If we aren’t certain of our love, better to keep quiet

8 April 2016

Once, in a skete, a brother fell into error and after a conference, the others sent word to Abba Moïsis, asking him to come. But he didn’t want to. So the oldest of the monks sent a message to him saying: ‘Come, because people are waiting for you’. So he set out and made his way there.

He picked up a basket with holes in it, filled it with sand and carried it on his back. The brothers came out to meet him and asked: ‘What’s this, father?’. The elder said to them: ‘My own sins are behind me and I don’t see them. And I’m supposed to come here today to judge the sins of somebody else?’

When they heard this, they said nothing to the brother and forgave him (Sayings of the Elders).


But what about the prophetic calling? Aren’t we obliged to tell the truth? Yes, answers Paul, but when we’re able to tell it with love. We can condemn delusion and wickedness, and censure someone who commits an error, but only when we’re certain that we love them. If we’re not certain of this love, then the least we can do, in the name of Jesus Christ, is to keep quiet.

Source: Ήθος Άηθες, Akritas, Athens 1988, p. 117