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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mourning for those who Laugh

By Saint John Chrysostom

Being a disciple of Christ means being meek and gentle. And from what source may we draw this meekness? If we are continually mindful of our sins, if we grieve for them, if we weep for them. A soul which habitually feels such contrition does not permit itself to become vexed and angry. In truth, where there is sorrow, anger cannot be; where there is compunction, anger is altogether out of place; where there is contrition of soul, there is no irritation. The soul that suffers the lash of contrition has no time to be aroused to anger, but it groans bitterly and weeps more bitterly. Now, I know that many laugh when they hear these words, but I do not cease mourning for those who laugh. The present time is the time for mourning and grieving, because we commit many sins in word and deed. Indeed, hear what the Prophet said: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy.” Well, then, we also must have mercy on our neighbors in this way: according to the great mercy shown to us. For, we shall obtain the kind of treatment from our Lord that we give to our fellow servants. And what is “great mercy” like? When we give, not from superfluities, but from our necessities. But if we do not even give from our superfluities, what hope will there be for us? When shall we be rid of those sins of ours? Where shall we be able to flee and find salvation?
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