My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord,



"But he who hates his brother IS IN DARKNESS and WALKS

The NEW COMMANDMENT of our Lord Christ’s that we love as He loved us (St. John 13:34; 15:12, 17). To love our Lord is to be IN THE LIGHT, is also to love one another. Anyone who approaches hating his brother or sister to the Font of Life where he or is to be reborn, to to the Cup of that Precious and Divine Blood whereby he is to be saved, even though he may think he is enlightened by the Savior, is still in darkness. He cannot have put off the darkness of his sins when he did not take care to put on the fundamentals of agape according to Saint Bede.

Our Savior Jesus Christ says, "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift and go your way, FIRST BE RECONCILED TO YOUR BROTHER, AND THEN COME AND OFFER YOUR GIFT" (St. Matthew 5:24). The Lord of Agape (Love) cannot permit one who is full of anger and hatred for his "brother" to accept any gift or the holy altar. There must be love, harmony, friendship, and peace with one another because it is that which takes presidents over duties of worship. We know historically that in the early Church and Christian worship the practice was to exchange the "kiss of peace" at the beginning of the Communion prayers–not after– WAS A SING OF RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS, preparing the Ecclesia (the faithful) to offer and receive the Divine Eucharist. (1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Peter 5:14).

The holy Apostle Paul exhorts us "Do not let the sun go down on your anger, no give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). Saint John Chrysostom writes: "If you fail to control your anger on the first day, then on the next day and even sometimes for a whole year you will still be dragging it out… Anger will cause us to suspect that words spoken in one sense were meant in another. And we will eve do the same with gestures and every little thing… Be angry WITH THE DEVIL and NOT with your own member…". According to Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk states, "…whoever nurses anger and malice for his neighbor gives place to the devil. The devil ALREADY POSSESSES HIM like a spirit of malice and leads him about like a captive. Hate arises either from envy, as with Cain who nursed a hatred for his brother, Abel, whose happiness he envied, and he killed him (cf. Genesis, Chapter 4).

Love in the world has not been extinguished but nevertheless, there is too much anger, hatred, and malice (violence) among the people. All that can only bring about division, suspicion, and cruelty. It is not at all surprising that many refer to what they experience on a personal level that what is happening is insane. There is a loss of reason and common sense. We witness what anger, hatred, and malice are doing to too many innocent people that are caught up in this turmoil and conflict. There is doubt that there are dark forces out there that fuel the hatred and so we see it translated into violence where innocent people are killed and cities are put to the torch. The evil means and tools used to accomplish this is lies, deception, manipulation, confusion, propaganda, distortion, and most of all fear. These evil forces are determined to turn one against the other or for one to fear the other. The end result is chaos and destruction. None of these evil passions i.e., anger, hatred, slander, and malice are of God but have their origin with Satan. There is absolutely no justification among fellow citizens and brethren.

Saint Tikhon writes: "If it were possible to look into the heart of a malicious man, nothing else would appear but onlyTHE TORMENT OF HELL. So it is that malicious people ARE DARKENED AND WITHERED, FOR MALICE EATS UP THEIR FLESH LIKE A POISON… When it is not cut off in the beginning it works great calamities, much the same as a fire having gathered strength eats up many houses". " Malice is the sort of thing that if it is not cut off at the very beginning multiplies without limit, in the same way as a flame blazes on finding dry materials", says Saint John Chrysostom.

"Woe to the world for malice!" writes Saint Tikhon, "It harms everything and in every way, as we have said. No one can hide from it anywhere. When it cannot harm a man any other way, then it injects its poison into a man through his tongue." An evil man full of hatred will resort to destroying the man’s reputation through slander. Evil is not satisfied simply to hurt someone it needs to completely destroy him. It may go as far as desiring the destruction of the person’s business and his family.

"It is a fearful thing for Christians to be hateful WHO ARE COMMANDED BY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO DO GOOD TO THOSE THAT HATE THEM. It is a fearful thing for Christians to get revenge, who are commanded to forgive the transgressions of others. The avenger will fall into the hands of the avenging God. "It is a fearful thing t fall into the hands of the Living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Let the malicious soul heed this, and let them put the poison of their malice to death by repentance and contrition of heart, otherwise, they shall appear at the fearful Judgment of Christ with their sins and receive a reward according to their deeds… It often happens that though they harm others, the malicious first hurt themselves" says, Saint Tikhon. "
The psalmist writes: He opened a pit and dug it, and he shall fall into the hole which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown" (Psalm 7:15-16).

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ let us avoid any anger, any hatred, any slander, any malice, and instead as Jesus says, love our enemies and do good to them. We are followers of Christ and the best way to treat others is to follow the example of our Savior, Who from the Cross said: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (St. Luke 23:34).

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