Do not overlook the suffering

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An Iraqi girl in an orphanage – missing her mother, she drew her and fell asleep inside the drawing of her.”

Listen and groan, all you who overlook your suffering brethren, or rather, Christ’s brethren, and do not give the poor a share of your abundant food, shelter, clothing and care as appropriate, nor offer your surplus to meet their need.

Let us listen and groan ourselves, for I who am telling you these things stand accused by my conscience of not being completely free of this passion. While many shiver and go without, I am well fed and clothed. But more grievously to be mourned over are those who have treasures in excess of their daily needs, who hold on to them and even strive to increase them.

They have been commanded to love their neighbors as themselves and have not even loved them as dust, for what are gold and silver, which they loved more than their brethren, other than dust?

But let us change direction, repent and agree together to supply the needs of the poor brethren among us by whatever means we have.

If we prefer not to empty out all we possess for the love of God,

Let us at least not callously hold on to everything for ourselves. 

Let us do something, then humble ourselves before God and obtain forgiveness from Him for what we have failed to do. For His love for mankind makes up for our omissions, that we may never hear the horrifying voice: “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed (Matt. 25:41). How great a horror!  Be ye removed from life, cast out of paradise, deprived of light.”

– Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies

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