Tag Archives: Slander

St. John Chrysostom: For the value of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices . . .

Icon of St. John ChrysostomFor the value of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works! Is it said by what kind of works? If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see in enemy, be reconciled to him! If you see a friend gaining honour, envy him not! If you see a handsome woman, pass her by! For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing from running to the unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy themselves with strange beauties. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if this be such as is unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast; and upsets the whole safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be among things the most absurd to abstain from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to touch even what is forbidden.

Do you not eat flesh? Feed not upon lasciviousness by means of the eyes. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speakings and calumnies. ‘You shall not receive a false report,’ it says. Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes; and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbour. Because of this Paul utters the fearful saying, ‘If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another.’ [Galatians 5:15]

+ St. John Chrysostom, Homily 3,  On the Statues

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St. Maximus the Confessor: Inasmuch as you pray with all your soul for the one who has slandered you . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“To the extent that you pray with all your soul for the person who slanders you, God will make the truth known to those who have been scandalized by the slander. ”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 4.89, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. Maximus the Confessor: A soul that is nurtured by hatred toward man . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“The deiform soul cannot nurse hatred against a man and yet be at peace with God, the giver of the commandments. ‘For’, He says, ‘if you do not forgive men their faults, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your faults’ (cf. Matt. 6:14-15). If your brother does not wish to live peaceably with you, nevertheless guard yourself against hatred, praying for him sincerely and not abusing him to anybody.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 4.35, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

Prayer to the Holy Guardian Angel

Icon of Guardian Angel“Holy Angel of Christ, I fall down and pray to thee, my holy Guardian, given me from holy Baptism for the protection of my sinful body and soul. By my laziness and bad habits, I have angered thy most pure light, and have driven thee away from me by all my shameful deeds, lies, slanders, envy, condemnation, scorn, disobedience, brotherly-hatred, grudges, love of money, adultery, anger, meanness, greed, excess, talkativeness, negative and evil thoughts, proud ways, dissolute madness, having self-will in all the desires of the flesh.

O my evil will, which even the dumb animals do not follow! How canst thou look at me or approach me who am like a stinking dog? With what eyes, O Angel of Christ, wilt thou look at me so badly snared in evil deeds? How can I ask forgiveness for my bitter, evil and wicked deeds, into which I fall every day and night, and every hour? But I fall down and pray, O my holy Guardian: pity me, thy sinful and unworthy servant (Name). Be my helper and protector against my wicked enemy, by thy holy prayers, and make me a partaker of the Kingdom of God with all the Saints, always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.”Book Jordanville Prayer Book

— From the Jordanville Prayerbook

St. Maximos the Confessor: You should know that you have been greatly benefited . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“You should know that you have been greatly benefited when you have suffered deeply because of some insult or indignity; for by means of the indignity self-esteem has been driven out of you.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 1.30, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. John of Kronstadt: Let others mock at you . . .

Photo of St. John of Kronstadt“Let others mock at you, oppose you, when you are under the influence of any passion; do not be in the least offended with those who mock at or oppose you, for they do you good; crucify your self-love and acknowledge the wrong, the error of your heart.

But have the deepest pity for those who mock at words and works of faith and piety, of righteousness; for those who oppose the good which you are doing, or which you wish to instill into others.

God preserve you from getting exasperated with them, for they are deserving of pity and tears. Glory to Thee, Lord, my Savior, for having delivered me at my prayer from the tyranny of the passions!”

— St. John of Kronstadt

St. John Climicus: If you want to overcome the spirit of slander . . .

Pic St Catherine Sinai Demon TormentHe who wants to overcome the spirit of slander, should not ascribe the blame to the person who falls, but to the demon who suggests it. For no one really wants to sin against God, even though we do all sin without being forced to do so.”

+ St. John Climicus, Step 10.5, Ladder of Divine Ascent

St. Anthony the Great: What is slander? . . .

Icon of St. Anthony the Great“What is slander? It is every sort of wicked word we would dare not speak in front of the person whom we are complaining about.”

— St. Anthony the Great

St. Isaac the Syrian: If you cannot be merciful . . .

Icon of St. Isaac the Syrian“If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him in this.”

— St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk: Let thy mind fast from vain thoughts . . .

Icon of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk“Let thy mind fast from vain thoughts; let thy memory fast from remembering evil; let thy will fast from evil desire; let thine eyes fast from bad sights: turn away thine eyes that thou mayest not see vanity; let thine ears fast from vile songs and slanderous whispers; let thy tongue fast from slander, condemnation, blasphemy, falsehood, deception, foul language and every idle and rotten word; let thy hands fast from killing and from stealing another’s goods; let thy legs fast from going to evil deeds: Turn away from evil, and do good.”

— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk