Nineteenth Instruction. Some brief instructions

Abba Dorotheos

Photo: Gennady Mikheyev.
Photo: Gennady Mikheyev.
Abba Dorotheus said that one who trusts in his own understanding or judgment[1] cannot submit to nor follow the good example of his neighbor.

He likewise said: Being passionate, we cannot at all believe in our own hearts; for a crooked rule will make even the straight crooked.

He likewise said: It is not a great matter to withhold judgment of or to feel compassion for someone who is in sorrow and submits to you; but it is a great thing not to judge one who contradicts you, not to take revenge on him according to your passion, not to agree with those who condemn him, and to rejoice together with those who respect him.

Again he said, Do not demand love from your neighbor, for he who demands it is disturbed if he does not encounter it; but rather you yourself show love to your neighbor, and you will find rest; and in this way you will also lead your neighbor to love.

Again he said: He who performs a work which is pleasing to God must unfailingly meet with temptation; for a temptation either precedes or follows every good work, and that which is done for the sake of God cannot be confirmed unless it is tested by temptation.

Again he said: Nothing unites men so closely among themselves as when they rejoice over one and the same thing and have a single way of thinking.

Again he said: Not to despise the gift of one's neighbor is a work of humility of wisdom; and one should accept the gift with thanksgiving even if it should be small and insignificant.

Again he said: If I should happen to encounter some work to be done, it is more pleasant for me to undertake it at the counsel of my neighbor, even though it might happen that the matter be ruined according to his counsel, rather to perform the work well following my own will.

Again he said: In every work it is good to attend personally to the little that you need, for it is not profitable to be granted repose in everything.

Again he said: In every matter which I encounter I never have desired to defend myself by means of human wisdom; but whatever the matter might be I always act according to my strength and present everything to God.

Again he said: He who does not have his own will always fulfills his desire. Such a man does not have any desire of his own--therefore he is satisfied with whatever might happen to him, and it happens that his own desires are continually fulfilled; for he does not want things to turn out according to his own wishes, but he rather wishes that they will be just as they will be.

Again he said: It is indecent to correct a brother while he is sinning against you. Indeed, at any other time you should not do this in order to avenge yourself.

He likewise said: Love according to God is more powerful than natural love.

He likewise said: Do not do evil even as a joke; for it happens that one may at first do some evil jokingly, but later he will be attracted by it even though he does not wish it.

He likewise said: One should not desire to be delivered from passion in order merely to flee the sorrows consequent to it, but rather out of complete hatred for it: With perfect hatred have I hated them, they are reckoned enemies with me (Ps. 138:22).

He likewise said: It is impossible for anyone to become angry at his neighbor if his heart has not first been lifted above him; unless he has not despised him, and considered himself higher than him.

He likewise said: A sign of the fact that someone has voluntarily given way to passion is his disturbance when accused or corrected of it. But to endure accusation, that is, exhortation, without disturbance is a sign that one has either been conquered by the passion, or has committed it out of ignorance. To our God belongs glory to the ages of ages. Amen.

Abba Dorotheos

25 апреля 2013 г.


[1]In Greek: considering yourself smart, or having your own thought.

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