Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Eastern Brothers and SIsters

Today in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church we celebrate the memorial of St. John Chrysostom. Chrysostom is not is last name but a title he was given because of his eloquent preaching. It means "golden mouthed."

Probably his greatest influence, however, is on the Eastern half of the Church. The Eastern Orthodox and the Byzantine Rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches to this day normally celebrate what is call "The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom." 

More disturbing to our modern sensibilities has been the disputes over the relics of his body.  His head is in Moscow and his right hand on mount Athos. While this may seem strange to us, it speaks of the great devotion to the saint.  A great saint and Father of the Church now. We should remember that in his own lifetime he was scorned and exiled for daring to speak out against what he recognized as corruption among important people of his time.

As we prayer with our eastern brothers and sisters today remembering his life, let us also have the courage to imitate his virtue-the willingness to speak truth to power.