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“Apart from humility of heart, God desires mercy and peace from us. That is the sacrifice God asks of us. But to offer this, we must acknowledge first that we have fallen short of God’s mercy and peace. We must turn to God in repentance, put aside all hatred and animosity, all pride and injustice, and be reconciled with one another. For we cannot offer mercy and peace if we have none.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“The temptation towards hatred is very great and we often give in to it when it concerns our neighbor. In fact, there are some people who are so deluded that they boast about this animosity. We should know, though, that if we retain enmity towards our neighbor, in word or deed, then we can’t say even the Lord’s Prayer to God. How can we say to God ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors’? Wouldn’t we be lying to God? And worse than that, we’d become a plaything of the demons.” (Monk Arsenios)

“I think that when we confront God, we find ourselves on an edge. As it says in Hebrews, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31). It is not that the living God holds any animosity towards us, or that He intends us any harm. But the Light and the Truth that radiate from Him require light and truth to be present in the one who beholds Him. If we have no light and truth then His presence reveals within us the darkness and the lies that are present.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“It is important to consider that the call to peace is not passive, it is not merely 'being' peaceful. It is a call to action, a call to be makers of peace. I cannot do better than to quote St. John of Kronstadt on this matter. He tells us we must "become peacemakers to our neighbors.". . .this is precisely what they are appointed to do." In any disagreements, no matter what the reason, insult, unfairness, encroachment on our rights or property, we must do all in our power to end it and reconcile. This may involve sacrificing "our property, or our honor, or our precedence." This extends to reconciling those whether "in church, society and family" who have animosity between themselves.” (Fr. George Morelli)

“We are called upon to love all, not just family and friends. Christ repeatedly charges us to love our enemies. Pretty strong stuff, but “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Grace, Love, Communion. This image and likeness calls us to be in communion with His creation around us. We must love and respect our neighbor. We should not isolate ourselves from those around us. Harboring anger and animosity break our communion with our fellow man. Gossiping and spreading untruths are not acts of communion. Just as there are no divisions within the Trinity, there should be no divisions amongst us, who share His image and likeness. When someone offends us, we must work to forgive, as he or she is as much a child of God as we.” (Al Fragola)


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