Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich): I Encourage Everyone to Be Kinder, More Patient and More Gentle Towards Each Other

Now, in the days of the Bright Resurrection of Christ, when everything speaks of the victory of Life over death, I would like to remind everyone once again of being gentle towards one other.

It is no secret to anyone that in days of great hardship, human relationships are also tested. In a temper, we sometimes feel like bearers of the truth and are ready to verbally destroy anyone who disagrees with us, even if it is our close one.

But human relationships are so fragile, so vulnerable. They are easy to destroy and very difficult to restore.

However, what if our loved one is really wrong? What if he or she became a victim of false information, if their perception is turned upside down?

Sometimes it happens. We must remember that this is our neighbor, our close one. Even if they are mistaken a hundred times, even if they say terrible things, we understand that this is just a temporary eclipse, that the essence of this person is different. It just so happened that not everyone is able to think soberly or control themselves in moments of stress, to remain restrained during a panic, to distinguish the truth from a carefully disguised lie.

Let’s take a closer look at ourselves: have we always been on top in our lives? Have we always acted flawlessly and impeccably? Or maybe, on the contrary, we took lies for the truth, used double standards in evaluating certain events, covered up our own not the best desires of our soul with plausible pretexts? Alas, every person in this sinful earthly life, even a saint, makes mistakes.

And now imagine that after our mistakes, everyone suddenly stopped communicating with us. It’s scary to even imagine such a situation.

Awareness of one’s own weakness, recognition of one’s mistakes and infirmities is good because it allows us to look at those who are now making a mistake with different eyes. Yes, it is in human nature to make mistakes, but it is also in human nature to correct their mistakes.

The main thing is not to stagnate in a false sense of one’s own rightness and infallibility. And this really applies to everyone.

Therefore, once again I urge you to be kinder, more patient and more gentle towards each other. Do not bully your neighbors, do not provoke discord. If a conflict begins which we cannot extinguish, it is better to step aside and pray for the admonition of both our neighbor and ourselves. After all, prayer is often stronger than all the words. And even when, it would seem, all kinship and friendship ties are broken, there remains a prayerful connection – a connection with God. And the Lord in His inexhaustible mercy is able to arrange everything and unite all those who were divided by human mistakes, sins and passions.

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