On The Providence Of God by Saint John Chrysostom was personally recommended to me by Abbot Damascene of St. Herman’s Monastery in California. Saint John wrote this book at the end of his life after he was exiled to the mountains of Armenia. It was meant to help relieve the despair of the faithful during a particularly intense period of Christian persecution.

The folly of trying to understand God and His plan

What then, is the cause of such a sickness? It is an inquisitive and curious mind, it is wanting to know all the causes of everything that happens, it is questioning the incomprehensible and unspeakable providence of God, and it is shamelessly investigation and being inquisitive about that which is limitless and unsearchable.

[…]

Therefore, since you know all these things through which He has made Himself known, through which He has acted, and through which He will act, do not be inquisitive, do not be unduly concerned, do not say, ‘Why is this? To what end is this?’ How could it not be insane and full of the utmost folly and madness to do so, when one does not inquisitively question a doctor when he cuts and cauterizes and applies bitter ointments-even if he is a servant. But the master of the house lies in silence undergoing all that, and is grateful for the cauterizing, the cutting, and the ointment, even though the outcome is uncertain (for many doctors have killed a great number of patients by performing these procedures). We yield to him very submissively when he does these things, just as we do with a seaman, a builder, and those who pursue all the other professions.

Thanks to my scientific mind, I admit to having such a sickness. I like to know why things are and how they came about, but this will certainly cause me spiritual harm. No matter how intelligent or learned you are, you will not be able to understand God’s ways or the completeness of His plan, and if you insist on trying, Satan will insert all manner of doubt and deception into your mind. If you want your Christian faith to be strong, you have to accept that it’s okay not to know all the answers.

Death

When a man sees someone who yesterday and the day before was walking along with him now dissolved into worms and putrefaction and ashes and dust—even if he has the made pride of the devil—he cowers with fear, he is sobered, he restrains himself, he learns to exercise himself in virtue, and he establishes in his mind the mother of good things, humility.

[…]

Death was introduced into our life as an exceptional teacher of virtue: it moderates one’s thinking, bridles the passions of the soul, calms the waves, and produces stillness.

Where do you see death today? Did you see it in the heavily processed animal products you eat? Do you see it with your elderly neighbors? Death is concealed from us, and even when someone dies, their body is treated with chemicals and makeup so they appear as if they never died. With death hidden, the idea of your own death rarely enters your mind, preventing you from making the necessary preparations before it comes for you.

God does not need you

[God] has no need of us. The marvel of His goodness is that He brought us into existence without having any need of service from us. For, in truth, before we and the angels and the powers above came into being, He existed and possessed His own glory and blessedness; and it is only out of love for mankind that He brought us into existence and did all these things for us, and many more as well.

If you happen to choose evil over good, God will make a compensation to ensure His plan is still fulfilled. Your life is a gift from Him, and while it would please Him for you to serve His will, human history will proceed as planned regardless. We need Him fully and totally and He needs us not at all, and it’s only through His infinite love that He decided to create man in the first place. Don’t feel that you’re doing God a favor through your good deeds.

Why is it so hard to walk with Christ?

If you say: ‘And why in both the Old and the New Testaments are there so many dangers, so many trials, so many snares?’ then learn the cause. Therefore, what is the cause? The present life is a wrestling school, a training ground, an arena, a smelting furnace, a dye house of virtue. Just as leather-dressers, taking the hides, first work them, stretch them, strike them, dash them against walls and stones, and by countless other treatments make them fit to receive the dye—and thus they impart to them a prized color; just as goldsmiths, but putting the gold into the fire, deliver it over to the trial of the furnace, in order to make it exceedingly pure; just as teachers at the wrestling school train the contestants with a great deal of hard work, attacking them more violently than their opponents, so that by exercise their whole bodies will be set aright, and they will be ready for the contests, prepared for the holds of their adversaries, and will easily undo them—so also does God act in the present life. Wishing to make the soul fit for virtue, He works it, refines it, and gives it over to the testing by trials, in order to strengthen those who have lost heart and are slack, and so that those who are worthy will become even more worthy, impregnable to the plots of the demons and the traps of the devil, and preeminently fit to receive all the good things to come. For, as they say, a man who has not been tested is worthless. And Paul says: Tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character (Rom. 5:3-4). Thus, since God wants to make men patient and enduring, He permits the coins to be tested in every way.

