...when one is required to believe, there are reasonings which confuse and make havoc of the minds of most men, and it wants a soul of some vigor to shake them thoroughly off... here is need of vigor, and a lofty soul, that takes in things beyond expectation, and stumbles not at appearances. This then he does here also, and shows that it requires a wise mind, and a spirit heavenly (Gr. heaven-reaching) and great... You see that this is a chief characteristic of faith, to leave all the consequences of this lower world, and so to seek for that which is above nature, and to cast out the feebleness of calculation, and so to accept everything from the Power of God.
...For there is no need to say, he means, that one must go up to heaven, or cross a great sea, and then receive the commandments, but things so great and grand has God made of easy access to us. And what means the phrase, 'The Word is near you?' (Rom. 10:8) That is: It is easy. For in your mind and in your tongue is your salvation. There is no long journey to go, no seas to sail over, no mountains to pass, to get saved. But if you be not minded to cross so much as the threshold, you may even while you sit at home be saved. For in your mouth and in your heart is the source of salvation.
...But there is nothing worse than vainglory... What then can be more wasteful than this? What more disgraceful, or more offensive? For that this disorder is a wasteful one is plain from the people who spend to no purpose whatsoever on theatres, horse-races, and other such irrelevant expenditures: from those that build the fine and expensive houses, and fit up everything in a useless style of extravagance, on which I must not enter in this discourse. But that a person diseased in this way must needs be extravagant, and expensive, and rapacious, and covetous, anybody can see.
...From this mischief also irregular loves are conceived. For there are many whom it is not the beauty of the appearance, nor the desire of lying with her, but the wish to boast that 'I have made conquest of such an one,' has even drawn into adultery. And why need I mention the other mischiefs that spring of this? For I had rather be long the slave of ten thousand savages, than of vanity once. For even they do not put such commands upon their captives, as this vice lays upon its votaries. Because it says, Be thou every one's slave, be he nobler or be he lower than yourself. Despise your soul, neglect virtue, laugh at freedom, immolate your salvation, and if you do any good thing, do it not to please God, but to display it to the many, that for these things you may even lose your crown. And if you give alms, or if you fast, undergo the pains, but take care to lose the gain. What can be more cruel than these commands?
...look to God continually, and be content with glory from Him; and if you find the passion tickling you, and stirring you to tell your well-doings to your fellow-servants, bethink yourself next, that after telling them you gain nothing. Quench the absurd desire, and say to your soul, Lo, you have been so long big with your own well-doings to tell them, and you have not had the courage to keep them to yourself, but hast blabbed them out to all. What good then have you gotten from this? None at all, but loss to the utmost, and avoidance of all that had been gathered together with much labor.
...For if in every art you look to the workmen in it to be judges of it, how come you to trust the proving of virtue to the many, and not most of all to Him Who knows it more surely then any, and is best able to applaud and to crown it?
-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 17 on Romans