Little Things Add Up

“For if, as they used to say, we do not despise little things and think they are of no consequence to us, we shall not fall into great and grievous things.  I am always telling you that bad habits are formed in the soul by these very small things – when we say, ‘What does this or that matter,’ – and it is the first step to despising great things.  … ‘What does it matter if I find out what this brother is saying or what that guest is doing?’ the mind begins to forget about its own sins and to talk idly about his neighbor, speaking evil against him, despising him, and from this he falls into the very thing that he condemns.

Because we become careless about our own faults and do not lament our own death (as the Fathers put it), we lose the power to correct ourselves and we are always at work on our neighbor.  Nothing angers God so much or strips a man so bare or carries him so effectively to his ruin as calumniating, condemning, or despising his neighbor.”  (St Dorotheos of Gaza, DISCOURSES AND SAYINGS, pp 131-132)

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