“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
As we continue to sojourn through the Apostle’s Fast as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Glorious Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, we are reminded that whether or not we strictly keep food fasting rules, we are as Christians obligated to follow Christ’s commandment to love one another as He loves us .
The monastic elders stressed conversion, compassion, and forgiveness, which they saw as far more important than the most extreme ascetic practices.
As one elder declared, “If a man have humility and poverty and judge not another, that is how the fear of the Lord gets into him.”
Another elder taught, “It is better to eat meat and drink wine than by detraction to devour the flesh of your brother.” (Jim Forest, Confession: Doorway to Forgiveness, p. 31)