October 21, 2009 + from Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren
from St. John Chrysostom's Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:20-23)
It is not as absolutely bringing an accusation against those who are wealthy that I say all this; nor as praising the poor without reference to circumstances: for neither is wealth an evil, but the having made a bad use of wealth; nor is poverty a virtue, but the having made a virtuous use of poverty. That rich man who was in the time of Lazarus was punished, not because he was rich, but because he was cruel and inhuman. And that poor man who rested in the bosom of Abraham was praised, not because he was poor, but because he had borne his poverty with thankfulness.
For of things -- (now attend carefully to this saying; for it will avail to put into you sufficient religious knowledge, and to cast out all unsound reasoning, and to bring about your having your judgment right concerning the truth of things) -- well, of things some are by nature morally good, and others the contrary; and others neither good nor evil, but they occupy the intermediate position. A good thing piety is by nature, impiety an evil thing; a good thing virtue, an evil thing wickedness; but wealth and poverty in themselves are neither the one nor the other; but from the will of those who use them they become either the one or the other. For if thou hast used thy wealth for purposes of philanthropy, the thing becomes to thee a foundation of good; but if for rapine and grasping and insolence, thou hast turned the use of it to the direct opposite; but for this wealth is not chargeable, but he who has used his wealth for insolence. So also we may say of poverty: if thou have borne it nobly by giving thanks to the Master, what has been done becomes to thee a cause and ground for receiving crowns; but if on account of this thou blaspheme thy Creator, and accuse Him for His providence, thou hast again used the thing to an evil purpose. But just as in that case it is not wealth that is responsible for the avarice, but the person who has made a bad use of wealth, so also here we are not to lay the blame of the blasphemy on poverty, but on him who did not choose to bear the thing in a sober spirit. For in every case both the praise and the blame belong to our own will and choice. Good is wealth, yet not absolutely, but to him only to whom it is not sin; and again poverty is wicked, but not absolutely, but only in the mouth of the impious, because he is discontented, because he blasphemes, because he is indignant, because he accuses Him who has made him.
Let us not therefore accuse riches, nor revile poverty absolutely, but those who do not will to use these virtuously; for the things themselves lie in the middle.
"Joy of All That Sorrow" Icon - October 24
Let us, sinful and humbled, now earnestly run to the Mother of God, and let us fall down in repentance, crying from the depths of our soul: O Lady, help, have compassion on us. Make haste, for we perish from the multitude of our sins. Turn not thy servants empty away, for we have thee as our only hope.
Another Troparion of the Icon "Joy of All that Sorrow", Tone 2
Thou art the joy of all that sorrow and the protectoress of the oppressed, feeder of the hungry, consolation of travelers, haven for the tempest-tossed, visitation of the sick, protection and aid of the infirm, staff of old age, O all-pure Mother of the Most High God. Hasten, we pray, to save thy servants.
Kontakion of the Icon "Joy of All that Sorrow", Tone 2
We have no other help, we have no other hope, apart from thee, O Lady: help us. We hope in thee and in thee we glory. Let us not be confounded for we are thy servants.