That All May Repent and Know the Lord
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
f you think evil of people, it means you have an evil spirit in you whispering evil thoughts about others. And if a man dies without repenting, without having forgiven his brother, his soul will go to the place where lives the evil spirit which possessed his soul.
This is the law we have: if you forgive others, it is a sign that the Lord has forgiven you; but if you refuse to forgive, then your own sin remains with you.
The Lord wants us to love our fellow-man; and if you reflect that the Lord loves him, you have a sign of the Lord's love for you. And if you consider how greatly the Lord loves His creature, and you yourself have compassion on all creation, and love your enemies, counting yourself the vilest of all, it is a sign of abundant grace of the Holy Spirit in you.
He who has the Holy Spirit in him, to however slight a degree, sorrows day and night for all mankind. His heart is filled with pity for all God's creatures, more especially for those who do not know God, or who resist Him and therefore are bound for the fire of torment. For them, more than for himself, he prays day and night, that all may repent and know the Lord.
Christ prayed for them that were crucifying him: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' Stephen the Martyr prayed for those who stoned him, that the Lord 'lay not this sin to their charge. ' And we, if we wish to preserve grace, must pray for our enemies. If you do not feel pity for the sinner destined to suffer the pains of hellfire, it means that the grace of the Holy Spirit is not in you, but an evil spirit. While you are still alive, therefore, strive by repentance to free yourself from this spirit.
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St. Silouan the Athonite, St. John the Baptist, Essex, pp. 351-2.