My Orthodox friend JD let me borrow a book called “Living Without Hypocrisy”. It is a collection of writings from the Holy Elders of Optina, a Russian monastery. I will probably share random selections from this book with you as I slowly work my way through it.

On loving your neighbor:

You must bear the spiritual infirmities of your brother gladly, and without annoyance. For when someone is physically ill, we are not only not annoyed with him, but we are exemplary in our care for him; we should also set an example in cases of spiritual illness. – St. Moses

Do you know someone who just can’t get their life together? Do you know someone who keeps screwing their life up by making the same mistake over and over again? You are supposed to not only love them, but “bear their infirmities”. We are called to patiently and humbly walk alongside and support our friends who have personal issues, regardless of whether or not they caused them… just like you would care for someone who was physically sick.

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