Within my faith community there are some who’ve decided that “outing” other individuals is a Christian way of dealing with differences in sexual orientation. These messages are a response to that disturbing development, however, these quotes show Orthodox Christianity at its best and most authentic:
Enemies have driven me into Thine embrace more than friends have.
Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Thy tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.
They’ve punished me, whenever I’ve hesitated to punish myself.
They’ve tormented me, whenever I’ve tried to flee torments.
They’ve scolded me, whenever I’ve flattered myself.
They’ve spat upon me, whenever I’ve filled myself with arrogance.
Bless my enemies, O Lord, Even I bless them and don’t curse them.
Whenever I’ve made myself wise, they’ve called me foolish.
Whenever I’ve made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.
Whenever I’ve wanted to lead people, they’ve shoved me into the background.
Whenever I’ve rushed to enrich myself, they’ve prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I’d sleep peacefully, they’ve wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I’ve tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they’ve demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Thine garment.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and don’t curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:
so that my fleeing to Thee may have no return;
so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;
so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;
so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins, arrogance and anger;
so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.
One hates his enemies only when he fails to realise that they aren’t enemies, but cruel friends.
It’s truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world… friends or enemies.
Therefore, bless, O Lord, both my friends and enemies.
A slave curses enemies, for he doesn’t understand, but a son blesses them, for he understands.
For a son knows that his enemies can’t touch his life.
Therefore, he freely steps amongst them and prays to God for them.
St Nikolaj Velimirović of Ohrid and Žiča
Prayers By the Lake (A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality, Volume 5)
There be dragons abroad… they mean what they say. I know this from personal experience. No one who doesn’t fit their idiosyncratic and Pretendodox criteria is fit for communion or even attendance at the Liturgy. Beware ALL who say, “I speak the truth in love”. Such people NEVER speak the truth nor do they EVER show any love (beyond their family circles and friends, that is, as our Lord Christ said, “Even the Pharisees do as much”). We live in perilous times. Have a care… I’m handing out the AKs, RPGs, axe handles, and dynamite at the back door…