Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

our_neighbor

38 Entries

If you accept people for God’s sake, then you can believe that everyone will be good to you. REF:St. Ambrose of Optina (+1891)



No Christian man or woman should strive only for his own self how to be saved, but he should also strive for others also, so that they are not damned. St Kosmas Aitolos

Try to remember that all real Christian work is local-right here and now, between myself and God and my neighbor. REF:Fr Seraphim Rose, "Letters"

"The law of grace directly teaches those who are led by it to imitate God Himself. For it is permitted to speak in this way despite the fact that because of sin we were His enemies.

God loved us so much more than Himself that, although He is beyond every being, He entered without changing into our being, supra-essentially took on human nature, became man and, wishing to reveal Himself as a man among men, did not refuse to make His own the penalty we pay.

And as in His providence He became man, so He deified us by grace, in this way teaching us not only to cleave to one another naturally and to love others spiritually as ourselves, but also, like God, to be more concerned for others than for ourselves, and as proof of our love for each other readily to choose, as virtue enjoins, to die for others. For as Scripture tells us, there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend" (cf. John 15: 13). Philokalia, Vol. 2, "Fifth Century on Various Texts," No. 12



Abba Isaiah said, "When someone wishes to render evil for evil, he can injure his brother's soul by a mere gesture, like a single nod of the head." The Desert Fathers

Abba John the Dwarf said, "A house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the top." They said to him, "What does this saying mean?" He said, "The foundation is our neighbor, whom we must win, and that is the place to begin. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this one." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers," (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), pp. 89-95

Do not ask for love from your neighbor, for if you ask and he does not respond, you will be troubled. Instead show your love for your neighbor and you will be at rest, and so will bring your neighbor to love. St. Dorotheos of Gaza

Do you wish to be known by God? Try as much as possible to be less known to men. If you will always remember that God is the Seer of all you do with soul or body, you will not sin in any action, and will have God as your Companion. Abba Evagrius, Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 113 - 114.

He who loves the Lord has first loved his brother, because the second is a proof of the first. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

He who says that he loves the Lord but is angry with his brother is like a man who dreams that he is running. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

It is useless to accuse those around us and those who live with us of somehow interfering with or being an impediment to our salvation and spiritual perfection… Spiritual or emotional dissatisfaction comes from within ourselves, from inexperience and from poorly conceived opinions we do not want to abandon, but which bring on doubt, embarrassment, and misunderstanding. All of this tires and burdens us, and brings us to a sorry state. We would do well to comprehend the Holy Fathers’ simple advice: If we will humble ourselves, we will find tranquility anywhere, without having to mentally wander about many other places, where we might have the same, or even worse, experiences. Counsels of the Venerable Elder St. Amvrossy of Optina

It is useless to accuse those around us and those who live with us of somehow interfering with or being an impediment to our salvation and spiritual perfection… Spiritual or emotional dissatisfaction comes from within ourselves, from inexperience and from poorly conceived opinions we do not want to abandon, but which bring on doubt, embarrassment, and misunderstanding. All of this tires and burdens us, and brings us to a sorry state. We would do well to comprehend the Holy Fathers’ simple advice: If we will humble ourselves, we will find tranquility anywhere, without having to mentally wander about many other places, where we might have the same, or even worse, experiences. Spiritual Counsels of Holy Elder Amvrossy of Optina
http://www.stjohndc.org/Fathers/0010d.htm


Let us, then, speak here about Christian love which enfolds within its embrace and holds not only our own relatives, brothers, friends, and acquaintances, but all men, and most of all those that are of the household of faith and brethren according to the Christian spirit. Two fruits of this love are explained here; first, to do evil to no one; and second, to show mercy and compassion to a neighbor in need. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven

Meekness consists in praying calmly and sincerely for a neighbor when he causes many turmoils. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 24: On Meekness, Simplicity, and Guilelessness Which Come Not From Nature but From Conscious Effort, and About Guile

One who loves his neighbor can never tolerate slanderers, but rather runs from them as from fire. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

One who wants to be saved must remember, must never forget, the Apostolic commandment: “Carry one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the Law of Christ.” This commandment is of great significance; one we must first and foremost strive to obey. Counsels of the Venerable Elder St. Amvrossy of Optina

One who wants to be saved must remember, must never forget, the Apostolic commandment: “Carry one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the Law of Christ.” This commandment is of great significance; one we must first and foremost strive to obey. Spiritual Counsels of Holy Elder Amvrossy of Optina
http://www.stjohndc.org/Fathers/0010d.htm


Remember that the Lord is in every Christian. When your neighbor comes to you, always have great respect for him, because the Lord is in him, and often expresses His will through him. ' It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure' (Phil. 2:13).

