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The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






The very act of not doing good is in itself doing evil.  Tell me, if thou hadst a servant who should neither steal nor insult thee, who, moreover, should keep from drunkenness and every other kind of vice, and yet should sit perpetually in idleness and not doing one of those duties which a servant owes to his master, wouldst thou not chastise him?  Wouldst thou not put him to the rack?  Doubtless, thou wilt say -- I would.  And yet, forsooth, he has done no evil .  No, but this is in itself doing evil.  .   


But let us apply this to other cases in life.  Suppose, then, that of a husbandman.  He does no damage to our property; he lays no plots against us, and he is not a thief;  he only ties his hands behind him and sits at home.  He neither sows, nor cuts a single furrow, nor harnesses an ox to the yoke, nor looks after a vine, nor in fact discharges any one of those labours required in husbandry.  Now, I ask, should we not chastise such a man?  And yet, he has done no wrong to anyone; we have no charge whatever to make against him.  No; but by this very thing has he done wrong.  He does wrong in that he does not contribute his own share to the common stock of good.   


St. John Chrysostom







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