A spiritual father-confessor named Benjamin, when a person had come to him for confession was talking about others and criticizing his brothers, would send the "penitent" away until he could correct himself and change his attitude.
The most simple monk, Elder David, would tell his visitors about this kind of criticism: "Be careful, do not say one person does this and the other does that. If you do so, you lose Christ's grace. Even if you see a person acting like an ass, do not criticize. Love your neighbor as you would your own self. This is what Christ tells us to do."
from An Athonite Gerontikon (h/t to Word from the Desert)Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure.
If you cannot make yourself what you would wish to be, how can you bend others to your will? We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we ask. We would have them bound by laws, yet we will allow ourselves to be restrained in nothing. Hence, it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of ourselves.
from the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Gospel of Saint Matthew 7:1-5
May God bless all who read my ramblings,
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