On the Providence of God by Saint John Chrysostom
I’ve written on both secular and Christian topics for LewRockwell.com, but I want to try to make sense about what is happening to our nation and what we can do to endure and prevail what seems to me to be the deliberate attempt of a “controlled demolition” of America, discussed by others more knowledgeable than I on these pages. By we I mean those who are familiar with and supportive of the writings posted to LewRockwell.com, writings about the importance of liberty, freedom, culture, history, civilization—beliefs that are the target of a violent mob, not only in the streets but in the legacy media and on postings in sites such as Twitter and YouTube. In addition, we are seeing Christians with a traditional understanding of Christian love attacked for not kneeling, if not literally, but figuratively, before powers that are truly godless, powers that use force and relish it, powers that pervert and corrupt Christian ritual.
In writing this essay, I am making the assumption that Christians reading my words on LewRockwell.com most likely have not supported the pernicious ideology of “American exceptionalism” that entails endless wars, “crony capitalism,” the ever expanding power of a godless state that attacks our liberties, and chooses the “right” people to venerate so that the word “hero” as its used now has now become meaningless, or if not meaningless, defined by the oligarchy and their minions in the press and the government to support their ideology, which now is becoming a reign of terror.
In such times as these, we can become discouraged yet I desire with my whole heart to make readers aware of Saint John Chrysostom’s final work, On the Providence of God, written during his period of exile. Thanks to The Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery’s Saint Herman’s Press, they have made available a modern translation from the Greek by Monk Moses (Worcester) and have edited the text with commentary and scholarly footnotes, along with an index of quotations of scripture.
As the introduction to the work details, St. John was Archbishop of Constantinople, where he proved himself to be “an uncompromising foe of every form of corruption,” meaning not only of the Christians under his spiritual care but also the leaders of the Church and the Imperial family. There followed, due to resentment of the Byzantine emperor Arcadius, the empress Eudoxia, and the Archbishop of Alexandria, Theophillus, a first attempt to remove St. John in 404, when he was exiled for a time to Praenetum.
The Empress called him back after a short time, perhaps due to popular outrage because he was so beloved by his flock, but soon after she erected a statue of herself directly across from the Hagia Sophia Cathedral; once St. John, “for who the upholding God’s holiness and truth had always been paramount” spoke out against her, his fate was sealed: he was sent into a second exile escorted by soldiers to the harshest of climates in places of desolation in the mountains of Armenia, facing not only severe weather but also pursuit by tribesmen intent on murder. Ultimately he returned to Cuscus, enduring the harsh weather and thin atmosphere, and the editors think mostly likely he wrote his final work there in the winter of 406-407. And it wasn’t only St. John who suffered physically by the harsh climate, the long journey and the exile itself; those sympathetic to him, his “friends and flock” suffered physical torture and persecutions by soldiers under the command of an emperor who considered himself Christian.
Therefore, as Saint John notes it is always the lot of those most faithful to God to s
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