Maxim Week 42

Good Morning! We are back from the mountain! What a glorious time it was. It never ceases to amaze me, every single time I see her. Even after 25 years of living here. She is not just another landscape.

More on that later.

Today we hear from Fr. Thomas Hopko again, on his 42nd Maxim of Christian Living.

He has really been sticking it to me lately. Waking me up. Challenging me.

We don’t judge anyone for anything—no matter what. This doesn’t mean we just say, “Everyone’s fine and good.” That’s not true. But we don’t condemn them. We don’t get into what makes them tick. We don’t tell them always what to do. What they do, we do. And we show people what we believe by what we do. But we don’t judge anyone for anything, and if we do, then the Lord judges us the same way.

Fr. Thomas Hopko

This is another doozy for me. Wrapped up in this maxim is pride. We judge out of pride. St. Gennadius of Constantinople says, “To judge a man who has gone astray is a sign of pride, and God resists the proud. On the other hand, one who every hour prepares himself to give answer for his own sins will not quickly lift up his head to examine the mistakes of others.”

We need to prepare ourselves, as St. Gennadius says, and look deeply at our own sins for we are the chief of all sinners. We will less likely see the sin of others if we are focused on our own.

One way we can fight looking at and thinking about the sin of others is to constantly work at seeing the good in others. There is good in everyone, for they are made in the image of God. Find one good thing. Look into their eyes and see Jesus.

Maybe we ought to pray the Prayer of St. Ephraim we pray each and every lent, every day. Or at least the end…

“Help me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother.”

Let us press forward seeking God in all we do, not judging our brothers but rather focusing on all that is noble, just, pure, lovely and praiseworthy.

Have a blessed week!

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