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“We observe how the Lord often focuses attention on our disdain for one another. We encounter this common attitude in ourselves every day…the Lord teaches that such disdain puts us “in danger of hell fire” (Mt 5:22). Whenever there is antipathy, disdain, or anger in our hearts, reconciliation with God is our foremost need, followed by reconciliation with our brother (vss. 23-26).” (Dynamis 6/7/2023)

“A man who is commanded to love his neighbor as himself should do so . . . for his entire lifetime . . . A man who loves his neighbor as himself cannot allow himself to possess anything more than his neighbor; so that if he has more and does not distribute them without envy . . . he does not fulfill our Lord’s command exactly. If he who possesses . . . disdains even one who does not . . . he will still be regarded as one who has disdained Christ our Lord. His words, “you have done it unto Me,” are not limited only to those to whom we have been unkind, or whom we have wronged, or whose possessions we have taken, or whom we have harmed, but include also those whom we have disdained.—This latter alone is sufficient for our condemnation for, in disdaining them, we have disdained Christ Himself.” (St. Simeon the New Theologian)

“Because we can disdain others merely by a look, according to the Fathers. The perfect victory over thoughts of anger is to pray for the person who has provoked them, as Abba Dorotheos advises when he says: “God, help my brother, and through his prayers have mercy upon me, sinner that I am. Because to pray for other people means love and affection, and to ask for their prayers means humility”. We should even do them good, as far as we can, because then we’ll be carrying out the commandment of God that says: “Love your enemies… do well to those who hate you and pray for those who trouble you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).” (St. Nil of Sorskij)

“We need to keep beginning, to keep going on new journeys, to keep seeking out the Spirit of Peace. Doing so will always earn disdain from the world, but we should remember that even those who heap disdain upon us are themselves hurting. They do that because they are in pain and are trying to get rid of their pain. The best thing we can do for them is to stand before God and to ask Him who we truly are, to be real before Him, not to define others, but only to define ourselves. And in remaining connected with those around us, our change will offer them the same opportunity.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“Our task is to love America… And that love, if it is to be truly Christian…, must arise from the context of a deep humility, presenting Christ not unto judgment or condemnation, but unto the healing of the soul and body of America—unto its sanctification, transfiguration, and eternal salvation—and our own…You cannot save what you do not love. And to love all requires total humility. Christ comes in love to all, because despite His moral, ethical, liturgical, theological, spiritual, and ascetical perfection, He condemns none except those whose formal religious status or conceit tempts them to disdain others. Christ alone has every reason and right to critique, judge, and condemn us all, for He, as Perfect Man, has succeeded where we have all failed. His holiness, His sanctity, His perfection are manifest in meekness, self-emptying, in humility.” (Fr. Michael Oleksa)


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