Teachings of Seraphim
Part 6. Love for Neighbours
One must behave affectionately toward one’s neighbours, not showing even a hint of offense. When we turn away from a person or offend him, it is as if a rock settles on our heart. One must try to cheer the spirit of an embarrassed or dejected person with words of love.
When you see a brother sinning, cover him, as counselled by St. Isaac the Syrian: "Stretch out your vestment over the sinner and cover him."
In our relations with our neighbours we must be equally pure towards everyone in word as well as in thought; otherwise we will make our life useless. We must love others no less than ourselves, in accordance with the law of the Lord: "You shalt love your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:27).
But not so much that our love for others, by extending past the boundaries of moderation, diverts us from fulfilling the first and main law of love towards God, as our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught: "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37).
An excerpt from the teachings of Seraphim of Sarov of the 18th & 19th centuries. He was one of the most renowned Russian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Seraphim extended the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson.
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