The brother asked Abba Pimen: "If I see my brother's sin, is it useful to hide this sin?" The elder said to him: "When we cover the sins of the brethren, God covers our sins, when we discover the sins of the brother, then God will reveal our sins" . The Monk Pimen the Great (82, 337).
Do not incline your ears to hear evil about your neighbor; be a friend of people and acquire life (82, 25).
My children, there is no wickedness that would be higher than that wickedness, when a man inflicts sorrow to his neighbor and raises himself above his neighbor (82, 26).
If a brother comes to you and reveals his thoughts to you, beware, do not tell anyone, but pray for your brother and for yourself so that you both are freed from the influence of sin. Rev. Anthony the Great (82, 29-30).
Deliver your brother from sin, and the Lord will deliver you on the Day of Wrath. Rev. Ephraim the Syrian (25, 205).
When you see that your brother is dying, do not stop admonishing him. And even though he vilified you, even insulted, even threatened to become your enemy or threatened by anything else, everything is transferred bravely to achieve his salvation. If he becomes your enemy, then God will be your friend and will reward you on the day of the Last Judgment with great blessings. The great good is to sympathize with the poor, but there is no other such as to be delivered from error, because there is nothing equivalent to the soul, even the world does not all stand for it (46, 25).
When you need to fix a brother, do not give up, even if you had to sacrifice your life. Our lord died for us, and you do not want to say a word to save your brother? What kind of forgiveness will you have, what kind of an apology? How dare you come before the Judgment Seat of Christ, if you indifferently looked at the death of the soul ... if you saw your brother, dragged ... by the devil to destruction, and did not want to give even advice to take him away from this cruel beast? (46, 522).
We will try to have care of our soul and love for each other. We will not reject our sick members from ourselves - this is typical of the insane and insane, but the worse we find their situation, the more we will show concern for them. Even if they suffered from incurable diseases (souls), we will tirelessly care for their healing and bear the burdens of each other to fulfill the law of Christ and reach the promised blessings. St. John Chrysostom (42, 458).
Some of the elders came to Abba Pimen and said to him: "If we see a brother slumbering in church, do you tell him to wake him so that he does not doze off during the vigil?" He said to them: "As for me, if I see my brother slumbering, I will put his head on my knees and comfort him. " Reverend Pimen the Great (82, 333).
One brother fell into a grievous sin. He came to Abba Ammoy and said to him: "I have fallen into such a sin and do not have the strength to repent; I leave the monastery and go to the world. " The elder persuaded his brother to remain in the monastery, in monasticism, promising to take upon himself the work of repentance in his sin before God. Taking upon himself the sin of his brother, the elder began to bring repentance in this sin. Only one day he was in repentance, as a revelation from God followed, that sin was forgiven to a brother for the sake of the love of the elder (82, 65).
Two brothers, monks, came to a neighboring town to sell their work for a whole year, and stopped at the hotel. After selling the needlework, one went to buy what was needed for them, and the other stayed in the hotel and, at the suggestion of the devil, fell into fornication. My brother came back and said: "We are stocked with everything we need, we can go to the cell." The remaining brother answered him: "I can not go back." When the brother began to entreat him, he confessed his sin to him. The brother, wanting to buy and save the soul of his brother, said to him with an oath: "And I, having separated from you, similarly fell into fornication, but we will return to the cell and bring repentance. To God everything is possible: He can grant us forgiveness for repentance and deliver from the torment in eternal fire, where there will be no place for repentance. " They returned to their cell. Then they went to the holy fathers, fell at their feet and, shedding abundant tears, confessed to them the fall they had been subjected to. The holy elders instructed them to do penance and gave commandments, which they performed carefully. The brother who did not sin, brought repentance for the sinner, for the great love that he had for him. The Lord looked at the feat of love: He revealed to the holy fathers a secret and announced that for the love of someone who did not sin, but has made himself a work of repentance for the salvation of his brother, forgiveness has been granted to the sinner. Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov) (82, 446-447).
It is one thing not to mourn and not be angry with dishonor, slander, temptation, and another - to wish them and to thank them when they happen. It's one thing to pray to God for those who cause it, the other to forgive and the third to capture the face of each of them in the mind and kiss them dispassionately, like sincere friends, with tears of pure love, so that there is absolutely no sign on the soul insults or passions. It is even more said when someone at the very time of temptation has the same disposition and to those who reproach him or slander him, and to all others who either condemn him or despise him, put him in nothing, or spit in face, also to those who pretend to be friends, but act secretly against him, and this is not hidden from him, but he knows it. From this again, the highest and most perfect without comparison is, it seems to me, if a person completely forgets the temptation that has undergone, and never remembers those who saddened him ... but treats them as his friends, without any distinction. .. All this is the work and perfection of husbands walking in the light. Those who feel that they are far from such orders and rules of life, let them not deceive themselves and deceive themselves, but they know for certain that they walk in darkness. Reverend Simeon the New Theologian (61, 400).
