We often ask ourselves why we don’t get along with those around us, why we argue against them and each of us has a point in his own way. We sometimes get very upset, other times we cut the person we squabbled with out of our lives or we carry on with a long series of arguments and reproaches without asking God for help. We always fail to realize or be aware of the fact that we are His children, we are all brothers, we have such a precious soul and nobody except for God knows the weaknesses each of us has.
Whenever we quarrel with someone, whether it is a strife or that person reproaches us for something, it is important for us to humble ourselves, to get to know ourselves. When I say this, I mean we should regard ourselves as petty before God and maybe, without us realizing it, God admonishes us precisely through our friends or brothers. Secondly we must not judge the neighbour we are upset with. That is why we have to think about two aspects, the first of which is: ‘Lord, what have I done wrong that upset my brother and made him angry with me?’ or ‘Lord, what have I done wrong that caused my brother to slander me or to envy me or to speak ill of me?’ The second aspect is to take pity in the person who speaks ill of us or the one who is blind and can’t see the path. Let us pray to the Lord for them because they might have a bad temper due to the lack of love or due to certain circumstances.
Sometimes we don’t realize that some experiences in our lives leave us with trauma and we become reserved in our stance towards the world having the tendency to judge. Yet another major aspect is to have self-control, that is to renounce the egotism within us, the pride that infiltrates insidiously. Because of our ego we can’t accept advice easily, we feel like someone has something against us, but we don’t realize that we can learn something from any piece of advice. Those around us see us clearer from the outside and as you know a friend is not necessarily someone who flatters you, but also someone who lets you know when you are wrong.
Because we have a good opinion of ourselves, we often give advice to others or we try to impose our point of view, we are too haughty and we don’t accept any remark. If someone among us is less of a believer and has an erroneous view on something, we must not try to alter their opinion or impose our opinion in a barbaric manner because we would alienate them, they would become confused or judge us and consider us crazy. We must talk gently and kindly to these people, tell them our honest opinion, show them how we see good and evil. But it is even more important that we advise them to pray to the Lord, to seek Him, we could suggest going together to a church, to a monastery rather than giving useless advice in which we might not believe ourselves.
I would like to conclude with something particularly important: we should learn how to listen to people. Let us follow the example of our Saviour Who listens to each and every one of us. When somebody comes to you and wants to share a delicate matter of the soul, listen to them without saying anything and pray silently asking God to help them. We must not react on impulse, judge them or try to change them right away because they will flee. Have you seen the kind of patience confessors have? When you go to them to confess, they listen to you; if they labelled you, you would run away instantly and never confess again. We are all subjected to making mistakes, it’s better to keep silent and let God speak. Let us have patience with everybody, with the poor as well as with the weak and even with ourselves. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners!
Translated by Claudia