The universal church celebrates the feast of the saint and doctor of the church St. John Chrysostom on the 14th of September every year. St. John was given the title ‘Chrysostom’ meaning ‘golden mouth’ for his evangelisation and preaching. St. John was a staunch preacher of austerity and spoke against the abuse of wealth.

His life story and preaching revolve around the renunciation of materialistic pleasures. He spoke against extravagant lifestyles which was frowned upon by the authorities and brought upon him their wrath. He taught in his sermons to ‘prefer godly sorrows over worldly joys’. A life of simplicity and austerity is the lesson we should try to imbibe on this feast day of St. John Chrysostom. In the mad rush of today’s consumerist world behind money, luxuries and other materialistic pleasures, austerity is an important teaching of the church we often fail to remember and practice.

St. John Chrysostom said that happiness can be achieved only by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude. Let us remember that true happiness and peace will be found not in worldly things and materialism but in spirituality and God.