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Monday, February 07, 2011

Selected quote from St. Dorotheos of Gaza

Everyone who prays to God, "Lord, give me humility" ought to know what he is praying for, namely that God send him someone to mistreat him. And when he is insulted by someone, he ought to criticize himself and despise his own opinion so that when the other man humiliates him outwardly, he too humiliates himself inwardly.

There is a case where a man not only rejoices to be treated harshly and attributes the cause to himself, but he is also grieved at the commotion in the one who mistreats him. May God bring us all to such a state as this.


Those who want to be saved scrutinize not the shortcomings of their neighbor but always their own shortcomings, and they set about eliminating them. Such was the man who saw his brother doing wrong and groaned, "Woe is me; him today - me tomorrow!"

You see his caution? You see his preparedness? How he swiftly foresaw how to avoid judging his brother? When he said "me tomorrow" he aroused his fear of sinning, and by this he increased his caution about avoiding those sins which he was likely to commit, and so he escaped judging his neighbor.

He did not stop at this, but put himself below his brother, saying, "He has repented for his sins but I do not always repent. I am never first to ask for forgiveness and I am never completely converted.