May 21

No barbarian people wages so relentless a war as do the wicked thoughts that lodge within the soul and the disordered passions…This is easily understood, since the first wave of enemies attacks us from without, and the second wave makes war against us from within. Without fail, one can observe that internal evils are more disastrous and pernicious than external ones…Nothing is more deadly to bodily health and strength than the infirmities that develop within it–cities suffer less from foreign wars than from internal dissent. Likewise, the soul has less to fear from the snares laid for it in the world than from the illnesses whose seed the soul itself has sown.

~St John Chrysostom

March 13

Pleasure is only a fleeting delight. Yea, pleasure quickly takes flight, and we cannot tie it down even for a few moments. For such is the destiny of human and sensible things: hardly do we possess them, and they escape us…They offer nothing solid or assured, nothing fixed or permanent. They flow away more rapidly than rivers of water and leave empty and indigent those who search after them with such burning zeal. On the contrary, however, spiritual goods present us an altogether different character. They are firm, assured, constant and eternal. [Is it not] then a strange folly to exchange immutable things for transitory delight, immortal bliss for pleasures of the moment, and true and eternal felicity for quick and frivolous sensual joys?

~St John Chrysostom

March 12

Love of money and greed further destroy charity and pervert relationships with others by leading him whom they possess to see in his neighbor nothing more than an obstacle to the preservation of possessed riches or a means to acquire new ones. John Chrysostom also notes that “love of money brings us universal hatred” and “makes us detest everyone, the victims of injustice and even those whom our injustices have not trampled down.”

…These passions constantly provoke arguments and disputes. St John Chrysostom observes: “In riches, there is nothing but causes of affliction, divisions, quarrels, snares, hatred, thefts, envy, separations, enmities, storms, remembrance of wrong, hard-heartedness, murders.”

…As for greed, St Gregory of Nyssa remarks that it unleashes in man “either anger with his kith and kin, or pride towards his inferiors, or envy of those above him; then hypocrisy comes in after this envy; a soured temper after that; a misanthropic spirit after that.”

~Dr Jean-Claude Larchet (Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses vol.1, pp. 176-177)

January 27

The goal of a physician is not to avenge himself but to draw us towards himself. A physician is neither offended nor upset by the insults of the sick who rave in delirium and leaves no stone unturned in his efforts to prevent them from demeaning themselves, considering not his personal gain, but theirs. If they regain but a bit of their good sense and their calm, his heart is filled with satisfaction and joy; he increases his care and remedies. Far from taking vengeance on their insults, he adds kindness to kindness until he succeeds in restoring them to health. So too, when we have fallen into utter madness, God–without thinking of avenging the past–says and does nothing that would not aim at healing us of our illness.

~St John Chrysostom