Friday, August 1, 2014
'Οταν ο άνθρωπος πεθάνει εν μετανοία και οδεύει προς τον Παράδεισο, τότε είναι σαν να βρίσκεται μέσα σ' ένα λεωφορείο και απ' έξω τα σκυλιά (=τελώνια) τρέχουν και γαυγίζουν, χωρίς να τον ενοχλούν στο ταξίδι του, αλλά ούτε και να τον καθυστερούν.
Why do we judge our neighbors? Because we are not trying to get to know ourselves. Someone busy trying to understand himself has no time to notice the shortcomings of others. Judge yourself — and you will stop judging others. Judge a poor deed, but do not judge the doer. It is necessary to consider yourself the most sinful of all, and to forgive your neighbor every poor deed. One must hate only the devil, who tempted him. It can happen that someone might appear to be doing something bad to us, but in reality, because of the doer's good intentions, it is a good deed. Besides, the door of penitence is always open, and it is not known who will enter it sooner — you, "the judge," or the one judged by you.
St. Seraphim of Sarov
We should not despair when we struggle but see no progress, remaining continuously at zero. All people earn zeros with their human strength, some more and some less. Christ, seeing our small human effort, places the number one before our zeros, and thus they acquire value and we can detect some improvement. Thus, we must not despair, but hope in God.