I couldn’t help but re-post this beautiful quote.
“I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us [heaven]. . . .
I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.”
– St. John Chrysostom, on what a young husband should say to his bride
MY GOSH. How much more romantic can you get??? There’s so much to be said about this quote. First of all, let’s talk about who this came from.
St. John Chrysostom was known as a preacher, liturgist and theologian. He is one of the most important Church Fathers and was the Archbishop of Constantinople – the city before the 1453 Ottoman conquest.
During his time, there was a lot of turmoil just about the basic doctrine and hierarchy in the Church not to mention a lot of wars broke out for geographical conquest. You could just imagine how preoccupied his mind was!
So, how could this holy man talk about the love between husband and wife and express it so vividly that you could feel the sincerity and TRUTH run thru your skin? This guy’s encompassing love ran through the divine and he has gotten the essence of love between man and wife down better than any love song written in this century.
This just solidifies my belief that for any man to truly love a woman is to wholeheartedly and dedicated to God first. When I think of a guy and a girl who both decide to be a couple and then eventually decide to spend their lives together, there’s a lot of confetti, an exchange of rings, family and other lovelies floating in a space occupied by the thought of endlessness – the only Person that embodies endlessness is GOD. Sure, we’ve all heard the saying: “Change is the only constant thing on earth.” Yes, on earth and in life, but what happens after life? Doesn’t it go back to a Constant (yes, with a capital C)? It’s absolutely mind-boggling – back to a love that is eternal.
What about content?
Well, a girl melts to be in the arms of the man she loves. “I prefer you to my life itself.” Seriously? Nowadays it’s just so hard to believe this because you become surrounded by plastic-faced people, men and women alike, who just love themselves more than anyone period. St. John Chrysostom is right to put this in the context of marriage because by the man being able to say this to his wife is to proclaim that through thick and thin and through intense emotions and hardships – he will love you selflessly and never leave you.
Aha and then he talks about his dreams. In this day and age, people obviously measure success from (the amount) of power, money, fame and luxury. Things that can be counted. But I do not believe happiness can be counted… true happiness is a state of being. To me, it’s when you habitually choose to choose the things that step out of your comfort zone to be able to love freely. When you love in its truest sense (selflessly) you’re happy all the time!
Then the last line: “I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.” – the meeting of the minds and hearts It seems to be this young husband only desires to have the same view as his wife in all things – about love, about life and about one another. They can definitely have different opinions about menial things but they can definitely be compromised but if it’s related to his ultimate dream of leading their love to heaven then he only wishes that they both have the same view in mind.
Perfect example of his vigor in the plight for the Truth. Empress Eudoxia at that time believed that St. John Chrysostom was directing his preaching of extravagant feminine dress to her and wanted him imprisoned. But the night of his arrest, there was an earthquake and she took it as a sign of God’s anger. If she already believed that what she was doing was unjust then she really shouldn’t have arrested him to begin with!
This is definitely one amazing saint I’ll definitely be reading more about.