The Shepherd, March, 2008
FROM THE FATHERS
“ALL THE CHRISTIANS who are literate are required to read the Holy Scripture. St John Chrysostom even wrote that it is not possible for someone to be saved unless he continuously enjoys the spiritual reading of Holy Scripture. Elsewhere St Chrysostom criticized the lay Christians for neglecting to read the Scriptures. He overturned the objection often put forth by the laity who say that they are not monks but have families - wives, children, and homes - to be concerned about. He urged the laity to read the Scriptures even more than the monks, precisely because they are in the world and in the midst of greater temptations and they need the fortification of the Scriptures to struggle against evil each day. St John Climacus also encouraged us to read the Sacred Scripture. It does not only enlighten and put our mind together, it contains the very words of the Holy Spirit that guide anyone who passes through. St Ephraim noted that the words of Holy Scripture are like a trumpet in time of war that arouses the brave strugglers against the enemy. The Scriptures arouse our desire to struggle for virtue and to be courageous against the passions. For this reason, dear brother, keep a certain spiritual sobriety and seek to read the Holy Scriptures so that they may teach you how to flee from the snares of the enemy and attain eternal life.”
Venerable Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, + 1809 A.D.
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