As much as you can, be meek, humble and open, considering yourself as being
genuinely inferior to, more sinful and weaker than, everybody else. Tell
yourself: "Among sinners I am the foremost one." Pomposity and
frigid, insincere behavior towards your neighbors emanates from pride.
Watch attentively for the emergence of pride: it creeps through
inconspicuously, especially when you are aggrieved at someone for the most
If you want to be humble, then regard yourself as deserving of all types of
animosity and slander from others. Do not get irritated when you are reproached
or denigrated. Just say, "May Your will be done, Holy Father."
Remember what the Savior said: "No servant is greater than his master….
If the world hates you keep in mind that it hated Me first" (John
Remember the pronouncements of the Holy Scripture, "Do not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). When
people are rude to you, irritate you, breathe contempt and malice at you, do
not repay them likewise, but be gentle, meek and kind, respectful and loving
towards those very persons that are behaving unworthily before you. If you get
upset and commence to object agitatedly, speak rudely and contemptuously, it
means that you yourself have been overwhelmed by evil and deserving of the
saying: "Physician, heal thyself," or: "And why do you
look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your
own eye?... First remove the plank from your own eye" (Luke 4:23, Mat.
7:3,5). Do not wonder then, if these affronts against you are repeated: in
noticing your weakness, your ill wishers will take advantage of it. Thus, "do
not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
Let the one who has insulted you know that he has not offended you, but only
himself. Feel sorry for him because he is so easily overcome by his passions
and is spiritually ill. The more ill-mannered and irritated he becomes, the
greater the meekness and love should be shown by you. This way, you will
definitely triumph over him. Good is always stronger than evil and is therefore
always victorious. Remember also that we are all frail and easily overcome by
passions. Consequently, be meek and accommodating to those sinning against you.
After all, you too are afflicted with the same condition as your brother.
Forgive the debts of your debtors, so that your Heavenly Father will forgive
you your debts.
An individual that has malice against us is a sick person. He needs a
poultice of love applied to his heart. You need to treat him gently, talk to
him affectionately, and if his rancour has not taken root within him but was
caused by a sudden fit of anger, then watch how his heart will melt from your
love. A Christian has to be wise in order to conquer evil with good.
Although you do not feel like praying for a person that despises you, pray
for that very reason; because of this, hasten to the Healer as you too are
afflicted with malice and pride, just as the one who despises you. Pray, so
that God will teach you benignity and patience, so that He will strengthen your
love — not only for those that wish you well but for your enemies, so that He
may instruct you how to pray for your enemies as earnestly as you do for your
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