My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord and Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior Jesus Christ,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
FEAR EVIL LIKE FIRE
by Saint John of Kronstadt
Fear evil like fire. Do not let it touch your heart even if it seems just or righteous. No matter what the circumstances, do not let it come into you. Evil is always evil. Sometimes evil presents itself as an endeavor to God's glory, or as something with good intentions towards your neighbor. Even in these cases, do not trust this feeling. It is wrong labor and is not filled with wisdom. Instead, work on chasing evil from yourself.
Evil, however innocent it looks, offends God's long-suffering love, which is His foremost glory. Judas betrayed his Lord for thirty silver pieces under the guise of helping the poor. Keep in mind that the enemy continuously seeks your death and attacks more fiercely when you are not alert. His evil is endless. Do not let self-esteem and the love of material goods win you over. When you feel anger against someone, believe with your whole heart that it is a result of the devil's work in your heart. Try to hate the devil and his deeds and it will leave you. Do not admit it as a part of yourself and don't justify it. I know this from experience. The devil hides himself behind our souls and we blindly think we are acting by ourselves. Then we defend the devil's work as something that is a part of us. Sometimes we think that anger is a fair reaction to something bad. However, the idea that a passion could ever be fair is a total and deadly lie. When someone is angry at you, remember that this evil feeling is in him. He is just fooled by the devil and is a suffering instrument in his hand. Pray that the enemy leaves him and that God opens his spiritual eyes, which have been darkened by the evil spirit. Pray to God for all people enslaved by passions because the enemy is acting in their hearts.
Perhaps you hate your neighbor, despise him, and do not want to talk to him peacefully and lovingly because he has been rude, arrogant, or disgusting in his speech or manners. You may despise him for being full of himself or proud or disrespectful. However, you are to blame more than he is. "Physician, heal yourself!" (St. Luke 4:23). Therefore, teacher, teach yourself. This kind of anger is worse than any other evil. How could evil be chased out by other evil? How can you take a needle from the eye of another person while having a log in your own? Evil defects must be fixed with love, kindness, resignation, and patience. Admit yourself as the worst of all sinners, and believe it. Consider yourself the worst one, chase away any boldness, anger, impatience, and fury; you may start helping others. Be indulgent about the defects of others, because if you see their faults all the time, there will be continuous enmity. "The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows" (Psalm 129:3). "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you" (St. Matthew 6:14).
We can feel from time to time the most perfect love for God without loving each other. This is a strange thing, and only a few care about it. However, love for our neighbor will never come without our own effort. A real Christian does not have any reason to be angry about anybody. Anger is the devil's deed. A Christian should have only love inside and since love does not boast, he should not boast or have any bad thoughts towards others. For example, I must not think about another person that he is evil, proud, etc.; and I must not think that if I forgive his offense he would laugh at me or upset me again. We must not let evil hide in us under any pretense. Evil and anger usually have many different veils. Do not yield to gloomy feelings in your heart but control and eradicate them with the power of faith and the light of the same mind. These strengths will make you feel secure. "Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You" (Psalm 25:20).
Gloomy feelings usually develop deep in the heart. Someone who has not learned how to control them will be gloomy and pensive most of the time and it will be hard for him to deal with himself and other people. When they come close to you, sustain yourself with inner strength, happiness and innocent jokes: and they will leave you alone. This is from experience.
Lord, give me strength to love everyone like myself and never to get angry or work for the devil. Give me the strength to crucify my self-esteem, my pride, my greed, my skepticism and other passions. Let us have a name: a mutual love. Let us not worry about anything. Be the Only God of our hearts, and let us desire nothing except You. Let us live always in unifying love and let us hate anything that separates us from each other and from love. So be it! So be it! If God showed Himself to us and lives inside us as we in Him (according to His eternal Logos/Word), would He not give us everything? Would He ever trick us or leave us? "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all---how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Now be comforted, my dear, and know nothing but love. "These things I command you, that you love one another" (Saint John 15:17). (Source: Orthodox Heritage)
"Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul, and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent." (Saint Anthony the Great)
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape Our Resurrected Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God