Received From A Companero…

I started reading my Benedictine breviary again and am trying to keep up the Daily Office. It was the memorial of Saint John Chrysostom and the following is the whole reading from his Sermons before His Exile, Nos. 1-3, the second reading at Vigils:

The waves may rise higher and the storm grow fiercer, but we are not afraid of drowning, for we stand on rock. Let the waves rise; they cannot sink Jesus’ boat. What am I supposed to flee–death? “For me life means Christ and death is gain.” Exile? But “the earth and all that fills it belongs to the Lord!” Confiscation of goods? “We brought nothing into the world and shall certainly take nothing out of it.” The world’s terrors are contemptible, its “goods” laughable. I do not fear poverty or desire riches. I do not fear death or desire to live, save to be useful to all of you.

Do you not hear Jesus saying: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst”? Will he not be present, then, where so many people are linked together in love? I have his promise, and need not rely on my own strength. I have his book as my staff, my security, my peaceful harbor. Let the world be turned upside down, I read his words to me: “I am with you all days even to the end of the world.”

Christ is with me; whom shall I fear? Waves, storms, raging officials–these are less to me than a cobweb. I say always: “Lord, your will be done!” That is my tower, my immovable rock, my unbreakable staff. Wherever he wants me to be, there do I thank him.

There is something in all of us that needs the regularity of a rule. I keep on coming back to it, even though the last time I cracked it open was during the 20th week of Ordinary Time and now we’re almost done the 23rd week of Ordinary Time.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know all this as I wander my way back. As Tolkien said, Not all who wander are lost.

catholic worker chrysostom