[…]

Thus, when Paul was searching for an abatement of the evils that afflicted him and to be released from them, God also said to him: My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Non-believers have said that I took the easy route by becoming a Christian, but they do not understand how much more is demanded of you by Christ compared to a person who is free to satisfy all their worldly desires and pleasures. To deny the world is so difficult that only through God’s grace can you succeed.

If you want a comfortable life, I advise you not to become an Orthodox Christian. Don’t follow what Jesus taught. Don’t follow your conscience when it screams at you. It’s far easier to go along with the secular winds, to gorge yourself on delights, to cheat, scam, fornicate, and lie, but all your gains can only result in spiritual death.

On The Providence Of God was a slim volume that had sound guidance. I look forward to reading more of St. John’s work in the future.

Learn More: On The Providence Of God by St. John Chyrsostom On Amazon

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Noah Nehm
Noah Nehm
2 months ago

I taught a course on the church fathers with a group of Catholic men at work. One of the amazing things about St Chrysostom was his deep reverence for marriage. His sermons on the subject should be required reading for Christians in their marriage preparation.

ISUPK
ISUPK
1 month ago
Reply to  Noah Nehm

You gon marry the modern ho? The so-called Khazar has corrupted nearly every nation in the world with Gloria Steinem. The so-called Khazars rule this world, but one day, the people of Bethlehem will rise up again and G*d will send burning meteors to the [email protected] J*ws and send them back to Hell where they belong.

Christ Pill
Christ Pill
2 months ago

“ To deny the world is so difficult that only through God’s grace can you succeed.”
Great quote.

God knows the past, present, and future. In the Bible, Jesus only wrote in the sand twice in one moment and never again: to me, this signifies two things:
1. he is so present he is capable of storing and retrieving memories at a moment’s notice without needing to write things down to read again later on
2. he had to have this memory in order to not sin

Memory is far more important than most of us realize. It allows us to commit, be honest, and form lasting, worthwhile respect and trust. How do we trust someone whose intentions seem honest but whom forgets their promises to us? How do we love someone if we don’t know what they said or did and what we said or did in the past? Does man’s memory have this same ability? Isn’t a beast just a man without morals, driven by his fear of the future and lack of acknowledgment of his past commitments and sins?

Suggest you read the ancient Judaism writings, they outline laws that allow us to understand history of God’s relationship with man including intent and action and consequences.

The covenant was formed between man and God through Abraham, in two forms: mouth (spiritual) and penis (flesh). If God made a covenant with man, isn’t it important to follow the history of this promise to ensure we are following the agreement? God is the sun and the shield.

Was Jesus’ intention for all of us to constantly sin and repent without a regard for actual sin avoidance, or for us to realize we are restricted by our own minds currently but fully capable of expanding our memories from the moment we find God, to creating our future through God?

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Christ Pill

Hi again Christ Pill. In a few posts back I gave you my email to contact me but perhaps you missed it. I want to learn more about your perspectives. Get in touch! Thanks

truthority (at) protonmail (dot) com

Christ Pill
Christ Pill
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Hi Mark, I’d prefer if you ask questions on the forum – I’d be glad to share my perspective. Our society is focused on justice and peace through mercy, but it’s impossible to reach mercy without the truth. First truth, then mercy, leads to justice and peace. If you have any suggestions on the most way to spread this message, I would be very interested in your insight.

choko
choko
2 months ago

there is much wisdom in these few words. thank you Roosh.

Zachary Deaderick
Zachary Deaderick
2 months ago

Hi roosh I have been studying the bible and I feel out of my conscience I have to warn you that there is indeed a big deception coming. The deception is that we are heading towards the events of revelation when we are actually heading towards the events leading up to the battle Gog and Magog preceding the second resurrection. Christ and his Millennial reign have already expired and we are in Satan’s short season. The so called dark ages never happened and were counterfeited to make it seem like Christ hasn’t come and to make Christians look bad. Whoever comes down from heaven is not Jesus but the devil going forth to deceive the nations. The testaments are supposed to be read together the biblical Exodus happens after the Crucifixion and the books Kings and Judges take place after the second resurrection. I know this may come as a shock but we know they are willing to lie regarding evolution, don’t think for a second they won’t fabricate your entire history if it suits them.

