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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the Questions of Their Disciples.


Disciple: You said we must prefer love of God and neighbor above worldly and visible things, even our own bodies, how can I love the man that hates and repulses me?

Master: For beasts, it is natural to ward off whatever molests them. But for those made after the image of God and motivated by reason, it is possible to love those that causes us grief and to love those that hate us.

Disciple: Is it really possible to love one’s enemies?

Master: God never commands the impossible for he would not otherwise rebuke the transgressor. Christ and the apostles showed us by their examples, too.

Disciple: But more often do I see people unable to love their enemies.

Master: As long as we are lovers of this world we will not be able to love our enemies. We will even hate those who love us, becoming worse than beasts.

Disciple: I have left everything but still find it difficult to love my enemies. What else must I do?

Master: Besides renouncing all things, you must also know the purpose of the Lord…which is to get your enemies and bring them closer to Christ.

St. Maximus the Confessor





(updated 05-01-02)


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