St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain (July 12)
The Good God, endures us lovingly without ridiculing anyone, even though, as the Beholder of hearts, He knows our pitiful state well. The same thing applies to Saints who never insulted a sinful person in the presence of others, but with love, spiritual nobility, and in a hidden way, helped in the correction of the evil. We, notwithstanding the fact that we are sinners, do the opposite (like hypocrites).
Only a man possessed by a demon is justified to mock people in the presence of others and tell them about their past (inasmuch as the demon has rights, of course), in order to make weak souls falter. The unclean spirit, naturally, does not reveal people’s virtues, but only their weaknesses. Those who are liberated from their passions, however, since they no longer possess wickedness, correct the evil by their kindness. If sometimes they see a little uncleanness that is not easily cleaned, they cover it up with a plate, so that others who might see will not be disgusted by it. Those, on the contrary, who reinvestigate the rubbish, resemble scavengers…
An honest and straightforward person is neither he who speaks the truth to your face nor he who publicizes it, but rather he who has love, lives a true life, and speaks with discernment, when he should, saying the right word at the right time.
Those who admonish others without discernment are spiritually darkened and hardened and haplessly view people as lifeless logs. And, although they hack at them unmercifully, and the people suffer, they rejoice over the “rectangle” they’ve made out of their lifeless logs (cubism!).
Sweet words and great truths have value when they come out of truthful mouths and find a place within good-intentioned souls and those great people who have pure minds.
Of greater value is one word of a humble man who has spiritual experience, coming with pain from the bottom of his heart, than a whole array of learned words from a superficial man, coming with great speed from his learned tongue. His tongue does not enlighten souls for it is fleshly and not that fiery tongue of Holy Pentecost…
O Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly blessings;
O Lord, send down Thy grace to help me, that I may glorify Thy holy Name;
O Lord Jesus Christ, inscribe me, Thy servant, in the Book of Life, and grant me a blessed end;
O Lord, implant in me the root of all blessings: the fear of Thee in my heart;
Amen. (Prayers of St. John Chrysostom )