St. John Chrysostom:
"I want to start again on my usual instruction and set the spiritual table before you; but I hesitate and draw back, seeing that you have gathered no fruit from my continual teaching. When a farmer has sowed the seeds with a generous hand in the bosom of the earth, and sees that the yield is not worthy of his efforts, he does not undertake the work with the same willingness for the hope of the harvest always relieves the burden of the effort. In the same way we also would easily have borne this great effort of teaching, if we knew that something greater were being produced by our advice for your benefit. But as it is, when we see that after so much exhortation, counsel, and rebuke from us (for we have not ceased reminding you of the terrible court, the inexorable judgments, that unquenchable fire, and the undying worm) some of those who listen to this (for I do not condemn all of you, far from it), have forgotten everything and surrendered themselves again to the satanic spectacle of the races, with what expectation shall we undertake the same efforts after this and set this spiritual teaching before them? We see that they have gathered no more fruit from it; but simply following some habit, they applaud what we say, show us that they receive our words with pleasure, and afterwords run back to the race-course. They give greater applause to the charioteers and show an uncontrollable frenzy. They rush together with great excitement and often wrangle with one another, saying that one horse ran badly, another was tripped and fell. One person attaches himself to one charioteer, another to the other. They have no thought or memory of our words, nor of the spiritual and awesome mysteries which are celebrated here; but like captives in the snares of the devil they spend the whole day there, surrendering themselves to the satanic spectacle, and shaming themselves before the Jews, the pagans, and those who wish to ridicule us.
Who would be able to endure this without pain, even if he were stony-hearted and insensible, not to mention us who are eager to demonstrate our paternal love towards you all? This is not the only thing which grieves us, that you reveal our toil as fruitless; but we are even more affected when we consider that those who do these things are bringing more severe condemnation on themselves. We expect the reward of our efforts from the Master, for we have done all our part, we have invested our silver, we have distributed the talent entrusted to us, and we have omitted nothing of the tasks which came to us. But as for those who received this spiritual silver, what excuse will they have, tell me, what pardon, when not only the principal is required of them but also the interest? With what eyes will they look on the Judge? How will they endure that terrible day, those unbearable punishments? They cannot plead ignorance, can they? Every day we resound in their ears, we exhort them, we urge them, we show them the destructiveness of their delusion, the greatness of the harm, the treachery of Satan's assembly; and even so we have not been able to reach them.
And why do I speak of that terrible day? Let us train them just for the present life. How, tell me, will those who have shared in the spectacle of Satan be able with confidence to attend here, while their conscience rises up against them and cries out with a loud voice? Or do these people not hear the blessed Paul, the teacher of the world, when he says, "What fellowship has light with darkness . . . or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" What condemnation would it not deserve, when the believer who enjoys both the prayers and awesome mysteries which are celebrated here and the spiritual instruction, after the end of the service here, goes out and sits in that satanic spectacle with the unbeliever-he who has been illuminated by the light of the Sun of righteousness, with him who wanders in the darkness of impiety? How, tell me, after this will we be able to silence the pagans or the Jews? How will we be able to attract them, how will we persuade them to come over and enroll themselves in piety, when they see those who are enrolled with us mixed up with them at those deadly shows which are filled with all kinds of corruption? Why, tell me, after attending here, cleansing your thoughts, and leading your mind to sobriety, and compunction, do you go back there and defile yourself? Or do you not hear the voice of a wise man who says, "When one builds and another tears down, what do they gain but toil?" This is what is happening now. When you go back there and tear down all at once what we have built up here by our continual instruction and spiritual exhortation, and you raze it (so to speak) to the foundation, what use is there of our demonstrating the elements of the building again from the beginning, and in your going through the purification again? Would this not be the greatest madness and senselessness? Tell me, if you saw someone doing this kind of thing in these material buildings which are made with stones, would you not look upon him as a madman who toils haphazardly and vainly, and spends everything to no purpose? You must think the same way about this spiritual building, and cast the same vote in this case."
he goes on for a few more pages but my fingers hurt and i need to sleep for work tomorrow.
St. John Chrysostom, On wealth and poverty. Seventh sermon