That none of you should think, brethren, that we humans can not imitate the Lord in loving our enemies - although He "suffered for us, leaving us an example so that we could follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2, 21 ), - look at Stefan, our co-worker. He was a man like us, in lawlessness conceived and born in sin, as we are, at the same cost of the Savior's blood redeemed. He was a deacon, he read the holy Gospel and the commandment about love for enemies not only knew, but also fulfilled. When the Jews stoned him, he, "kneeling down, cried with a loud voice:" Lord! do not imput the sin of this. " They stoned him, and he prayed; they pursued him with fury, and he imitated Christ with Meek; they were blinded by malice, and he contemplated "the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7, 55-60).
And in order to see how effective the prayer of the holy martyr Stephen is, let us turn to the young man named Savl, at the feet of which the murderers laid down their clothes, when they stoned Stephen. Steregushchy clothes killing Stefan and approving of his murder, he as if the hands of all the murderers beat the martyr. And after this young man, "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord," he asked the elders for himself the Jewish message, so that everyone he found, men and women, bound to bring to Jerusalem for torture and torment. "As he walked and approached Damascus, suddenly his light shone from the sky. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me? He said: Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." It's hard for you to go against the horns "(Acts 9, 1-5). It should have been a long time to have exterminated you from the ground, but Stefan prayed for you. Then the one who fell with malice got up with faith; he fell like a wolf, but got up like a lamb; the persecutor of the Church of God fell; the preacher rose up. I will say more clearly: the son of perdition fell, the chosen vessel got up; Saul fell down, Paul got up. And if St Stephen did not pray in this way, then the Church, perhaps, would not have now Paul. Therefore Paul got up from the earth, that Stephen, who knelt on the earth, was heard. Blessed Augustine (114, 237).
Love loves all, good and evil do not exclude from their favor and goodwill, in which it imitates Heavenly Father, "for He commands His sun to rise above evil and good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous" (Mt. 5, 45). He is likened to the sun, which lights up, and warms the blasphemers and praising him; likened to a prolific tree, which both its master and the stranger nourishes its fruits; it is likened to a fountain, which water and cleanse and purify it; like a horse that carries and nursing it, And beating; is likened to the earth, which, both to those who cultivate it and spits on it, gives its fruits. This is the nature of love. She does not look at faces, does not understand the rank and relationship, proximity and range, liking and dislike; does not ask who this person is, who needs the fruit of his love, a brother or not a brother, a relative or not a relative, a foreigner or a foreigner, a friend or an enemy, good or bad. To each she bestows her warmth, who wants and demands it; he to her and her own, who are poor; there it closely approaches, where a need. Disaster and human need, as a relationship to her, and it attracts to itself (104, 1009). It is not worthy of a Christian to love only those who love him; so do the Gentiles who do not know the True God and do not accept Christ, as the Lord says: "If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do the publicans do the same? if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing? Do not the Gentiles do the same? "(Matthew 5, 46-47). Christians must excel in the love of the Gentiles and exercise perfection. As Christians are reborn by holy Baptism and renewed to the Eternal and new holy Life, not only friends, but also their enemies, should love. This is the true Christian soul (104, 1011-1012).
"It is impossible for me to love enemies and do good to them." Not true. Perhaps it was David, who cried for his dead enemies Saule and Absalom. Crying about the death of enemies is a clear sign of love for enemies (2Price 1; and 18, 19, 1-4). Perhaps it was St. Stephen, who, for his enemies, who were stoning him, prayed: "Lord! do not imput the sin of this "(Acts 7, 60). Maybe it was all the saints, so maybe you. You are a man, and they were people, you are weak, and they had the same infirmity (104, 1015).
Enmity and malice in your enemy are worthy of hatred, as a devilish affair, and he himself, since man and the creation of God, like you, of the same kind, nature, is worthy of love. Rush to his hatred, not to himself; and drive his malice, which, like a cold fire, is expelled by love and benevolence, and so - or its best to do, or, if not, you will be better (104, 1017-1018).
