One must behave affectionately toward oneís
neighbors, not showing even a hint of offense. When we turn away from a person
or offend him, it is as if a rock settles on our heart. One must try to cheer
the spirit of an embarrassed or dejected person with words of love.
When you see a brother sinning, cover him, as
counseled by St. Isaac the Syrian: "Stretch out your vestment over the
sinner and cover him."
In our relations with our neighbors we must be
equally pure towards everyone in word as well as in thought; otherwise we will
make our life useless. We must love others no less than ourselves, in
accordance with the law of the Lord: "Thou shalt love ... thy neighbour
as thyself" (Lk. 10:27). But not so much that our love for others, by
extending past the boundaries of moderation, diverts us from fulfilling the
first and main law of love towards God, as our Lord Jesus Christ himself
taught: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of
me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me"
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