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Wisdom from Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Yours in Christ,

From the Staff of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese

"For this reason, O Christians, guard yourselves from accusing others; and in particular guard yourselves carefully, my brothers and sisters, from being scandalized and disquieted when you see or hear of any brother keeping the Lord's commandments and the Sacred Canons of the Holy Apostles, of the Ecumenical and local Synods, and the individual Holy Fathers. 
Rather, strive especially to emulate him yourselves, praising him as a guardian of the Church's traditions and the Lord's commandments; and beware, for the love of God, of reproaching him with defamatory names or of harassing and persecuting him, as being allegedly a violator of today's customs and the traditions of men:
1) since, in reproaching and persecuting him, you reproach and persecute Christ Himself and His Divine Apostles and Saints; for he suffers and struggles for his love of Christ's commandments and for the sake of the truth handed down by the Apostles and the Saints;
2) since, in reproaching and persecuting such a person, you number yourselves among those ancient persecutors and tormentors of the Saints, and you cause him to be numbered among those persecuted Saints of old and become responsible for his being vouchsafed the Beatitude of the Lord, Who says: 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake'; and
3) since to the extent that you war against and persecute such a defender of the truth and virtue, to that extent does he overcome you and receive crowns; for he has truth fighting on his behalf, and the God of Truth Himself, as it is written: 'Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee (Ecclesiasticus 4:28).'  
Moreover, the truth that he professes, even if it is warred against, is never conquered; it is always victorious over those who fight against it, as the wise Zorobabel says: 'Above all things Truth beareth away the victory (1 Esdras 3:12)'; and again: 'As for the truth, it endureth, and is always strong; it liveth and conquereth for evermore (1 Esdras 4:38).'"

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