Bonds we can choose to be bound with – St. John Chrysostom

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[Speaking about St. Paul the Apostle:]

In bonds he sailed, and retrieved the wreck, and bound fast the tempest. It was when he was in bonds that the monster fastened on him, and fell from his hand, having done no hurt. He was bound at Rome, and preaching in bonds drew thousands to his cause, holding forward, in the place of every other, this very argument, I mean his chain.

It is not however our lot to be bound nowadays. And yet there is another chain if we have a mind to wear it. And what is it? It is to restrain our hand, to be not so forward to covetousness. With this chain let us bind ourselves. Let the fear of God be unto us instead of a band of iron. Let us loose them that are bound by poverty, by affliction. There is no comparison between opening the doors of a prison, and releasing an enthralled soul. There is no comparison between loosing the bonds of prisoners and “setting at liberty them that are bruised;” (Luke 4:18.) this last is far greater than the other; for the other there is no reward in store, for this last there are ten thousand rewards.

[Excerpt from St. John Chrysostom’s Homily VIII on the Epistle to the Ephesians]

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