Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Homily 51


I thought I would start off the New Year on a high note by quoting from St. Isaac the Syrian.  The problem with doing this, however, is finding a place to stop.   Here is a selection from Homily 51:

Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life and there is no mention of it in Christ's teaching.  Rejoice with the joyous and weep with those who weep, for this is the sign of limpid purity.  Suffer with those who are ill and mourn with sinners; with those who repent, rejoice.  Be every man's friend, but in your mind remain alone.  Be a partaker in the sufferings of all men, but keep your body distant from all.  Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even men who live very wickedly.  Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him.  And if you cannot take upon yourself his sins and receive his chastisement in his stead, then at least patiently suffer his shame and do not disgrace him.  Do not strive with men for the sake of the belly.   And do not hate for the sake of honour.  and do not find pleasure in judging....If you cannot be still within your heart, then at least make still your tongue.  If you cannot give right ordering to your thoughts, at least give right ordering to your senses.  If you cannot be solitary in your mind, at least be solitary in your body.  If you cannot labour with your body, at least be afflicted in mind.  If you cannot keep your vigil standing, keep vigil sitting on your pallet, or lying down.  If you cannot fast for two days at a time, at least fast till evening.  And if you cannot fast until evening, then at least keep yourself from satiety.  If you are not holy in your heart, at least be holy in body.  If you do not mourn in your heart, at least cover your face with mourning.  If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner.  If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker.  If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard.  If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished.  If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him in this.

Know that if fire goes forth from you and consumes other men, God will demand from your hands the souls which your fire has burned.  And if you yourself do not put forth the fire, but are in agreement with him who does, and are pleased by it, in the judgement you will be reckoned as his accomplice.  If you love gentleness, be peaceful.  If you are deemed worthy of peace, you will rejoice at all times.  Seeks understanding, not gold.  Clothe yourself with humility, not fine linen.  Gain peace, not a kingdom.

1 comment:

Bill M said...

Well, I guess that's my To Do list for the year. :)

Thanks for posting this...