How we come to condemnation

`Geronda, why do I often fall into condemnation?`

`You do this because you are more preoccupied by the others. You watch the nuns and you are curious to know what one or another does. In this way you collect materials for the devil to throw you in condemnation.`

`Why, geronda, at first I didn`t notice the flaws of the others and now I see them and condemn them?`

`Now you see the flaws of the others because you don`t see yours.`

`Where does these thoughts of condemnation come from, geronda?`

`From the high opinion we have about ourselves, meaning from pride and our tendency to justify ourselves.`

`Geronda, does condemnation come from the lack of love ?`

`But from what else? From the lack of love and shame. If you don`t have love, you don`t see the mistakes of the others with lenience. In this way you humiliate and condemn them inside you. Then the devil goes and pushes them to make another mistake and you see it and condemn them again and after that you behave shamelessly.`

`Geronda, sometimes the nun with whom I work upsets me and I condemn her.`

`Where do you know it from with how many demons the nun struggles right then? She might have been fought by fifty demons to make her fall and to make you say: `Ah, this is who you are. When they see you condemned her, another five hundred of demons will come to make her fall again before you and to make you condemn her again. It might be possible to tell her: `Sister, don`t put that thing there. Here it is its place.`

The next day the devil makes her forget what you told her and she would put it back in the same place. She would make another mistake and you would say for yourself: `Well, yesterday I told her to be careful and today she put it back there. She made a mess.`

In this way you blame her and you can`t refrain from not speaking in a bad way to her : `Didn`t I tell you, sister, to put it there ? This is a lack of order. I am upset by your behavior. That was it. The devil did his job. He pushed you to blame her and become cold towards her. That one because she doesn`t know you were the reason for her carelessness will feel remorse because she upset you and she will fall into sadness. See with such cunning the devil acts and we listen to him?`

`For this reason try not to judge anyone, only the devils, who although they had been angels, they had become devils and instead of repenting, they become more and more cunning and evil, being furiously determined to destroy the creatures of God. The cunning one determines the people to make weird things and disorders and he brings to other people thoughts of condemnation and blame. In this way he defeats both parties. Those who are defeated and make disorders feel their mistake afterwards and they repent, while those who condemn justify themselves and are proud and they fall into the same sin in which the cunning one fell, in pride.

Excerpt from Passions and virtues – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing.

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