January 27 -- St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom was born in 344 in Antioch. In 374, he retired to live in silence to attain the art of conversing with God through contemplation.
After six years, under the direction of his bishop, he preached to all who would come to hear him, sometimes one hundred thousand people at one sermon. His eloquence fortified by a keen genius along with a soul dedicated only to Christ converted large numbers of pagans and heretics.
Although beloved by many, St. John had many enemies who were attached to their vices and thus, needed him removed from Constantinople.
After being banished to the desert, St. John told the hostile empress, “Chrysostom fears only one thing -- not exile, prison, poverty or death -- but sin."
St. John is not considered a martyr but his life had all the merit, attributes and glory of one. St. Paul was the object of his admiration and of him he said, "The heart of Paul was the Heart of Christ."
St. John teaches us the importance of solitude and meditation. In the quiet of his soul, God taught him the secrets of the apostolate, the sacred mysteries which unlock the grace to touch men. Sheer eloquence is never enough to change man's heart, to convert man from pagan to Christian.
He also teaches us that nothing should be feared except sin. And finally, his life can be summarized by his dying words," Glory be to God for all things. Amen."
Let us ask St. John for the grace to follow his example.