ISUPK
ISUPK
1 month ago

The so-called Khazar man is awaiting his Messiah to bring his one world government.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Don’t bother speaking the truth about spirituality here, you will get ignored and downvoted. Roosh is on point with his political assessments, but clueless about true spirituality, like 99% of people in the world. Their plan will go trough unfortunately, there’s not enough understanding.

Zachary Deaderick
Zachary Deaderick
2 months ago

*proceeding my bad made a typo

Rtalker
Rtalker
2 months ago

I understand why some might feel this way, but I don’t agree at all.

I believe that God wants us to be curious and he delights in our further discoveries of the wonders of his creation.

This doesn’t mean that we have to “second guess” God’s plan. But there is nothing wrong with seeking to better understand it.

I don’t agree that trying to understand God’s plan “makes room for Satan to put doubts in our minds”. I see nothing in the words of Saint John Chrysostom that lead me to that statement.

One of the biggest problems in Christendom is the tendency of people to take the words of the Bible and re-interpret them to fit their own personal goals of the moment. In this case Roosh, is it possible that you personally are feeling uncomfortable with your own “scientific mind” and so you are interpreting this book to justify your pre-existing bias? Using the “difficulty of following an Orthodox faith” as justifying this?

I’m not passing judgment — I do the exact same thing every day! But one must be careful.

Fortunat
Fortunat
2 months ago

Each and every single one of your detractors are just evil miserable marxist miscreants stuck in the western mire of degenerate and hypocritical materialist madness.

Their harrassment is your daily confirmation, an equivalent of God’s grace.

You shall prevail and they shall perish.

Deus vult.

ISUPK
ISUPK
1 month ago
Reply to  Fortunat

Capitalism is a Khazar invention. Are those speculators and wolves down at the NYSE G*d fearing Xians?

Lakisha Jenkins
Lakisha Jenkins
2 months ago

Hi Roosh, I really liked this article and I’m wondering what writings of the early Church Fathers you recommend to read, including homilies and liturgies. I am especially interested in homilies that comment on and interpret the Gospels; I would like to know how the Church Fathers understood them. If you know anything about this subject, please share. Thank you.

Selim
Selim
1 month ago

The writtings of Justin Martyr, the Shepherd of Hermas, the writtings of Irenaeus. I definetely recommend the Martyrdom of Polycarp and Josephus’ writings. Christians are divided on Josephus. Some believe he was a true believer (similar to the Pharissees who believed John 12:42)

Sultan Selim
Sultan Selim
1 month ago

There’s also Athanasius and his defense of the incarnation and eternal nature of the Son and Augustine and the city of God. But remember read the Bible; if Saint Augustine’s writings contradicts the Bible (I’m not saying he has or hasn’t), which should you listen to?

CynthiaWSloss
CynthiaWSloss
2 months ago

Delete

Salocin
Salocin
2 months ago

The present life is a wrestling school, a training ground, an arena, a smelting furnace, a dye house of virtue. Just as leather-dressers, taking the hides, first work them, stretch them, strike them, dash them against walls and stones, and by countless other treatments make them fit to receive the dye—and thus they impart to them a prized color; just as goldsmiths, but putting the gold into the fire, deliver it over to the trial of the furnace, in order to make it exceedingly pure; just as teachers at the wrestling school train the contestants with a great deal of hard work, attacking them more violently than their opponents, so that by exercise their whole bodies will be set aright, and they will be ready for the contests, prepared for the holds of their adversaries, and will easily undo them—so also does God act in the present life.

Beautiful!

ISUPK
ISUPK
1 month ago
Reply to  Salocin

The so-called Khazrs rule this world by impersonating one of the 12 tribes of 1$rael. They are from Turkey and only have 0.01% of the Holy Land DNA due to the Pharisses mixing with the Russians.

