Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 24

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 24

54.  One should not be startled or astonished because God the Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son (cf. John 5:22). The Son teaches us, ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged’ (Matt. 7:1); ‘Do not condemn, so that you may not be condemned’ (Luke 6:37). St Paul likewise says, ‘Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes’ (1 Cor. 4:5); and ‘By judging another you condemn yourself’ (Rom. 2:1). But men have given up weeping for their own sins and have taken judgment away from the Son. They themselves judge and condemn one another as if they were sinless. ‘Heaven was amazed at this’  (Jer. 2:12. LXX) and earth shuddered, but men in their obduracy are not ashamed.

This was not merely a problem in St. Maximos’ time; it continues to be a deep and enduring problem for Christians, especially today. And we treat it as though our condemnation of each other were a minor thing, when in fact we not only condemn ourselves, but heaven stands amazed and the earth shudders. It seems our condemnation of each other, rather than love, has cosmic ramifications, note merely personal ones.

Of course, we do have to speak for the good and expose evil and the way of death. But we must start by weeping for our sins and we must never judge ourselves better than another. In some sense, I think we must almost speak against evil in a way that confesses our own shared culpability in it. If we loved fully and more constantly, evil would hold less sway than it does.

However it might look if we did this well (and frankly it stretches my imagination), I’m certain we do it poorly today.


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