Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Give Evil No Place


It’s worth reminding ourselves, as we do periodically, that we must avoid the blindness that comes and delusion that precedes belittling and ridiculing our brother. For all such offenses, we ask forgiveness. And to any who are caught by the demon that inspires these things, we say “save yourselves, and pray for us, so we can be saved.” We may disagree, indeed must disagree at times, but we are not enemies.

Let us leave off all forms of saying to our brothers “raca”, which in modern parlance is translated: fool, idiot, moron, simpleton, bone-head, dolt, loser, human waste, excrement, or any number of other attributions. But let us give the demon speaking such words through our lips no place, and speak of the limitless value of our brother and only of our own failings. In this way is the Evil One defeated and cast out.

“For this reason it is very beneficial for a person to think of himself as smaller than all, so that he sees the brother as better, in order that he may, with the help of God, be delivered from this evil. ” – Elder Ephraim of Philotheou

In every personal failing we see in another, let us turn the finger around and point it at ourselves. Then people will listen when we speak of real concerns about the directions of our religious communities, and will not confuse this with personal insults. But, as it is, we accept as true all things that people say of our character – that we are silly, angry people, filled with passions. In this way, we will deprive the enemy, too, of power.

If we have to criticize, and we do, and that is what this site is for, it is a criticism of those things which deprive us of salvation, and is not meant to undermine anyone’s view of another person, though we are sure we fail to communicate this at times, and to show sufficient love to our detractors. Pray for us; we cannot walk this delicate path without your prayers.

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April 15, 2008 - Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This is a post that was thought-provoking and gave joy to my heart. For the things which deprive us of salvation are many. And the Western rite brethren in our family are real flesh-and-blood people who receive the Body and Blood of Christ from the same chalice. They struggle with temptations, they pour forth prayers of thanksgiving. They confess their sins and receive the Holy Spirit. They struggle with misbehaving children and fiery darts and sluggishness and the hurt caused by the words, “But you’re not really Orthodox,” and having been handed that grenade they struggle with the temptation to hand it off to others. They intercede for us. Let us above all love them and accept them in our hearts as brethren and sistren. Then afterwards we may discuss matters of secondary importance. Besides, honey catches more brethren than vinegar, and I’ve got a few good stories about that. But time is up.

    Comment by hieromonachusaidanus | April 16, 2008 | Reply


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