Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2014

Correcting Others

Question: If one of the brethren or one of the sick should sin, and I, desiring to correct him, tell him something with disturbance: should I later bow down to him (asking for forgiveness)? If it should happen that he leaves the infirmary being angry at me, what should I do? And in general, for what faults should one makea prostration (to the other)? For pride and self-justification darken the mind. And when one makes a prostration, vainglory again finds an occasionfor itself. 
Answer: Do nothing with disturbance, because evil does not give rise to good. But endure until your thought should become calm, and then speak in peace. And if the brother should listen to you – well and good; but if not, tell him: "Would you not like me to reveal this to the Abba, and we will do as he judges," and you will be at peace. 
But if he goes away angry, tell the Abba, and he will enlighten him: but make no bow to him (that is, do not beg forgiveness), for through this you will give him occasion to think that you are actually guilty before him, and he will arm himself against you even more. 
But from other people be careful to ask forgiveness, correspondingto the sin: as soon as yousee that your sin is great, bow down; but when it is not great, say with your lips, with a feelingof heartfelt repentance: "Forgive me, brother." 
Beware of pride and self-justification, for theyhinder repentance; and it also happens that a man gives a bow out of vainglory. Despite these three passions (pride, self-justification, and vainglory); where necessary, make a bow withhumility, fear of God, and understanding. According to your strength, strive to remain in these virtues, and God will help you, by the prayers of the Saints.

"Saints Barsanuphius and John:Guidance Toward Spiritual Life",  trans. by Fr. Seraphim Rose, 

(Platina, California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1990)

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