὶ ὥσπερ χρυσὸς, καὶ λίθοι πολυτίμητοι, καὶ μάρμαρα ποιοῦσι τοὺς οἴκους τῶν βασιλέων· οὕτω προσευχὴ ναοὺς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Κατοικῆσαι, φησὶ, τὸν Χριστὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Τί μεῖζον ἂν γένοιτο προσευχῆς ἐγκώμιον, ἢ ὅτι ναοὺς ἀπεργάζεται Θεοῦ; Ὃν οὐ χωροῦσιν οὐρανοὶ, οὗτος εἰς ψυχὴν εἰσέρχεται ζῶσαν ἐν προσευχαῖς. Ὁ οὐρανός μοι θρόνος, φησὶν, ἡ δὲ γῆ ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν μου. Ποῖον οἶκον οἰκοδομήσετέ μοι; λέγει Κύριος· ἢ τίς τόπος τῆς καταπαύσεώς μου; Ἀλλ’ ὅμως οἶκον ὁ Παῦλος οἰκοδομεῖ διὰ τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν. Κάμπτω, φησὶ, τὰ γόνατά μου πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα κατοικήσῃ ὁ Χριστὸς διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖθεν ἴδοι τις ἂν τὴν δύναμιν τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν, ὅτι Παῦλος ὁ διὰ πάσης τῆς οἰκουμένης ὥσπερ ὑπόπτερος τρέχων, καὶ δεσμωτήριον οἰκῶν, καὶ μάστιγας ὑπομένων, καὶ φορῶν ἅλυσιν, καὶ ζῶν ἐν αἵματι καὶ κινδύνοις, καὶ δαίμονας ἐλαύνων, καὶ νεκροὺς ἐγείρων, καὶ παύων ἀῤῥωστήματα, οὐδενὶ τούτων ἐθάῤῥησεν εἰς σωτηρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ ταῖς προσευχαῖς ἐτείχισε τὴν γῆν, καὶ μετὰ τὰ σημεῖα καὶ τὴν τῶν νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν, ἐπὶ τὰς προσευχὰς ἔτρεχεν, ὥσπερ τις ἀθλητὴς ἐπὶ παλαίστραν ἀπὸ στεφάνου.

John Chrysostom, De Precatione (PG 60.783)

 

John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 3)

Here’s a third excerpt from one of John Chrysostom’s homilies De Precatione (On Prayer). Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here. See part 1 for the link to the Greek text. I start translating at Ὅστις γὰρ οὐ προσεύχεται τῷ Θεῷ.


“For the one who does not pray to God, who does not desire to enjoy such divine communion, is dead and soul-less, and has no share of wisdom. For this is a great sign of foolishness, to not understand the weight of this honor, to not passionately desire prayer, to bring death to the soul by not worshiping God. Just as our body, when not having a soul, is dead and decaying, so it is with the soul: when it does not move itself to prayer, it is dead, wretched, and decaying … But when I see someone who has an insatiable desire for serving God, and who immediately considers the lack of prayer a great loss, I consider this one to certainly have all of the virtues of discipline, as if they were the temple of God.”

John Chrysostom. De Precatione.

Edit: Typo corrected.

John Chrysostom On Prayer (Part 2)

See part 1 for the introduction. Here’s another excerpt from a little latter in the homily. I was much more free with this translation, since the syntax was pretty far from anything resembling English. Corrections, as always, are welcome. The Greek text can be found here. I started at “θάνατος γὰρ ψυχῆς ἀσέβεια.”

“Ungodliness and the irreverent life are death for the soul. But is not the worship of God, and proper life, sustenance for the soul? Prayer leads to a life that is worthy of serving God, and it enriches our very souls. For if one extols virginity, or zealously honors the temperance of marriage, or rules over anger and lives with meekness, or is purified of envy , or practices one of the other virtues, then they will have an easy and light time on the race-path of godliness, for their path has been made smooth by the leadership of prayer.”
John Chrysostom, De Precatione.

John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 1)

This week, my campus pastor spoke about prayer, and I decided it would be beneficial to offer some thoughts from the Church Fathers on prayer throughout the week. Most likely, they will come from John Chrysostom, since I’m reading one of his homilies at the moment. It’s titled, quite appropriately, “On Prayer” (Περι Προσευχης). The Greek text can be found in the Patrologia Graeca 50.775. I found it online here.

Here’s an excerpt from the first homily (my own translation, corrections are welcome).

“For just as the sun is light to the body, so prayer is light to the soul. If then it is a great loss for a blind person to not see the sun, how much worse is it for a Christian to not pray always, and through praying to lead the light of Christ into their soul? Indeed, who wouldn’t marvel in amazement at the loving mercy of God that has been shown to us, that such a great honor has been given to us, that we are considered worthy of prayer, and of communion with God himself! For in the time of prayer, we truly do speak with God, and through this prayer we are joined with the angels.”
~John Chrysostom. De Precatione. Homily 1.