St. John Chrysostom: The Word of God for the Wounded

John Chrysostom  (347 – 407 AD)
Doctor of the Church.

[Homily Two on the Gospel of St. Matthew by St. John Chrysostom]

But tell me, who of you that stand here, if he were required, could repeat one Psalm, or any other portion of the divine Scriptures? There is not one.

And it is not this only that is the grievous thing, but that while you are become so backward with respect to things spiritual, yet in regard of what belongs to Satan ye are more vehement than fire. Thus should any one be minded to ask of you songs of devils and impure effeminate melodies, he will find many that know these perfectly, and repeat them with much pleasure.

“‘But I am not,’  you will say,  ‘one of the monks, I have both a wife and children, and the care of a household.’ 

This is what has ruined everything, your thinking that the reading of scripture is for monks only, when you need it more than they do.  Those who are placed in the world, and who receive wounds every day have the most need of medicine.  So, far worse even than not reading the scriptures is the idea that they are superfluous.  Such ideas were invented by the devil.” 


Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.”— Romans 10:17

St. Alphonsus Liguori: “It is a certain rule, received in common by all, that the words in Scripture are not to be distorted to an unnatural sense, except in the sole case when the literal meaning is repugnant to faith or morals.” — The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection