The Gospel of the day (Matthew 11, 27-30)

Christ`s yoke

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Gentleness – the virtue of the strong

Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies at Genesis, homily LVIII, V, in Church Fathers and Writers (1989), vol. 22, p. 254

`Nothing is stronger than gentleness. As the water thrown over fire extinguished the fire so many times, a word said with gentleness extinguishes an anger more fiery than the oven. Our gain is double. We gain by the fact that we behaved with gentleness and also by the fact that we calm down the mind of our brother putting end to his anger. I ask you: don`t you have enmity, don`t you blame your brother when he is angry and has enmity against you? Why don`t you try to behave in another way than him? Why do you want to anger him even more? Can you extinguish with fire? No! The nature of fire stands against this. In the same way you can`t stop anger with anger. What is water for fire this is what is gentleness and kindness for anger.`

Saint Basil the Great, Ascetic constitutions, Cap. XIII, in Church Fathers and Writers (1989), vol. 18, pp. 497-498

(…) It is possible that the gentle may get angry as the reason decides it, but he would not destroy the virtue of gentleness, however when someone remains inflexible or he doesn`t get angry as it is logical this doesn`t mean gentleness, only the inactivity of nature. Gentleness is followed by something natural as tolerance as gentleness is the mother of tolerance. But in the true gentle ones there is kindness as well, but not in those who have their character destroyed because gentleness is the matter of gentleness. But when these are combined and united they form together the best of virtues, love.

Clement from Alexandria, Stromata, 4th Stromata, Cap. VI, 36.1.-36.2., in Church Fathers and Writers (1982), vol. 5, p. 252

Blessed are the gentle for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5, 5).

Gentle are those who put an end to the unstoppable struggle from their soul against their anger, desire and the passions in relation with these. God praises those who are gentle out of their own will not out of constraint.

Saint Basil the Great, Homilies at Psalms, Homily at psalm XXXIII, II, in Church Fathers and Writers (2011), vol. 4, p. 472

That land, the heavenly Jerusalem, is not a war trophy of those who fight but it will be given as inheritance to the very patient and gentle men. Gentle are called those who have calm manners, who are free of any passion, because they don`t have any trouble sheltered in their souls.

That is why they say about Moses that he was gentler than all the other people on earth.


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