Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the
Questions of Their Disciples.
Disciple: I entreat you, father, teach me how
love tames anger.
Master: Love is merciful and wishes to do good
to one's neighbor, to be long suffering in this regard. By these
means, then, love tames the anger of him who has got hold of
Disciple: And what is long suffering?
Master: Perseverance in adversity, endurance of
evils, to overcome long temptations, not to let your anger go out of
control, not to speak a word of folly, not to suspect or to think
anything that does not become a God-fearing man.
Disciple: And what is the reward of such a man?
say: "A long suffering man shall bear for a time, and,
afterwards, joy shall be restored to him. He will hide his words for
a time, and the lips of many shall declare his understanding."
Disciple: And what else are the marks of long
Master: To blame oneself as the cause of temptation.
What does that mean?
Many of the things that befall us is for our training, either to do
away with past sins or to correct present neglect or to check future
sinful deeds. He, then, who reckons that temptation has come upon
him for one of these reasons is not vexed at its attack, especially
as he is conscious of his sins.
St. Maximus the
Confessor, The Ascetical Life