From the Teachings of St Gabriel the Confessor of Georgia (+1995)
I am a great sinner and greatly infirm. If you see a person sinning even at the hour of his death, do not judge him. Judging and mockery are great wounds on the soul. The Lord says, “Man, who art thou that thou shouldst judge for Me?” For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matt. 7:2). Judging is a manifestation of human stupidity; it shows that he who judges does not yet know God or himself as he should.
Judging is a great sin, when we exalt ourselves above others. All who exalt themselves are abominable before the Lord. Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matt. 23:12). When you judge others you judge God. Whether you’ve seen a thief, a loose woman, or a drunkard sprawled on the street, do not judge, because the Lord allowed their passions. Through these they should find the path to God — they should be humbled, see their own powerlessness, come to know the Lord, and repent. And are you pleasing to God? That means that the Lord in His grace and mercy is restraining your passions. Know that if He lets them go you will fall into worse sins, and perhaps you won’t manage to climb out of those sins and you’ll perish. Therefore be humble and cautious. You saw that a person sinned, but did you see how he later repented? Then don’t judge! Like a thread passing through the eye of a needle, so man experiences the same sin that he judged in another.
Be humble and loving before all people, and if you cannot love everyone, at least treat everyone with good will. Kindness will open to you the gates of Paradise, humility will lead you there, and love will reveal God to you. God is seen only in truth and divine love, for “God is Love.” Remember and understand me well: without Christ, all is nothing! Man is created in the image of Christ, and if we who are His likeness do not come to Him, we will perish! If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
~from The Orthodox Word, No. 308
“Give me a word!”
For if fear diverts a person from unseemly things, much more should the love of Christ. Virtue is difficult. But let us cast around its form the greatness of the promise of things to come. Indeed, those who are virtuous, even apart from these promises, see [virtue] beautiful in itself. This is why they go after it and work for it, because it seems good to God and not because it is a job they have to do.
-St John Chrysostom
Wherefore on no account suffer any evil habit to master thee; but, while it is yet young, pluck the evil root out of thine heart, lest it fasten on and strike root so deep that time and labor be required to uproot it.
-St John Damascene