“We should not become angry with those who sin, even if what they do is criminal and deserves punishment. On the contrary, for the sake of justice we ought to correct and, if need be, punish them ourselves or get others to do so. But we should not become angry or excited, for anger acts only in accordance with passion, and not in accordance with good judgment and justice…The wicked must be punished for the sake of what is good and just, but not as a result of the personal passion of anger.”
– Saint Anthony of Padua
“If a man insults me, kills my father, my mother, my brother, and then gouges out my eye, as a Christian it is my duty to forgive him. We who are pious Christians ought to love our enemies and forgive them. We ought to offer them food and drink, and entreat God for their souls. And then we should say: ‘My God, I beseech Thee to forgive me, as I have forgiven my enemies.’”
– St. Kosmas Aitolos
“It may seem unbelievable to some of your readers, but as a Christian and a Christian minister I have a responsibility to myself and to others to guide them down this path of forgiveness. We don’t forgive the act because the act is heinous. But we do forgive the killers from the depths of our hearts. Otherwise, we would become consumed by anger and hatred. It becomes a spiral of violence that has no place in this world.”
– Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK
Read more here.
“Joyful persons do not necessarily make jokes, laugh, or even smile. They are not people with an optimistic outlook on life who always revitalize the seriousness of a moment or event. No, joyful persons see with open eyes the hard reality of human existence and at the same time are not imprisoned by it. They have no illusion about the evil powers that roam around, “looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), but they also know that death has no final power. They suffer with those who suffer, yet they do not hold on to suffering; they point beyond it to an everlasting peace.”
– Henri Nouwen
A prayer that St. Paisios recommended to a convent, to be prayed daily.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ: Do not abandon your servants who are far from the Church. May your love convict them and bring them back to you.
Lord have mercy on your servants who are suffering from cancer.
On your servants who suffer from either small or serious ailments
On your servants who suffer from physical infirmities.
On your servants who suffer from spiritual infirmities.
Lord have mercy on our leaders and inspire them to govern with Christian love.
Lord have mercy on children who come from troubled homes.
On troubled families and those who have been divorced.
Lord have mercy on all the orphans of the world, and on all who suffer pain and injustice after losing a spouse.
Lord have mercy on all those in jail, on all terrorists, on all drug abusers, on all murderers, on all those who abuse others, and on all thieves. Enlighten them and help them to amend their lives.
Lord have mercy on all refugees.
On all those who travel on the seas, on land, and in the air, and protect them.
Lord have mercy on our Church, the bishops, the priests and the faithful of the Church.
Lord have mercy on all monastic communities, male and female, on all abbots and abbesses, and all the brotherhoods of Mt. Athos.
Lord have mercy on your servants who live in the midst of war.
On your servants who are being pursued in the mountains and on the plains.
On your servants who are being hunted, as if by birds of prey.
Lord have mercy on your servants who had to abandon their homes and jobs, and are afflicted.
Lord have mercy on the poor, the homeless, and the exiled.
Lord have mercy on the nations of the world. Keep them in your embrace, and envelope them with your holy protection. Keep them safe from war and every evil. Keep our beloved homeland in your protective embrace day and night, defending her from war and all evil.
Lord have mercy on those who have been abandoned and suffer injustice. Have mercy on families that are going through difficult times. Pour your abundant love upon them.
Lord have mercy on your servants who suffer from spiritual and bodily problems of all kinds.
Lord have mercy on those who are despairing. Help them and grant them peace.
Lord have mercy on those that have requested that we pray for them.
Lord grant eternal rest to all those who, throughout the ages, have passed on to eternal life.”
Bob Dylan: “People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it. …Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive.”
Bob Dylan just released a new album, Shadows in the Night, containing 10 familiar standards from the 1920s to the 1960s. His one and only interview to promote the album is with AARP of all places. The interviewer mentioned that “there’s no longer much resistance in romance,” and asked whether young people would find the old-fashioned love songs on this album to be corny. Dylan replied with this:
“I don’t know why they would, but what’s the word “corny” mean exactly? These songs are songs of great virtue. That’s what they are. People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it. Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive. We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of it — everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life. These songs are anything but that.”
“If I had to do it all over again, I’d be a schoolteacher–probably teach Roman history or theology.”
“I’ve always been drawn to spiritual songs. In ‘Amazing Grace,’ that line — ‘that saved a wretch like me ’— isn’t that something we could all say if we were honest enough?”
You can read the whole AARP interview here.
“Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud. ”
– C.S. Lewis, from his book The Great Divorce