Don't Fall Asleep During the Sermon

Chysostom has no sympathy for those who begin to fall asleep and not pay attention to the sermon. Toward the end of his sermon on John 1:1 he says:

What, then, are these things[1]? I realize that many of you have become listless of the length of my sermon. This happens when the soul is sluggish because of its numerous temporal cares…When it (the soul) is pure and has no troublesome passion, it perceives exceedingly clearly whatever it ought to perceive; but when, made turbid by many passions, it utterly loses its virtue, it cannot easily be satisfied with spiritual things but quickly grows weary and falls back. Giving way to sleep and sloth, it takes no heed of the things pertaining to virtue and of the quite different life belonging to it, and does not approach it with any readiness.

Homily 2 (John 1:1) in St. Chrysostom Homilies on the Gospel of St. John


  1. In this context “these things” are the attacks from secular philosophy on questioning who God is.  ↩