Sunday, December 9, 2007

Garments

Look, I entreat: a royal table is set before you, Angels minister at that table, the King Himself is there, and do you stand gaping? Are your garments defiled, and yet you make no account of it? – or are you clean? Then fall down and partake …You have sung the hymns with the rest; you have declared yourself to be of the number of those who are worthy, by not departing with those who are unworthy. Why stay and yet not partake of the table? I am unworthy, you will say. Then are you also unworthy of that communion you have had in prayers? For it is not by means of the offerings only, but also by means of those canticles that the Spirit descends all around …You are no more allowed to be here than the Catechumen is. For it is not all the same thing never to have reached the mysteries, as it is when you have reached them, to stumble at them and despise them, and to make yourself unworthy of this thing …So I may not then be the means of increasing your condemnation, I entreat you, not to forbear coming, but to render yourselves worthy both of being present, and of approaching …And what then is our hope of salvation? We cannot lay the blame on our weakness; we cannot lay it on our nature. It is indolence and nothing else that renders us unworthy. (St John Chrysostom; Homily III on Ephesians I)
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