Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, October 26, 2012

On blame, discernment and love

In the realm of the Spirit of God all things are different. Here one justifies all things in the behavior of others.  Everything!  What have we said?  Christ sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  I say that you are to blame, even if you tell me that he or she is the one at fault.  In the final analysis you are to blame in some respect and you will discover in what respect you are at fault when I tell you that you are to blame.  You should acquire this sense of discrimination in your life.  Inquire more deeply into everything and don’t regard things superficially.  If we don’t go to Christ, if we don’t endure patiently when we suffer unjustly, we will be tormented continually.   The secret is to deal with situations in a spiritual way.  St. Symeon the New Theologian writes in a similar vein:   

‘We need to regard all of the faithful as one and think that each of them is Christ.  We need to have such love for each individual that we are ready to sacrifice our very life for him.  Because we ought never to say or think that any person is evil, but rather to regard all as good.  And if you see a brother troubled by passions, do not hate him.  Hate rather the passions that are assailing him.  And if you see that he is being tormented by desires and habits from former sins, have even greater compassion on him, lest you also fall into temptation, since you are made of matter that easily turns from good to evil.  Love for your brother prepares you to love God more   Accordingly, the secret of love for God is love for your brother.  Because if you don’t love your brother whom you see, how can you possibly love God whom you don’t see?  He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?’ 

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