Remembering evil

VII.xxxvii.4. Abba Macarius said, “If we go on remembering the evil things that people have done to us we thereby banish the memory of virtuous things. But if we reflect upon the evils sent against us by the demons we should be able to remain calm, knowing that God in the beginning created all things good – the devil merely sows evil things on top of them. And see what havoc he has caused.

It is a fault in a monk if when suffering injury from others he is not the first to attempt a charitable reconciliation with a pure heart. The Shunamite woman would not have been worthy to accept the prophet Elias into her house if she had been in dispute with anyone. Now the Shunamite stands for the soul, Elijah for the Holy Spirit, so if the soul is not pure it is not worthy to receive the Holy Spirit. Unrestrained anger blinds the eyes of the heart and drives prayer out of the soul.

 De Vitis Patrum, Book 7, chapter 37.

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