April 18, 2013

Blessed Are the Enemy-Makers (St. John Climacus)

By St. John Climacus of Sinai

26:149 - "Blessed are the peacemakers" [Matt. 5:9]. No one will deny this. But I have also seen enemy-makers who are blessed.

A certain two developed impure affection for one another. But one of the discerning fathers, a most experienced man, was the means whereby they came to hate each other, by setting one against the other, telling each that he was being slandered by the other. And this wise man, by human roguery, succeeded in parrying the devil's malice and in producing hatred by which the impure affection was dissolved.

26:150 - Some set aside one commandment for the sake of another commandment. I have seen young men who were attached to one another in a right spirit. Yet, in order not to offend other men's conscience, by mutual agreement they kept apart for a time.

From The Ladder of Divine Ascent (Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, 1991).