Saturday, July 12, 2014

Brilliant

"The gift of speech was also given to us that we might understand one another, not through instinct, like the dumb animals, but through intellect. Thus we verbally [or on the internet/blogs?] express our ideas, which are abundantly and clearly opened to us by our God-enlightened mind, the source of thought and word, in order that we might conduct intelligent, mutual, brotherly conversation on the aim of daily life and its regulation, for mutual edification and benefit, in support and consolation of each other, and the like. It was not given to us that we might talk idly; or judge, slander, and condemn our neighbors, pronouncing judgments on them like unmerciful judges and torturers rather than considering ourselves as their brothers, weak and sinful as they, if not still worse. Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest, says the Apostle, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? (Rom. 2:1, 3) He that ... judgeth his brother, says another Apostle, ...judgeth the law; but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge (James 4:11). And what great evil results from empty and idle conversations and gossip! Sometimes one heedlessly spoken word causes a whole storm of unpleasantness and fills the heart of the one referred to with indignation and hatred. So even a word that was not ill-intentioned, one we counted as nothing, can strike a mortal sin, just as a small spark often turns into a great fire burning whole villages. How great a matter a little fire kindleth, says the Apostle James. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things (cf. James 3:5); it is a fire, a world of iniquity:... it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell (James 3:6). The tongue is an untamable evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God and therewith curse we men, which are after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing an d cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be! Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (James 3:8-11) Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge ... let him show this out of his works, through good conduct, and not by condemning others. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth (i.e., don't consider yourself wise). This is not the wisdom that descends from above, but is earthly ... devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work (cf. James 3:13-16). Behold the harm from all our idle talk and gossip!"

-St. John of Kronstadt

Hat tip: Ad Orientem blog

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