Who loves not only friends, but also enemies, that shows that they are "children of God's beloved" (Eph. 5, 1). Prelate Tikhon Zadonsky (104, 1020).
"Love your enemies" (Matthew 5, 44). Do not think, my listener, that I repeat these words about those enemies who are at war with our Christian fatherland and who are at war with our pious faith. I am not talking about those enemies who are to be hated as God-forgiven, according to the word of David: "Shall I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and do not abhor those who rise up against you?" With complete hatred I hate them: they are my enemies "(Psalm 138, 21-22). Those not only can not be loved, but even necessary to act as a war against them, believing their souls for the Christian kingdom and for the integrity of the Church. At one time the ungodly question was asked by the holy Christian philosopher Constantine, who was named Cyril. The Saracens said: "If Christ is your God, why do not you do as He tells you? After all, He commands you to pray for enemies, do good to those who hate you, turn your cheek to the batterer; you are doing the wrong thing, but doing the very opposite. You sharpen the weapon on those who do this to you, go out to fight and kill. " Blessed Constantine answered: "If in any law two commandments are written and will be given for execution to people, what kind of person will be a true guardian: the one who will make one commandment, or the one who is both?" He was told: "That is better , which will fulfill both commandments. " Then the philosopher replied: "Christ our God, who commanded us to pray for those who offended and to bless them, told us the following:" There is no more love than that one lay down his life for his friends "(John 15, 13). In each individual case, we tolerate the wrongs inflicted on us; in general, we are defending each other, believing our souls so that you, captivating our brothers, would not be captivated with bodies and their souls, inclined them to their god-forgiving deeds " (103, 482-483).
So, to a man, as already said, it is natural and natural that he does not love his enemies and aspires to take revenge on them. Since it is natural for a person not to love his enemies, his love for them will already be a phenomenon of the supernatural, and all that is supernatural is wonderful. It is completely consistent that anyone who loves his enemy is a miracle worker, for he, by conquering and transcending his natural nature, achieves an unnatural virtue.
What miracles does such a miracle worker do? We will see. He who loves his enemy and does good to him enlightens the blind, the blind not with his body, but with his mind. The blindness of the mind is madness, just as the blindness of the body is the darkening of the eyes. Nothing diminishes our intelligent eyes with insanity like anger and fury. It is not for nothing that the Ecclesiastes admonishes: "Do not be quickened by your spirit to anger, because anger nests in the heart of fools" (7, 9). He said this as if the following: where you see an angry rage, there is a house of insanity. Arguing about this, Saint Cassian says: "An angry man does without reason, for the light of reason darkens if the mind is confused by anger." St. Gregory also broadcasts: "When anger brings to mind the darkness of embarrassment. God takes away the ray of His knowledge, and how blind he does not know where he is going, and having spiritual eyes, darkened by angry embarrassment, like a madman does not know what he is doing. "
Greedful, seeing that the one to whom he is angry, not only does not get angry with each other, but even shows special love and conquers evil with good, ceases to be angry and ashamed of himself, knowing his sin and the innocence of the other. So it was between the angry Saul and the gentle David. The willing can read about this in the First Book of Kings, I will start my virtue with a miracle.
If anyone has any enemy who is angry and vainly furious at him, he, loving his enemy and benefiting him, turns him from a foe into a friend and from angry to loving, this enlightens the blind. He takes from that clever eyes that insane obsession and makes him seer and knoweth his sin, knowing that he is angry with the innocent. So, he who loves his enemy is a miracle worker, who enlightens the blind (103, 484-485).
He who loves his enemy translates into the silence the agitated sea, for the angry man is called [by St. John Chrysostom] a sea, indignant with the winds. Like a fermenting sea, all the corpses in it are thrown out to the dry land, and the angry one in his fury takes out all the secrets of his friend, like the corpses, mows them in front of his eyes, denounces and dishonours. Who will calm this sea? Only one who will destroy the cause of excitement. The sea does not worry if the winds and storm do not rise. The stormy wind will cease, and the excitement of the sea will disappear. If the angry husband, according to Zlatoust, has a sea perturbed by the winds, then these winds, disturbing the sea, are wrangling, quarreling and disobedience. Stop quarreling and quarrels, leave behind the resistance, take away the excitement of excitement - and you will see the sea, the excitement of which subsided. Since he who loves his enemy does not contradict, does not quarrel, does not resist, and thereby destroys the cause of the excitement of the mysterious sea of his illness, then, therefore, he who loves his enemy is a miracle worker who turns the sea into silence (103, 485-486).
