Monday, May 27, 2013

Above all things, love silence
             Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness,
             and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. 
             Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion.
             With the afflicted be afflicted in mind.
             Love all men, but keep distant from all men.


Sasha said...

> Love all men, but keep distant from all men.

That has always puzzled me. Because "keeping distant from all men" makes it sound like you/I would only do what's necessary without letting own heart into the situation... something like "you're in need? here's some money but I don't want to know you". Doesn't it?

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

It can sound that way, but with experience, it gradually becomes clear what is meant. To find out how to 'keep distant from all men' you must first honestly try to 'love all men'. First, follow the commandment, then, receive knowledge and wisdom. And, of course, 'loving all men' does not necessarily obligate us to help all men materially, because we do not always know, nor do they, what they are in need of. Everything we do, say, and even think with regard to our neighbor must be done 'in Christ' and not according to our own limited capacity for judgment. If we act in Christ, that is, by doing what we see Him doing, we will be safe. If we act according to our own judgment, we are looking for results and self-justification: helping some, we will feel proud, refraining from helping others, we will feel guilty. But as far as helping our neighbor materially, as a subset of loving him, if we do this in Christ, then we maintain our love in humility, beyond all judgment or expectation: this is the beginning of what is meant by 'keep distant from all men.'

Thank you, Sasha, for your comment.