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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
One day Hieron of Syracuse called the philosopher Simonides and asked him what God was. The wise man asked for one day of reflection; after the twenty-four hours, he returned to ask twice as much, then four days, and so on, claiming each time the double of the preceding delay. Finally the king asked him for a reason for his conduct, and the wise man replied, “The more I think about the matter, the more mysterious it becomes.”
The infinite cannot be adequately grasped by our limited intelligence: only God can understand Himself. St. John describes God in these words, “God is love.” (I John 4:7) Indeed, God’s love for man is the principle of all His works.
St. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople (+ 407), was frowned upon by the people of the court because of the freedom of his preaching: the empress Eudoxia especially hated him. One day she had him threatened with banishment. “Don’t think by this,” replied the holy bishop, “that you will inspire any terror in me. You should know that God is present everywhere, and that you could only frighten me by relegating me to a place where God would not be.”
If by any chance you were afraid to be alone somewhere, think of God’s presence. When a fearful man sees himself accompanied, his fear of ghosts diminishes; he would have the less reason to tremble, if he reflected on the presence of God, without whose will no specter could appear. The memory of God’s presence makes man fearless.