Tuesday, August 26, 2014

St Maximus the Confessor (7th century): Four Hundred Chapters on LOVE

iconof_saintmaximus_theconfessor.jpgSt Maximus describes the conduct of one who loves God:

The one who loves God leads an angelic life on earth, fasting and being watchful and singing psalms and praying and always thinking good of everyone.1:42

Do not tolerate suspicions or people that would be occasions of scandal for you against anyone. For those who take scandal in any way from things which happen, intentionally or unintentionally, do not know the way of peace, which through love brings those who long for it to the knowledge of God.1:69

Regarding the inevitable clashes that occur between people, he says:

Even if in temptation your brother should insist on speaking ill of you, you should not be swept away from your charitable disposition and allow the same wicked demon to upset your mind. But you will not be swept away from it if you bless when being reviled, keep silent when spoken ill of, and remain friendly when being conspired against. This is the way of Christ’s wisdom, and the one who will not take it is not in His company.4:30

The saint, who suffered much for the true Orthodox faith, even to the point of having his tongue cut out by the emperor because of his uncompromising stand in matters of faith, teaches regarding suffering:

A person definitely wants to be healed if he does not put up any resistance to the healing remedies: These are the pains and hurts brought on by many different circumstances. The one who resists does not know what is being worked out here nor what advantage he would draw from it when he leaves this world.3:82

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