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On the Incomprehensible Nature of God (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 72)

Saint John Chrysostom

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

Select Bibliography

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pp. vii-xii


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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. 3-48

Two previous volumes in this series have dealt with the Trinitarian and Christological errors of Arianism. St. Hilary of Poitiers: The Trinity, translated by Stephen McKenna, C.SS.R.,l appeared in 1954 and offers in English the saint's Latin treatise, De Trinitate. Hilary became bishop of Poitiers about A.D. 354 but was exiled to Phrygia some two years

On the Incomprehensible Nature of God

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Homily I

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pp. 51-70

What is this I see? The shepherdI is not here and still his sheep show a well-disciplined attitude. And this marks the pastoral success and virtue of the shepherd when, whether he is present or away, his flocks display complete earnestness and attention. Dumb sheep must remain in their pens when no one is there to lead them to pasture. If they put...

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Homily II

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pp. 71-94

Come now, let us again1 gird ourselves against the unbelieving and infidel Anomoeans.2 If they are vexed because I call them infidels, let them flee the fact, and I will hide the name; let them lay aside their heretical ideas, and I will put aside this title of reproach. However, if they do not...

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Homily III

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pp. 95-114

When hard-working farmers see a fruitless tree growing wild and spoiling their labors, a tree which, with its rugged roots and thick shade, is destroying the plants they have cultivated, they lose no time in cutting it down. Often a wind which has arisen from some quarter of the sky joins with them to help in removing it by blowing the foliage...

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Homily IV

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pp. 115-136

I recently1 proved to you that God is incomprehensible to men2 and even to the Cherubim and Seraphim.3 I should be satisfied now to put the question aside without bringing forward further arguments on this subject. But the chief purpose of my efforts and desire was not only to stitch shut the mouths of my Anomoean opponents but also to...

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Homily V

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pp. 137-163

When a speaker is going to take up a rather lengthy topic, it will require several discourses. It cannot be completed in one or two or three days but needs several more. In such a case, I think a teacher must not impose his entire instruction on the minds of his hearers suddenly and all at once. I think he should divide his whole topic into several parts and, by means of this division, make the burden of his...

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Homily VI

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pp. 164-183

Today I was preparing to strip for the struggles against the heretic Anomoeans and to payoff the balance of my debt to you.! But the feast of Blessed Philogonius,2 which we are celebrating today, has summoned my voice to recount his virtuous deeds. And I must show full obedience to this summons. For if a man who speaks ill of his mother or...

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Homily VII

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pp. 184-211

Again the chariot-races are on1 and again our congregation has shrunk.2 However, as long as you are present, our assembly could not shrink. If a farmer should see his crop in full bloom and ready for harvest, he makes little account of the fact that the leaves are falling. Since...

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Homily VIII

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pp. 212-232

Yesterday1 we returned from war, from a war and battle with the heretics. Our weapons were stained with blood, the sword of my discourse was red with gore. We did not strike down their bodies but we did destroy their arguments and "Every proud pretension which raises itself against the knowledge of God."2 For such is the kind of battle this is and, therefore, such is the nature of the weapons. Paul...

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Homily IX

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pp. 233-243

Today,1 Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, gives us the solution to many different problems. However, the passage which was read2 has also, in some ways, given an opportunity for argument to the heretics and a pretext to the Jews3 to oppose our position. However, their argument and opposition are not founded in the truth heaven forbid!-but arise from their malicious souls. For...

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Homily X

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pp. 244-269

During the past several days,1 I have delivered many panegyrics. In them I took as my theme the struggles of the Apostle [Paul] and I took delight in recounting his spiritual acts of virtue. Now, indeed, it is time for me to finish repaying my debt to you,2 and there is nothing to keep me from doing so. Because so many days have intervened, I...

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Homily XI

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pp. 270-285

I have talked with you1 for but a single day,2 and, after that day, I have come to love you as if I had been reared and brought up with you from the very start and from my first day on earth. The bonds of this love have united me to you just as strongly as if I had enjoyed the great pleasure of your society for time beyond telling. Nor was it my...

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Homily XII

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pp. 286-308

Blessed be God!1 At each assembly2 I see that the produce of our fields has grown, our crops are in full bloom, our threshing floor has been filled, our sheaves are multiplying. Even if we count how few were the days since we sowed this seed,3 look how rich a crop has sprouted up because of your obedience. This makes it clear that it is not the power of...


General Index

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pp. 311-348

Index of Holy Scripture

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pp. 349-357

E-ISBN-13: 9780813211725
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813210278

Page Count: 371
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation