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Concerning the fact that we must keep away from those who harm us, even if they are friends or are otherwise quite indispensable.

Ladder.jpg1. Abba Agathon said: “Even if someone is extremely dear to me, but I know that he leads me into faults, I cut him loose from myself.”

2. An Elder said: “We must flee from all who work iniquity, even if they be friends or relatives and even if they hold the office of Priest or King; for standing apart from those who work iniquity bestows on us friendship with God and boldness before Him.”

3. The same Elder said: “It is not profitable for us to cling to transgressors, neither in Church, nor in the marketplace, nor in the council, nor in any other realm; rather, we must completely refrain from relations with them….

4. A brother asked an Elder: “If my brother scandalizes me, do you want me to make a prostration to him?” The Elder answered: “Make a prostration, but cut yourself off from him; for we have Abba Arsenios, who said: “have love for all men, but keep a distance from all men.'”

The Evergetinos. Book One. Hypothesis 23.

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