Fr Stephen Freeman & “The Fascination of Wickedness”

As always, Fr Stephen’s recent post is filled with accessible spiritual insight. Really good stuff. It’s a wonderful reminder of the power our “mere” thoughts, words and prayers possess, especially as we live in a culture that has trained us to naturally look at everything with a critical eye.

But for me, the highlight of Fr Stephen’s post was the introductory quote by The Elder Porphyrios:

Man has such powers that he can transmit good or evil to his environment. These matters are very delicate. Great care is needed. We need to see everything in a positive frame of mind. We mustn’t think anything evil about others. Even a simple glance or a sigh influences those around us. And even the slightest anger or indignation does harm. We need to have goodness and love in our soul and to transmit these things.

We need to be careful not to harbor any resentment against those who harm us, but rather to pray for them with love. Whatever any of our fellow men does, we should never think evil of him. We need always to have thoughts of love and always to think good of others. Look at St. Stephen the first martyr. He prayed, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’ (Acts 7:60). We need to do the same.

Our goal is love. Spiritual disciplines, the various church services and the other vibrant resources of the Orthodox Church are wonderful traditions that have carried the life of Christ from the first Apostles until now and will do so far into the future. But the life of Christ is love.

“Lord, may I one day echo St Paul’s words:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Lord, your life and your love in me and through me.”

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