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From chattering and joking comes lying; and lying is the destruction of charity and the very denial of God. "You will destroy everyone speaking a lie." How much more he who swears on a lie.

I have seen men proud of their ability to lie and joke around, taking away the spirit of mourning from souls. Our fall is when we avoid being offensive; so we laugh or avoid giving the impression we are holier.

Hypocrisy is the mother and cause of lying. To lie out of fear is serious but less serious than to lie with nothing to worry about, like to lie out of sheer pleasure, for amusement, to raise laughter, or trap one's brother and do him harm.

St. John Climacus





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