Thursday, January 16, 2014

When Evildoers Prosper...

Psalm 36
Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be envious of them that do iniquity. For they shall soon be withered as the grass, and shall soon fall away as the green herbs.

Hope in the Lord, and do good; and dwell on the land, and thou shalt be fed with the wealth of it. Delight in the Lord; and He shall grant thee the requests of thine heart.

Disclose thy way to the Lord, and hope in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day.

Submit thyself to the Lord, and supplicate Him: fret not thyself because of him that prospers in his way, at the man that does unlawful deeds.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself so as to do evil. For evil-doers shall be destroyed: but they that wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the land.

And yet a little while, and the sinner shall not be, and thou shalt seek for his place, and shalt not find [it]. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight in the abundance of peace.

The sinner will watch for the righteous, and gnash his teeth upon him. But the Lord shall laugh at him: for He foresees that his day will come.

Sinners have drawn their swords, they have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy one, to slay the upright in heart. Let their sword enter into their [own] heart, and their bows be broken.

A little is better to the righteous than abundant wealth of sinners. For the arms of sinners shall be broken; but the Lord supports the righteous.

The Lord knows the ways of the perfect; and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in an evil time; and in days of famine they shall be satisfied.

For the sinners shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord at the moment of their being honoured and exalted have utterly vanished like smoke.

The sinner borrows, and will not pay again: but the righteous has compassion, and gives. For they that bless him shall inherit the earth; and they that curse him shall be utterly destroyed.

The steps of a man are rightly ordered by the Lord: and he will take pleasure in his way. When he falls, he shall not be ruined: for the Lord supports his hand.

I was [once] young, indeed I am now old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread. He is merciful, and lends continually; and his seed shall be blessed.

Turn aside from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever. For the Lord loves judgment, and will not forsake His saints; they shall be preserved for ever: the blameless shall be avenged, but the seed of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed. But the righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell upon it for ever.

The mouth of the righteous will meditate wisdom, and his tongue will speak of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; and his steps shall not slide.

The sinner watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. But the Lord will not leave him in his hands, nor by any means condemn him when he is judged.

Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are destroyed, thou shalt see [it].

I saw the ungodly very highly exalting himself, and lifting himself up like the cedars of Lebanon. Yet I passed by, and lo! he was not: and I sought him, but his place was not found.

Maintain innocence, and behold uprightness: for there is a remnant to the peaceable man. But the transgressors shall be utterly destroyed together: the remnants of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed.

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord; and He is their defender in the time of affliction. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: and He shall rescue them from sinners, and save them, because they have hoped in Him.

How to Weigh What Your Elder Says....

From St. Ephraim

A certain brother once gave another advice that was of God. Coincidentally, another brother was passing by, to whom the brother giving advice said: "Look, I am advising my brother, here, and he does not wish to listen to me." The passerby replied: "He ought to listen to you. Forgive me, but, it is a joy even to hear something bad from you and, further, to act upon it." The brother giving counsel answered: "It is not so. If you do not prove that it is of God, do not listen to me. Not only avoid listening to me, but even to a Prophet, if he advises you contrary to the Will of God; for the Apostle Paul says: 'But, though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed' (Galatians 1:8). For, who were they that plotted against Susannah in Babylon? Were they not Elders? And not simply Elders, but also judges and leaders of the people? What an end befell them because they did not attend to themselves; and their high office did not help them...

On Relations with Those Who Do Evil

From the Evergetinos, (Book I), published by the Center for Traditionalist Studies (2008). These come from Hypothesis 23: Concerning the fact that we must keep away from those who harm us, even if they are friends or are otherwise quite indispensable.

1. Abba Agathon said: "Even if someone is extremely dear to me, but I know that he leads me into faults, I cut him loose from myself."

2. An Elder said: "We must flee from all who work iniquity, even if they be friends or relatives and even if they hold the office of Priest or King; for standing apart from those who work iniquity bestows on us friendship with God and boldness before Him."

3. The same Elder said: "It is not profitable for us to cling to transgressors, neither in Church, nor in the marketplace, nor in the council, nor in any other realm; rather, we must completely refrain from relations with them....

4. A brother asked an Elder: "If my brother scandalizes me, do you want me to make a prostration to him?" The Elder answered: "Make a prostration, but cut yourself off from him; for we have Abba Arsenios, who said: "have love for all men, but keep a distance from all men.'"