Monday, June 07, 2010

Chrysostom on the dilemma of preaching faithfully with little fruit

Καὶ οἶδα μὲν εἰκῆ λέγων· πλὴν οὐ παύσομαι λέγων. Τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν ἀπολογήσομαι τῷ Θεῷ, κἂν μηδεὶς ὁ ἀκούων ᾖ. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ τοῖς προσέχουσι λέγων, ἔχει παραμυθίαν τοῦ λέγειν τὴν πειθὼ τῶν ἀκροωμένων· ὁ δὲ συνεχῶς λέγων, καὶ μὴ ἀκουόμενος, εἶτα οὐ παυόμενος τοῦ λέγειν, πλείονος ἂν εἴη τιμῆς ἄξιος, διὰ τὸ τῷ Θεῷ δοκοῦν, καὶ μηδενὸς προσέχοντος, τὸ αὐτοῦ πᾶν πληρῶν. Ἀλλ’ ὅμως εἰ καὶ ἡμῖν ὁ μισθὸς μείζων ἐκ τῆς ὑμετέρας παρακοῆς, ὅμως ἐπιθυμοῦμεν τοῦτον ἐλαττωθῆναι μᾶλλον, καὶ τὴν ὑμετέραν αὐξηθῆναι σωτηρίαν, μισθὸν μέγαν τὴν ὑμετέραν εὐδοκίμησιν εἶναι νομίζοντες.

- John Chrysostom, Hom in Iohannem. XXX.


Mickyd said...

can you translate it please.... maybe "The Message" style?

Seumas Macdonald said...

And I know that I am speaking in vain; but I will not stop speaking. For in doing this I make a defence unto God, even if there be no listener [i.e. no-one heeding his message in the congregation]. For the one speaking to those paying attention has a consolation in his speaking, the persuasion of listeners; but the one speaking continuously, and no one listening, then not ceasing from speaking, is worthy of greater honour, since he pleases God with the fulness of his power, even with no-one paying attention. But nevertheless even if our reward will be greater from your disobedience, we long rather that this be decreased, and your salvation increased, considering your approval [by God] to be a great reward.