May 17, 2010

Chrysostom on Earthquakes

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Following a terrible earthquake in Antioch, St. John Chrysostom spoke to the people:

"Great are the fruits of an earthquake. Behold the man-loving Lord Who quakes the city and strengthens the soul, Who sways the foundation and strengthens the thoughts, Who shows the weakness of the city and makes the will of the people powerful! Turn your attention to His love for mankind: He sways for a while, and strengthens forever; He quakes for two days, but the devotion should remain for all times; you were sorrowful for a short time, but strengthened forever. A mother, wanting to wean her child from of the habit of frequent crying, strongly rocks its little crib not in order to harm it, but to frighten it. Precisely, thus the Lord of all, Who holds the universe in His hands shakes it, not in order to destroy it, but rather to bring back those men to salvation who live lawlessly."

Behold this is how the Holy Fathers, the pillars of the Universal Church, knew how to explain God's love for man, both assaults in the same way as good works, and misfortune the same way as fortune. Let us who are slow to give thanks to God be ashamed when He gives and quick in our murmuring toward him when He takes away.