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A. From the Gerontikon

A brother once visited Abba Poimen; as they were sitting with some other people, the visitor praised a certain brother, saying that he was a hater of evil. “What does it mean to hate evil?” Abba Poimen asked him. The brother was at a loss and could not find a suitable answer. He got up at once, made a prostration to the Elder, and said to him: “Abba, what is hatred of evil?” And the Elder replied: “He who hates his own sins and justifies his neighbor has attained to hatred of evil.”

B. From St. Diadochos

A God-loving soul is troubled, in the beginning, by many passions-above all by anger and hatred. It suffers this, not so much because of the demons who stir up these passions, but because it is making progress. Because as long as the soul feels the attraction of a worldly attitude, even if it sees certain people trampling what is just, it remains unmoved and undisturbed; for, preoccupied with its own desires, it pays no attention to the justice of God. But when it begins to rise above its passions, not even in its dreams can it bear to see the justice of God violated, because it now has disdain for present realities and loves God alone; rather, it feels anger and agitation against malefactors, until it sees these violators of justice apologizing by pious reflections before the dignity of justice. For this reason, it disdains the unjust and loves the just exceedingly; for the eye of the soul becomes completely immune to distraction when it renders its veil-i.e., the body-utterly refined through self-control. Nevertheless, it is much better for us to lament the insensitivity of the unjust than to hate them. For, although the unjust are worthy of hatred, it makes no sense for a God-loving soul to be troubled by hatred, because when hatred is present in the soul, knowledge of God is no longer active within it.

C. From Abba Isaac

Do not hate the sinner, for we are all culpable. And if you are stirred up against him by zeal for God, weep for the sinner and do not hate him, but hate his sins. Pray for him, so that you may emulate Christ, Who was not angry with sinners, but prayed for them and wept over Jerusalem (St. Matthew 23:37). We are mocked in many instances by the Devil; why, then, should we hate and abhor him who has been mocked by our common Enemy? If you hate the sinner because he is not righteous in your estimation, you show thereby that you, too, are a sinner, because you do not have love; he who is deprived of love is also deprived of God, for God is love. Do not hate or persecute the sinner, but become, by your sympathy towards him, a herald of the goodness of God, Who, although you are undeserving, rules over you and does not reject or abhor you and does not punish you for your many and great sins. Emulate His compassion and goodness, then, to the best of your ability, and be merciful to your fellow-servant, so that by your small act of sympathy you may in return receive from God His very great sympathy.

The Evergetinos 


Sealed Sheep