Thursday, November 1, 2018

St. Gabriel of Georgia on Judging

St. Gabriel the New Confessor and Fool-for-Christ of Georgia (source)
I am a great sinner and greatly infirm. If you see a person sinning even at the hour of his death, do not judge him. Judging and mockery are great wounds on the soul. The Lord says, “Man, who art thou that thou shouldst judge for Me?” For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matt. 7:2). Judging is a manifestation of human stupidity; it shows that he who judges does not yet know God or himself as he should.
Judging is a great sin, when we exalt ourselves above others. All who exalt themselves are abominable before the Lord. Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matt. 23:12). When you judge others you judge God. Whether you’ve seen a thief, a loose woman, or a drunkard sprawled on the street, do not judge, because the Lord allowed their passions. Through these they should find the path to God — they should be humbled, see their own powerlessness, come to know the Lord, and repent. And are you pleasing to God? That means that the Lord in His grace and mercy is restraining your passions. Know that if He lets them go you will fall into worse sins, and perhaps you won’t manage to climb out of those sins and you’ll perish. Therefore be humble and cautious. You saw that a person sinned, but did you see how he later repented? Then don’t judge! Like a thread passing through the eye of a needle, so man experiences the same sin that he judged in another.
Be humble and loving before all people, and if you cannot love everyone, at least treat everyone with good will. Kindness will open to you the gates of Paradise, humility will lead you there, and love will reveal God to you. God is seen only in truth and divine love, for “God is Love.” Remember and understand me well: without Christ, all is nothing! Man is created in the image of Christ, and if we who are His likeness do not come to Him, we will perish! If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
-St. Gabriel the New Confessor of Georgia
~from The Orthodox Word, No. 308
St. Gabriel the New of Georgia (source)
Troparion, Tone 4
As the Master Christ hid His divinity, clothing it in humanity, and, unseen by us, brought into being His ineffable glory, likewise didst thou hide thy glory by means of foolishness, and by the wonder of thy confession wast shown forth as a shepherd of souls; O venerable Father Gabriel, entreat Christ God to have mercy on our souls.
Kontakion, Tone 4
Immeasurable is the mercy of God, by Whose goodness we behold His creation divinized O venerable father, thou didst confirm in thyself the image of thy Creator and exalted thy being to the likeness of God, therefore we glorify thee O Father Gabriel, for thou art worthy of all praise, thou wast on earth a trumpet of righteousness, a preacher of love and dove of purity, and thine all-wondrous humility hast opened to the world a treasury of wisdom, and now in heaven art thou, the advocate of God’s mercy and our salvation.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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