A gentle and quiet husband, who does not give rise to anger, not only does not ignite the fire of hostility, but also burnt it out, according to Chrysostom: "There is nothing stronger than meekness." As water extinguishes the fire, so the word, spoken with meekness, extinguishes the soul, burning with anger, stronger than the fiery furnace. To fall asleep to the angry and fading and to move away from his eyes means to scatter the burning firewood away from each other, so that each log will be extinguished. That is why the apostle teaches: "Give place to wrath" (Rom. 12, 19), that is, condescend, give way, move away a little from an angry face. St. Basil the Great, asking what it means: "Give room to anger," answers: "Do not resist evil, or so: when they pursue you in this city, flee to another."
Likewise, St. Gregory says: "The best we correct the wrathful are that, at the moment of indignation with their anger, we evade them." Saint Ambrose says: "The weapon of the righteous man is to conquer, yielding, just as the skilled in shooting have the habit of fleeing, more wounding those who persecute them." Since he who loves his enemy extinguishes the fierce fire of his wrath with silent mildness, as with water, and with indulgence as the scattering of burning matter, then, therefore, he is a miracle-worker, extinguishing the power of fire (103, 486).
He who loves his enemy casts out the demon out of a man, for everyone who is angry, warring against his brother and vindictively furious is like a demoniac and truly demoniac. St. Chrysostom recalls what he himself saw with his eyes: someone who was angry, furious, and from that excessive rage he became demoniac. Also, the ancient doctor Galen recalls how he had seen with his eyes during his childhood, that a man tried to open the door of the room with a key as soon as possible, but he could not do it with great haste. Long turning the key to and fro and not being able to open, he was so furious with anger that he began to bite his teeth with his teeth and strongly push the doors with his feet, and then in a frenzy he fell and began to grow numb and foam. Seeing this, the youth Galen has laid down to himself the law never to be angry and not to grow furious. A Hungarian chronicler recalls this in 1690. The prince of Hungary, by the name of Matthew Corvius, on the feast day of the Lord's Entry into Jerusalem, ordered to bring him fresh figurines delivered from Italy. When they were not there, for the domestic servants secretly ate them, he was so furious that immediately his apoplexy overtook him; He fell to the ground like a demoniac, and died, making terrible screams. Do you hear how angry rage leads a person? Until deathly rape. Perfectly Eliphaz, the friend of Job, said: "A fool kills anger" (Job 5, 2). Verily, an angry person is like a demoniac: he is scary, he changes his eyes, swells his face, screams in a terrible voice, bites his lips or fingers, grinds his teeth; all households are afraid of him, like a demoniac, run away from him and hide. Who and what can drive out this anger?
Since he who loves his enemy submits to him with mildness and humble meekness, and, agreeing with him, as a string tuning to another string, publishes the sweet music of humble words, considering himself as a sinner as he and his enemy deem, he so humiliated destroys the wrath of the enemy, saying: "I'm guilty", and thus drives away from him an angry rage. And this means that the one who loves his enemy is a miracle worker who casts out an evil spirit from man (103, 488-489).
Let us ask the holy Apostle Paul, what does he think of that stone bread, the love of his enemies? In his apostolic book, he says of himself: "From the Jews five times I was given forty blows without one; three times I was beaten with sticks, once I was stoned with stones "(2 Corporation 11, 24-25). Verily, this bread is cruel, sticks and stones are unpleasant. What do you say, holy Paul, under those sticks, under those stones? "I tell the truth in Christ, I do not lie, my conscience testifies to me in the Holy Spirit (do not be afraid, holy apostle, we will believe you and without a boon), that great sorrow for me and unceasing torment to my heart ..." How not to mourn ? After all, they beat them with sticks and are stoned. "No," he says, "I do not grieve and suffer because I'm stoned." - So what about? "The very ones who beat me." I grieve that they are losing their salvation, that they go to hell, and I would like to go to hell for them, if only they were to be saved: "I would myself be excommunicated from Christ for my brothers, my relatives flesh, that is, the Israelites "(Rome 9, 1-4). Let's listen to Pavlov's words, let us listen to his supreme love for his enemies: he is not terrified of being separated from Christ and going to hell, so long as the persecuting and beating Israelis do not perish! A little raised his voice to the holy Apostle Paul for these words, St. John Chrysostom: "O Paul! Do you pray that you should be excommunicated from the Christ of your beloved, with whom neither the kingdom, nor the Gehenna, nor the visible, nor the intelligible, nor anything else tore you apart? What happened to you? Have not you fallen? Has not the former love destroyed? "And again, Chrysostom on behalf of Paul answers himself:" No, he says, do not be afraid: I not only did not destroy my former love for Christ, but even more showed it " (103, 493-494).
