Why do we judge our neighbors?

Why do we judge our neighbors?
Because we are not trying to get to know ourselves.
Someone busy trying to understand himself has no time to notice the shortcomings of others.
Judge yourself — and you will stop judging others.
Judge a poor deed, but do not judge the doer.
It is necessary to consider yourself the most sinful of all, and to forgive your neighbor every poor deed. One must hate only the devil, who tempted him.
It can happen that someone might appear to be doing something bad to us, but in reality, because of the doer's good intentions, it is a good deed.
Besides, the door of penitence is always open, and it is not known who will enter it sooner — you, "the judge," or the one judged by you.

+ St Seraphim of Sarov

Suffering and Devotion

Sufferings produce devotions to God and a recognition of His gifts and our faults. These give birth to gratitude, and gratitude inculcates the fear of God which leads us to the keeping of the commandments, to inward grief, gentleness and humility. These three virtues produce discernment, which gives us spiritual insight....

- St Peter of Damascus, A Treasury of Divine Knowledge

Dormition of the Theotokos


The Dormition of the Mother of God - Transition to Life...
(by Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Every time we celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God, it’s as if we’re having Easter – the Easter of the summer. Our Lady the Mother of God prepares Easter for us. A glorious crossing “from death to life”. A second Easter, holy spotless, life-giving for the human race, because today “the laws of nature are overcome”.

Silence

Preserve the fruit of prayer

It is essential to preserve the fruit of prayer. It is destroyed and lost very often due to idle talk immediately after prayer and by daydreaming, which is the same as idle talk, only within oneself. Silence after prayer is extremely beneficial: it retains prayer in one's mind and heart, and even on one's lips, audibly to oneself.

- St Nikon of Optina

Prefigure of Christ's Resurrection

Mount Tabor was covered with light ... the angels did minister in fear and awe, while the heavens were affrighted and the earth trembled when they beheld on earth the Lord of Glory.


When Thou wast transfigured before Thy Crucifixion, O Lord, the mount resembled heaven, and a cloud spread out like a canopy, and the Father bore witness unto Thee. And there were present Peter with James and John, since they were to be with Thee at Thy Betrayal; so that seeing Thy wonders they might not be dismayed at Thy sufferings. Make us, therefore, to worship the same in peace for Thy Great Mercy.

Before Thy Crucifixion, O Lord, Thou didst take Thy Disciples to a high mountain and wast transfigured before them, illuminating them with rays of might; being desirous to manifest to them the light of the Resurrection, on the one side through Thy love of mankind, and on the other through Thy might. Wherefore, make us worthy thereof, O God, in peace; for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

When Thou wast transfigured, O Savior, on a high mountain, in the presence of Thy chief Disciples, Thou didst shine forth in glory, symbolizing that they who are recognized for the sublimity of virtue, shall also be made worthy of divine glory. As for Moses and Elijah, when they conversed with Christ they made manifest that He was the Lord of the living and the dead, and that He was the God Who spake of old in the law and the Prophets, the same to Whom the voice of the Father did bear witness from a radiant cloud, saying, Him do ye hear; for He it is Who by the Cross hath taken captive Hades and hath bestowed life eternal to the dead.

Yea, the mountain which was thick with smoke of old hath become now honorable and holy; for that Thy feet did rest on it, O Lord, for the mystery hidden before the ages, Thy Transfiguration before Peter, James and John hath made manifest. And they, not being able to bear the radiance of Thy face and the splendor of Thy raiment, did fall down on their faces kneeling, and being overcome with astonishment, wondered at the sight of Moses and Elijah conferring with Thee on things that were to befall Thee, while a voice from the Father bore witness, saying, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, hear Him Who giveth to the world the Great Mercy.

When Thou didst prefigure Thy Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst take Thy three Disciples, Peter, James and John, and with them didst ascend Mount Tabor. And at Thy Transfiguration, O Savior, Mount Tabor was covered with light. As for Thy Disciples, they threw themselves on the ground, unable to bear the sight of Thy figure that may not be looked upon, O Word. And the angels did minister in fear and awe, while the heavens were affrighted and the earth trembled when they beheld on earth the Lord of Glory.

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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