Do you see, brethren, what evils are caused by sitting down and recounting fables? Do you see how myths give rise to blasphemy against Christ and the Faith? And you are the cause of this the golden pen of St. John writes: “We are the cause of this blasphemy, since we have no desire to 50 For this reason, desist, I beseech you, my brother Christians, desist, for the love of God, from reading books with mythological content; turn away from reciting or hearing the abominable and fallacious myths of the pagans. For the wise Sirach says that the man who tells myths is odious and tiresome and has no grace, and that myths are uttered by the mouths not of educated, wise, and prudent men, but of crude, uneducated, and witless men: “An ungracious man is like an unseasonable tale, which is continually on the lips of the ignorant.”51 Strive rather to study and read the Holy Gospel, the Apostolos,52 the teaching of the Christian Faith, and other soul-profiting books of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers, for in the scrutiny of these lies knowledge of the truth, eternal life, spiritual delight, and salvation. As the Lord said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life.”53 Always recount these and be keen to hear them, in Church, at home, on the streets, in the workplace—indoors, outdoors, and everywhere. For in truth, it is a grave embarrassment and absurdity, according to the Divine Chrysostomos, for a physician, a weaver, a tailor, or a shoemaker, or, in a word, any tradesman to have expert knowledge of his trade and to be able to answer questions about it, but for a Christian not to know how to answer questions about his Faith:
For it is indeed absurd that a physician, or shoemaker, or weaver, or, in short, any tradesman should be able to offer a precise account of his metier, while a Christian says that he cannot provide a reason for his faith.54
—St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite ~ Christian Morality
___50 “Homily xvn on St. John,” §3, Patrologia Grceca, Vol. Lix, col. 112. 51 Ecclesiasticus 20:19. 52I.e., the Epistle lectionary—trans. 53St. John 5:39. 54 “Homily xvn on St. John,” §3, Patrologia Grceca, Vol. Lix, col. 112.