The Hungry and Thirsty

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.  [Mt. 5:6]

 Saint Chrysostom: “What kind of righteousness? He means either the whole of virtue or that part of it which is against covetousness.” [Ib., P.G. 57:189 (col. 227).]
 Saint Gregory of Nyssa: “If the Logos calls blessed the hunger of those who desire righteousness, He includes in this every other form of virtue, such as fortitude, or temperance….None of the things that are coveted in this life for the sake of pleasure will satisfy those who run after them….Therefore we learn from the Lord this sublime doctrine that the only truly and solidly existing thing is our zeal for virtue….As for those who waste their lives in absurd lusts, even if their soul should constantly be occupied with licentiousness, yet it will not always be able to enjoy it. For satiety stops the greed of the glutton, and the drinker’s pleasure is quenched at the same time as his thirst. These all require a certain interval of time to rekindle the desire for the delights, which enjoyment carried to satiety has caused to flag.
      “The possession of virtue on the other hand, where it is once firmly established, is neither circumscribed by time nor limited by satiety. It always offers its disciples the ever-fresh experience of the fullness of its own delights. Therefore God the Logos promises to those who hunger for these things that they shall be filled.” [Ib., Sermon 4, 18:125-127.]

 (The Orthodox New Testament, Volume 1, Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado)

 

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