Mata
Mata
2 months ago

Poor Roosh, his brain finally gave up.

Augustine
Augustine
1 month ago
Reply to  Mata

No

ISUPK
ISUPK
1 month ago

the white woman is death, spiritually and morally.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Roosh, you’re wrong if you think that life is miserable when lived modestly. Life in Christ is not suffering and feeling uncomfortable, if that’s the case, you have to contemplate what you think that you’re missing on and is it helpful in any way in your journey towards God, which is the point of living. Trying to put on a mask while not truly feeling that the way you’re living is the best way will eventually backfire and cause horrible relapses into old, bad habits, but they will be magnified.

When you come to conclusion that the life you’re living as a Christian, or whatever spiritual practice you choose is the only truthful way to live, then all the hardships disappear and you don’t need anything else.

I’m perfectly comfortable living my life free of alcohol, meat, sex outside marriage, pornography, drugs, partying and all other mainstream distractions from God. I would suffer greatly if I was somehow made to live like the average unconscious machine.

It’s because I am 100% sure that that’s the only way for me to live, I truly and honestly don’t think I’m missing out on anything, but I feel great sadness for most people who live their life asleep, they are dead men walking. I do my best to act as an alarm clock, but it usually doesn’t help.

I find great pleasure in my spiritual practice, contemplating, reading, writing and speaking about God realization, philosophy, spirituality, playing a musical instrument, walking in nature, helping others… As of recent spiritual breakthrough finding great joy in small things, for example drinking a glass of milk after eating a PBJ sandwich produces such feeling of joy that I’m thanking God for the blessing he gave me, however strange that seems. As for marriage and women, I don’t waste my energy on it at all, I’ve left that in God’s hands, pursuing women and sexual arousal is a great waste of subtle energy which is also used for spiritual advancement. Even the married man should limit his sexual relations to once or twice per month, it will keep things interesting and it’s going to be an act of love, not something done out of boredom and as an easy hormonal fix. All this doesn’t mean you should live as some sort of hermit, but you can’t invest yourself too much in the material.

What I’d advise you and everyone else to start doing is to fast as much as you can every day, it’s going to be of immense help to your spiritual practice. Research autophagy, it’s a great for soul and body. Eat and drink only as much as you need.

If you don’t want to do Yoga, you have to channel the energy into prayer, but it’s not something done for 5 minutes, you should pray for at least 45 minutes, but work up to an hour and a half. If you don’t have any energy investment into spiritual practice, it’s going to emerge as sexual desire, thoughts and general nervousness and unrest. This is essential, you can’t expect to approach closer to God without a disciplined, rigorous spiritual practice, just like you can’t expect to be very strong without serious strength training.

I wish you all the best, but you need to confront these doubts, you need to shatter them with your spiritual practice so you can start enjoying life to the fullest, and it’s going to be better than the highest highs you had as a fornicator.

Wish you all the best bud, take care.

Babu baht
Babu baht
1 month ago

So Roosh doing construction work in Alabama eh?

Is he going to be dressed like the guy from the Village People?

Christina
Christina
1 month ago

Love this, and the part that resonated with me the most is “ If you want your Christian faith to be strong, you have to accept that it’s okay not to know all the answers.”

It made me think of a Timothy Keller podcast (whom I highly recommend) where he said what we know compared to Gods holy wisdom is like one drop of water in the ocean. Only God sees the big picture.

“If you want a comfortable life, I advise you not to become an Orthodox Christian. Don’t follow what Jesus taught.” Absolutely. Remember the biggest battle we will ever face is the battle of faith.

There is a cost to following Jesus. When Jesus saw the crowd gathering around him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. His disciples followed Him. What happens next? Jesus immediately brings them into a storm. Jesus knew there would be a storm on the lake. He was testing their faith, would they use it when it is needed?

Jesus says “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Here Jesus isn’t condemning them for not having faith, He’s asking why aren’t they using it? Where is it? Get it out. Use it. And this is what Jesus followers will have to do, what I have to do, every single day, and it’s an honor to do so.