MAXIMUS THE CONFESSOR PART SIX

#29 "When you are insulted by someone or humiliated, guard against angry thoughts, lest they arouse a feeling of irritation, AND SO CUT YOU OFF FROM LOVE AND PLACE YOU IN THE REALM OF HATRED."

#31 "Just as the thought of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not actualize the light of spiritual knowledge in the soul."

Anger is a more deadly poison for our open relationship with God than Serin, which kills in seconds. The Fathers are absolutely devoted to the commandment of love, and anger shreds love - or as Maximus says, 'anger can cut you off from love and place you in the realm of hatred.'"

As he teaches in #31, faith without love dims spiritual knowledge (because it betrays our baptism and the Holy Spirit withdraws.) Too severe? But that is where the difference between one who struggles to keep Jesus' teaching and who does not can be clearly seen.

Many things mitigate our guilt, which God alone knows, so we are warned against judging, unless we are called to a vocation that requires it. In #25 he teaches, "God who is by nature good and dispassionate loves all men equally as His handywork, but He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time he is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the path of virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also loves all men equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention: and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because of his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness.


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