On Earth We Are to Rejoice Always

“For Paul was speaking to men still living in this life when he said: ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.’ But in this life there are diseases, insults, untimely deaths, false accusations, envious acts, and many reasons to grow despondent. Here we find anger, evil lusts, countless treacheries, daily anxieties. On earth we encounter a constant succession of evils which bring sufferings on us from every side. Yet Paul said to men still living here on earth that we could rejoice always if we would lift our heads a little above the surging waves of everyday affairs and keep our lives under good control. But after we depart this life, it is a far easier thing to obtain this blessing. Then, all these troubles have been take away and there are no diseases, no sufferings, no grounds for sinning. Then, those cold-hearted words ‘what’s mine’ and ‘what’s yours’ no longer exist to bring every dread evil into our lives and to cause countless conflicts.” (St. John Chrysostom – d. 407AD, Incomprehensible Nature of God, pp. 165-166)