Some of the most inspiring orthodox saint quotes about being catholic come from the ascetic and monastic saints. While most of this spiritual counsel was lost to the ages, we can still find some of it written down. Whether we are struggling with faith or feeling lost, there is encouragement to be found in the words of these spiritual leaders.
St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom was an early Catholic reformer who preached by word and example. He played the role of a prophet and suffered for his convictions. During his turbulent ministry as a bishop, he suffered personal vilification. The suffering was a necessary price for his honesty and courage. In many ways, his teachings are relevant even today.
A charismatic leader, he deposed corrupt bishops and made a reputation for himself as a strong and courageous preacher. He advocated sharing the wealth with the poor and taught that private property had been created by God after Adam’s fall. He also preached marital fidelity for both sexes and said that there should be no double standards in justice or charity.
Some of St. John Chrysostom’s quotes about being a Catholic address the issues of the sacraments. He teaches that if a man believes in Christ and commits a sin after baptism, he is not condemned by God. Furthermore, he teaches that it is unnecessary for a man to attend a sacrament like Confession.
St. Ambrose was a Roman orthodox saint who lived in 379. He was an evangelist and wrote many books, including “On the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church.” Among other things, he was known for his zeal for the faith and for helping people find God. He also prayed for the protection of the churches.
While Ambrose was a good preacher, his most famous quote is, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This quote has a modern idiom, “When in Rome, do as the Italians do.” Ambrose emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers, rejected excessive legalism, and supported personal faith. In this way, he influenced a young Christian named Augustine.
Ambrose’s life was full of struggles, including the persecution of Christians in the Middle Ages. He served as the bishop of Milan from 374 to 397. Despite this, he was a passionate Christian who fought fiercely for the Christian faith against paganism. His prolific writings include De officiis ministrarum, which is an ethical commentary on the role of bishops.
The orthodox Church has always had its boundaries and has been very clear about who belongs and who does not. She confesses that those who are in union with her are included and everyone else is an outsider. Those who do not belong to the Church are heretics, pagans, and grave sinners. This is why even a simple priest knows who is acceptable to receive the Holy Cup.
This teaching is rooted in the Church’s doctrine about visible unity. St. Cyprian’s teachings are in opposition to invisible-church ecclesiology, which reduces separation from the Church to heresy or apostasy. He states that separation from the visible unity of the Church can only occur when a person is separated from the Magisterium.
As St. Cyprian writes, “The unity of the episcopate is the visible Church.” This is not to say that a person must reject their faith; rather, he should seek to maintain the visible communion of the Church and abide by its teachings.
In his book, Saint Evodus addresses the problems of the Catholic Church and its leaders. The Catholic Church teaches all the doctrines of the Christian faith and brings the whole race under godliness. In the Catholic Church, all sins are dealt with in the right way and all the forms of virtue are found.
The House of God in Jerusalem is a figure of the universal church. It is built through the grace of the king of peace. The universal church is on pilgrimage from the king of peace on earth to heaven. It has escaped from the hardships of its sojourn, but still is on the journey of salvation. Eventually, the universal church will reign with the king of peace in heaven.
St. Evodus also talks about the importance of images in the Church. He condemns the use of idols and urges his friends to replace them with sacred images. Moreover, he says that Catholics and Orthodox churches have the same principles about veneration of icons, even if their beliefs may differ.