Tag Archives: Prostitutes

St. John Chrysostom: On the Betrayal of Judas (Excerpt 1)

Icon of St. John ChrysostomThen one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? (Matt. 26:14–15). These words seem to be clear and not to hint at anything more, but if you carefully examine each word, you will find deep meaning and a great deal to contemplate. First, the time. The Evangelist does not indicate it without cause. He does not simply say, “One of the twelve went,” but adds, Then one of the twelve … went. Then. Tell me, when? And why does he indicate the time? What does he want to teach me? He does not say Then for no reason: speaking by the Spirit, he does not say anything at random or to no end. Therefore, what does this “then” mean? Before that time, before that hour, a harlot came with an alabaster box of ointment and poured the oil onto the head of the Lord. She displayed great service; she displayed great faith, great obedience, and great piety. She was turned from her former life and became better and wiser. And when the harlot had repented, when she had been drawn to the Master, then the disciple betrayed his Teacher. Thus the Evangelist said then, so that you not accuse the Teacher of weakness when you see the disciple betraying Him. For the power of the Teacher was such that He drew even harlots to proper obedience.

Why then, you say, was He Who won over harlots not able to win over His disciple? He had the power to win over His disciple, but He did not wish to make him good by force or to forcibly draw him to Himself. Then [he] went. In this “went” there is not a little matter for contemplation: for he was not summoned by the chief priests, he was
not constrained or forced. Rather, of himself and of his own accord, he gave birth to his intention and brought forth his treachery, without any counselor in his wickedness.

— St. John Chrysostom, On the Betrayal of Judas

Read the entire homily

 

Bridegroom Matins: Hymn of Cassia

Jesus Harlot Washing FeetThe woman had fallen into many sins, O Lord,
yet when she perceived Thy divinity,
she joined the ranks of the myrrh-bearing women.
In tears she brought Thee myrrh before Thy burial.
She cried, “Woe is me!
For I live in the night of licentiousness,
shrouded in the dark and moonless love of sin.
But accept the fountain of my tears,
O Thou who didst gather the waters of the sea into clouds.
Bow down Thine ear to the sighing of my heart,
O Thou who didst bow the heavens in Thine ineffable condescension.
Once Eve heard Thy footsteps in paradise in the cool of the day,
and in fear she ran and hid herself.
But now I will tenderly embrace those pure feet
and wipe them with the hair of my head.
Who can measure the multitutde of my sins,
or the depth of Thy judgements, O Savior of my soul,
Do not despise Thy servant in Thine immeasurable mercy.

+ Hymn of Cassia (Tone 8) of Bridegroom Matins of Holy Wednesday

Canon of St. Andrew: . . . the transformed pharisees, publicans and adulterers are seizing it ahead of you.

Icon of St. Andrew of CreteChrist became man and called to repentance robbers and harlots. Repent, my soul! The door of the Kingdom is already open, and the transformed pharisees, publicans and adulterers are seizing it ahead of you. [Matthew 21:31; 11:12]

+ The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, Mon 9.5
Text of the Canon

St. John Chrysostom: . . . I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? where there are many efforts at abortion? where there is murder before the birth? for even the harlot thou dost not let continue a mere harlot, but makest her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing [fornication] seems to belong to things indifferent, aye, and to many that have wives, too.

— St. John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Romans

St. Peter of Damascus: … if you are not what you should be, you should not despair. . . .

Icon of St. Peter of Damascus
“Even if you are not what you should be, you should not despair. It is bad enough that you have sinned; why in addition do you wrong God by regarding him in your ignorance as powerless? Is he, who for your sake created the great universe that you behold, incapable of saving your soul? And if you say that this fact, as well as his incarnation, only makes your condemnation worse, then repent; and he will receive your repentance, as he accepted that of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20) and the prostitute (Luke 7:37-50). But if repentance is too much for you, and you sin out of habit even when you do not want to, show humility like the publican (Luke 18:13): this is enough to ensure your salvation. For he who sins without repenting, yet does not despair, must of necessity regard himself as the lowest of creatures, and will not dare to judge or censure anyone. Rather, he will marvel at God’s compassion.”

+ St. Peter of Damaskos, “Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, That Should Not Despair Even if We Sin Many Times,” The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 3)