Tag Archives: Neighbor

St. Simeon: When a man rellay considers his neighbor as himself, he will never tolerate having more than his neighbor. . . .

Icon of St. Symeon the New Theologian“When a man really considers his neighbor as himself, he will never tolerate having more than his neighbor. If he does have more, but refuses to share things generously until he himself becomes as poor as his neighbor, then he will find that he has not fulfilled the commandment of the master. He no longer wants to give to all who ask, and instead turns away from someone who asks of him while she still has a penny or a crust of bread. He has not treated his neighbor as he would like to be treated by him. In fact, even if a man had given food and drink and clothes to all the poor, even the least, and had done everything else for them, he has only to despise or neglect a single one and it will be reckoned as if he had passed by Christ and God and He was hungry and thirsty.”

— St. Simeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters

St. Dorotheos of Gaza: There is the case of a man minding his own business . . .

Icon of St. Dorotheos of Gaza“There is the case of a man minding his own business, sitting at peace and quiet; and when a brother comes up and says an annoying word to him, he is put out by it. And from the circumstances he thinks that he is justifiably angered, and he speaks against the one who troubled him, saying, ‘If he had not come and spoken to me and annoyed me I should not have been at fault.’ This is a delusion: this is false reasoning! It was not the one who spoke that put him in a bad mood. He only showed that it already existed in him; so that he could, if he chose, make reparation for his fault. But the man referred to above is like clean-looking winter wheat, externally good and ready to use; but when someone crushes it, its corruption is revealed. He was sitting at peace but he had this anger inside him and he did not know it. One word to him from the other and the corruption hidden inside him leapt out.”

— St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: You write how things are difficult for the world . . .

Icon of St. Nikolai Velimirovich“You write how things are difficult for the world, and yet the world knows not why. If the world does not know, the Church of God does. Things are difficult in the world because people are not brethren. Kinship between individuals and nations as been forgotten and people act towards their neighbors as towards strangers in a foreign land… Christ said, All ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8)…because you have one Father who is in Heaven, and you will remain brethren as long as you confess your one Father…”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Maximus the Confessor: If we detect any trace of hatred in our hearts . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“If we detect any trace of hatred in our hearts against any man whatsoever for committing any fault, we are utterly estranged from love for God, since love for God absolutely precludes us from hating any man.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 1.15, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. Augustine: Believe that others are better than you . . .

Icon of St. Augustine of Hippo“Believe that others are better than you in the depths of their soul, although outwardly you may appear better than they.”

— St. Augustine

St. Silouan the Athonite: The Lord wants us to love one another . . .

Icon of St. Silouan the Athonite“The Lord wants us to love one another. Here is freedom: in love for God and neighbor. In this freedom, there is equality. In earthly orders, there may not be equality, but this is not important for the soul. Not everyone can be a king, not everyone a patriarch or a boss. But in any position it is possible to love God and to please Him, and only this is important. And whoever loves God more on earth will be in greater glory in His Kingdom.”

+ St. Silouan the Athonite, Wisdom from Mount Athos: The Writings of Staretz Silouan, 1866-1938, VI.23

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk: Do we forgive our neighbours their trespasses? . . .

Icon of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk“Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbours, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness or unforgiveness of your sins, then, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how serious it is.”

— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven: Counsels on the Particular Duties of Every Christian

St. Maximos the Confessor: He who has genuinely renounced wordly things . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“He who has genuinely renounced worldly things, and lovingly and sincerely serves his neighbor, is soon set free from every passion and made a partaker of God’s love and knowledge.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 1.27, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. Dorotheos of Gaza: The more one is united to his neighbor . . .

Icon of St. Dorotheos of Gaza“The more one is united to his neighbor the more he is united to God.”

–St. Dorotheos of Gaza

St. Isaac the Syrian: If you are truly merciful . . .

Icon of St. Isaac the Syrian“If you are truly merciful, then when what is yours is unjustly taken, don’t be sad inside, and do not tell of our loss to your neighbor. Let a better loss, inflicted by those who insult you, be absorbed by your mercy”

— St. Isaac the Syrian, Homilies, 58