Words for the Heart

You cannot be too gentle, too kind.

Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other.

Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives.

All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other…

Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace.

Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.





2 responses to “Words for the Heart”

  1. Vito Avatar

    When I read the words of the saint I thought of these words from another saint:
    “…Put aside hatred and hostility. See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do
    speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips that inflicted the
    wounds. In this way you show each other mercy and not keep alive the memories of past
    wrongs. Remembering grievances works great damage. It is accompanied by anger, fosters
    sin, and brings a hatred for justice. It is a rusty arrow spreading poison in the soul. It destroys
    virtue and is a cancer in the mind. It thwarts prayer and mangles the petitions we make to
    God. It drives out love and is a nail driven into the soul, an evil that never sleeps, a sin that
    never fades away, a kind of daily death.

    Be lovers of peace, the most precious treasure that anyone can desire. You are already aware
    that our sins drive God to anger, so you must repent of them, that God in his mercy may
    spare you. What men conceal is open to God. Turn to him with a sincere heart. Live in such a
    way that you bring upon yourselves the blessing of God, and that the peace of God our
    Father may be with you always.”

    A reading from the letters of St. Francis of Paola, Hermit (Letter AD 1486)
    Father, wishing all the best to you in your new adventure! Vito

  2. fatherstephen Avatar

    Such thoughts must be the stuff saints are made of. 🙂

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