When David left Absalom, a simple peasant from Jerusalem, by the name of Semey, purposely went ahead and began to scold him with his annoying words: "Go away, go, killer and wicked!" And besides, he also threw stones at him. It is not a bitter bitter for the king of Israel to tolerate such insults from a simple peasant, but David says: this is the cup of salvation, if I drink it, I will be saved: I will take it and drink it. David drinks, looks at the bottom of the cup, at the last times, And sees the future in the spirit, like the present: he sees Christ, your Savior, nailed to the Cross: poured with vinegar and bile, Passing the same, they slander him, taunt him: "Destroying the temple and in three Day Creator! save yourself "(Matthew 27, 40). Seeing this, David says: This is my Lord, who will suffer for the salvation of the whole world; I will drink the cup of my suffering in his name: "I will take the cup of salvation, and I will call upon the name of the Lord" (Psalm 115, 4).
One of the servants of David, seeing such dishonor done to Shimei the king, said: "Why does this dead dog slander my lord the king?" I'll go and take off his head. " But David forbade: "Leave him, let him slander" (2Tar 16, 5-13), expressing this as it were: do not prevent me from drinking the cup of salvation; as I began it, so let it end, I will empty it in the name of the Lord to the bottom.
We will pay attention to the fact that David, being a layman, and not a monk, a king and not a commoner, drank a cup of patience, a cup of disappointment, a cup of reproaches, a cup of persecution, a cup of disasters and sorrows, a cup that truly brings salvation, as evidenced by The Gospel: "He who endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24, 13) (103, 497).
Once the prophet Isaiah saw the "Lord sitting high and exalted on the throne," and the Seraphim around him heard Him say: "Whom shall I send? and who will go for us? "(to the Israelites). The saint Isaiah dared and said: "Here I am, send me. And he said, Go and tell this people: by hearing you will hear, and you will not understand, etc. (Isaiah 6, 1, 8-9). Saint Isaiah, sent by God to the people of Israel, went. I look at him and see that he is carrying a cup in his hand with some kind of drink. It seems to me that this is God who granted the people to Israel and sent them a cup of fine drink from His meal as a sign of His mercy. Isaiah came with that cup first to the land of Zabulon and Naphtali (Isaiah 9, I) and cried: "... first, exhale, the land of Zabulon and Naphtali." But here I see the most awful wormwood bitterness, for it is written like this: "And here is grief and darkness, thick darkness" (Isaiah 8, 22). This before long soon be expired, the country of Eavulon and the land of Naphtali! Thank you, holy prophet, for what you are doing; you are told to drink "grief and darkness, thick darkness" - What is the power of this drink? What is the secret of these words? Let's look at the bottom and listen to what the prophet says after that: "A people walking in darkness will see a great light; on the living in the land of the shadow of death, the light shines forth. You will increase the people, increase their joy. He shall rejoice before Thee, as they rejoice in the harvest season, as rejoice in the division of the prey "(Isaiah 9, 2-3). Let's look at the strength of the bitter wormwood drink. You will drink. says, darkness, and you will see the light; you will drink sorrow, but you will find gladness; you will drink mischief, but you will receive joy; you will drink cramped, but you will find yourself in the open air; you will drink bitterness, but be filled with sweetness; With tears you sow, but with joy you reap the fruits of your hands. There is no time to interpret these prophetic words historically; spiritually they say so: the cup of misfortunes and sorrows, which God infuses our foes and tells us to drink, is bitter, but if we drink it for the love of God, patiently and loving our enemies, then it will turn for us into eternal sweetness and bring eternal health to our souls. So let us love our enemies and endure them. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (103, 497-498).
"Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who afflict you and persecute you" (Matthew 5, 44). Without love, there is no one in the world: they love their parents and relatives, they love benefactors and patrons. But the feeling of love for parents, relatives, patrons and benefactors naturally and is built by itself in the heart, that's why the Lord does not give it to her. True Christian love is tested by attitude towards enemies. Not only does an easy and accidental nuisance should not extinguish our love for others, but even attack and persecution, disasters and privations caused by intentional hostility. We should not only bless these people, but also to bless them and pray for them. Look, is there such an arrangement in you for your enemies, and so judge, is there any Christian love in you, without which there is no salvation? Bishop Theophan the Recluse (107, 162).