Sometimes John Chrysostom is, well, golden.
Nothing is so incongruous in a Christian, and foreign to his character, as to seek ease and rest; and to be engrossed with the present life is foreign to our profession and enlistment.
Thy Master was crucified, and dost thou seek ease? Thy Master was pierced with nails, and dost thou live delicately? Do these things become a noble soldier?
Wherefore Paul saith, “Many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”
Since there were some who made a pretense of Christianity, yet lived in ease and luxury, and this is contrary to the Cross: therefore he thus spoke. For the cross belongs to a soul at its post for the fight, longing to die, seeking nothing like ease, whilst their conduct is of the contrary sort.
So that even if they say, they are Christ’s, still they are as it were enemies of the Cross.
For did they love the Cross, they would strive to live the crucified life.
Was not thy Master hung upon the tree? Do thou otherwise imitate Him.
Crucify thyself, though no one crucify thee. Crucify thyself, not that thou mayest slay thyself, God forbid, for that is a wicked thing, but as Paul said, “The world hath been crucified unto me and I unto the world.” (Gal. vi. 14.)
If thou lovest thy Master, die His death. Learn how great is the power of the Cross; how many good things it hath achieved, and doth still: how it is the safety of our life.
Is John too ascetic? Or are our bellies our god?