July 10, 2013 + "We Forgive Them that Trespass Against Us"
St. John of Kronstadt, from My Life in Christ
"We forgive them that trespass against us." This means not to feel against our neighbour who has been guilty towards us (intentionally, obstinately, or unintentionally) any vexation, enmity, or malice, but to forgive him his fault in all simplicity of heart, vividly representing to ourselves our own infirmities and falling into sin, and maintaining towards our guilty neighbour the same love and the same feelings of kindness which we felt towards him before his fault. What would it be if the Lord were to notice our iniquities as we do the faults of our neighbour? Who could withstand? But as the Lord is long-suffering and merciful, be also long-suffering and merciful (not strictly exacting, but compassionate). "Charity suffereth long, and is kind." [1 Corinthian 13:4] Do not reckon the faults of your neighbour, consider them as though they were not; as nothing! We are one body, and his body is a sinful one. What is more common and easier to us than sins? We breathe them like air. But the Lord, the Head of the body of the Church, is the cleansing of them. Leave everything to the Head, Who worketh all things in all; and hold fast to love alone, for it is the only infallible thing in our life (pure love). Do not serve the Devil by the spirit of enmity, malice, hatred; do not increase evil by evil, and do not spread the kingdom of the enemy in the kingdom of Christ." Overcome evil with good." [Romans 12:21] For you cannot conquer evil with evil, just as you cannot put out fire by fire, but only by water. Malice is always an imagination of the Devil. Love is always God's truth and God's child.
Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Far Caves, Founder of Monasticism in Russia
Having departed from worldly tumults, in leaving the world you followed Christ according to the Gospel. You reached the quiet refuge of the Holy Mount Athos, living there a life equal to the angels. Therefore, with the blessing of the Fathers, you came to the Kievan hills. There having fulfilled a life loving of labors, you illumined your homeland. And having shown a multitude of monastics the pathway leading to the heavenly kingdom, you led them to Christ. Beseech him, O Venerable Anthony, that he may save our souls!
Kontakion, Tone 8
From your youth you gave yourself to God whom you loved above all, O Venerable One; and in love you followed after him with your whole soul. Scorning the passing corruption of the world, you made a cave in the earth; and in it you struggled nobly facing the snares of the invisible enemy, while illumining the ends of the earth like a bright, shining sun. Therefore, with rejoicing you entered into the heavenly chambers. Standing now before the throne of the Master together with the angels, remember us who honor your holy memory, that we may cry out to you: Rejoice, Anthony our Holy Father!