Therefore, do not grudge anything to your brother, but do unto him as unto the Lord; especially as you do not know in whom the Lord will come and visit you; be impartial to all, be kind to all, sincere and hospitable. Remember that sometimes God speaks even through unbelievers, or disposes their hearts towards us, as it happened in Egypt when the Lord gave Joseph favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. (Gen. 39:21). St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ: Part 1, Holy Trinity Monastery pgs. 74-75)



Render all honor to every man, especially to the Christian, because of the fact that God deigned to receive human nature into the closest union with His Divinity, so that He became God-man. Therefore, looking upon any man, think, `The Lord Himself was in every respect similar to this man, excepting sin'; and if you know, or see, that he does not know this truth of the incarnation of the Son of God, and is leading an unworthy life, then teach and guide him. Also love every man as you do yourself, because he is another you, and is therefore called your neighbor in God's commandments: `Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbors.' St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

The priest of Nitria asked him how the brethren ought to live. He replied, “With much labor, guarding their consciences towards their neighbor.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

When you hear that your neighbor or friend has abused you behind your back or even to your face, then show love and praise him. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 22: On the Many Forms of Vainglory

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

He that loves Me, says the Lord, will keep My Commandments; and 'this is My commandment, that you love one another.' He therefore who does not love his neighbor does not keep the commandment. Nor is he that does not keep the commandment able to love the Lord. St. Maximos the Confessor

In everything, therefore, man needs to pray and ask for God's help and cooperation. To 'Do good to your neighbor' is a fruit of love.The person who has the fear of the Lord and prays to God apparently helps only himself and since very virtue is fulfilled through love of the neighbor. Abba Dorotheos, Letter Six, Practical Teaching on the Christian Life.

One day St. Epiphanius sent someone to Abba Hilarion with this request, "Come, and let us see one another before we depart from the body." When he came, they rejoiced in each other's company. During their meal, they were brought a fowl. Epiphanius took it and gave it to Hilarion. Then Abba Hilarion said to him, "Forgive me, but since I received the habit I have not eaten meat that has been killed." Then the bishop answered, "Since I took the habit, I have not allowed anyone to go to sleep with a complaint against me, and I have not gone to rest with a complaint against anyone." The old man replied, "Forgive me, your way of life is better than mine." The Desert Fathers

One who wants to be saved must remember, must never forget, the Apostolic commandment: 'Carry one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the Law of Christ.' This commandment is of great significance; one we must first and foremost strive to obey. Elder Amvrossy of Optina.

John the Short said, "A house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the top." They said to him, "What does this saying mean?" He said, "The foundation is our neighbor, whom we must win, and that is the place to begin. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this alone." The Desert Fathers

Behave to your neighbor with a perfect heart - that is, truthfully and with the same love as you would have for your own self, so that your neighbor, on his part, may love you in return; and even if he does not love you, he will at least respect in your virtue, will honor it, and will himself emulate it. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ.

Stop pleasing yourself and you will not hate your brother. REF:St Maximus the Confessor

No Christian man or woman should strive only for his own self how to be saved, but he should also strive for others also, so that they are not damned. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

101 . It is good to help enquirers with words; but it is better to co-operate with them through prayer and the practice of virtue. For he who through these offers himself to God, helps his neighbor through helping himself. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

132. Do not say that a dispassionate man cannot suffer affliction; for even if he does not suffer on his own account, he is under a liability to do so for his neighbor. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

137. Rejoice, not when you do good to someone, but when you endure without rancor the hostility that follows. For just as night follows day, so acts of malice follow acts of kindness. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

Whereas we receive benefactions from God every minute, we ourselves don’t benefactor even once our neighbor. REF:Saint Basil the Great

In our neighbor’s advantage is our own advantage. Let us be charitable to our neighbor for us ourselves to receive charity. REF:Saint John Chrysostom





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