The Shepherd, October 2007
FROM THE FATHERS
“I WOULD REGARD this good gift [of his mother, St Monica - ed.] as a minor matter had I not had sad experience of uncountable numbers of people who, infected by a widely diffused sinful contagion, not only report the words angry enemies use about each other but even add words which were never spoken. On the contrary, it should be regarded as a matter of common humanity not to stir up enmities between people, not to increase them by malicious talk, even if one lacks the resolve to try and extinguish them by speaking generously.”
Blessed Augustine of Hippo, + 430 A.D.
“HASTY and severe judges of the sins of their neighbour fall into this passion because they have not yet attained to a thorough and constant remembrance and concern for their own sins.… This is one of the marks by which we can recognize spiteful and slanderous people: they are piteously plunged in the spirit of hatred; and with pleasure and without a qualm, they slander the teaching or affairs or achievements of their neighbour.”
Venerable John of the Ladder, + 603 A.D.
“DO NOT, because of your hidden resentment, adulterate your usual praise of your brother in your conversations with the other brethren, surreptitiously intermingling your words with [references to his] shortcomings and with condemnation. Instead, make use of unmixed praise and genuinely pray for him, as if you were praying for yourself, and thus you will quickly be delivered from this destructive hatred.”
Venerable Maximus the Confessor, + 662 A.D.