July 4

Disgrace, injury, slander either against one’s faith or one’s manner of life, beatings, blows and so on — these are the things which dissolve love, whether they happen to oneself or to any of one’s relatives or friends. He who loses his love because of these things has not yet understood the purpose of Christ’s commandments….

When the demons see that we scorn the things of this world in order not to hate men on account of such things, and so to fall away from love; then they incite slanders against us.

In this way they hope that, unable to contain our resentment, we will be provoked into hating those who slander us….

The friends of Christ love all truly but are not themselves loved by all; the friends of the world neither love all nor are loved by all. The friends of Christ persevere in love to the end; the friends of the world persevere only until they fall out with each other over some worldly thing.

                                                      ~St Maximos the Confessor

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