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July - August 2005

FROM THE DISCOURSES OF
SAINT DOROTHEOS OF GAZA


Those who want to be saved scrutinize not the shortcomings of their neighbor but always their own and they set about eliminating them. Such was the man who saw his brother doing wrong and groaned, 'Woe is me; him today - me tomorrow!'

You see his caution? You see the preparedness of his mind? How he swiftly foresaw how to avoid judging his brother? When he said the tomorrow' he aroused his fear of sinning, and by this he increased his caution about avoiding those sins which he was likely to commit, and so he escaped judging his neighbor; and he did not stop at this, but put himself below his brother, saying, 'he has repented for his sin but I do not always repent. I am never first to ask for forgiveness and I am never completely converted.'

Do you see the divine light in his soul? Not only was he able to escape making judgment but he humiliated himself as well. and we miserable fellows judge rashly, we hate indiscriminately and set people at nought whether we see something, or hear something, or even only suspect something!

And what is worse, we do not let it stop at harming ourselves, but we go and look for another brother and say, 'Here is what happened!' We harm him and put sin into his heart also and we do not fear the saying, 'Woe to the man who gives his neighbor something dark and dangerous to drink!' But we do the devil's work and are not one bit concerned about it.

* * *

Christ is the doctor of souls, and he knows everything and applies the right remedy for every sickness. For example: for vainglory, the commandment about humility; for love of pleasure, temperance; for avarice, almsgiving. In short, each disease of the soul has a commandment which is its appropriate remedy, so that the doctor is not inexperienced, nor again are the remedies old and impotent. For Christ's commands never go stale. Therefore, there is no impediment to the soul's healing except its own unruliness.

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