Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; Church Fathers: Day 293

When someone who hates you is in trouble, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, you should be in pain and mourning. Otherwise you fall into secret sin—and there will come a time when all secret sins are laid bare.

You must not slander anyone, or that person may call you “Satan.” Do you hate the name? Then do not go near the act. But if you love the act, do not be angry at the name.

Count yourself rebuked first of all by the beasts and the birds. See how each one sticks with its mate, and so agree with your spouse.

Do not rejoice in the dishonor of others, or you may become a Satan your­self. If evil happens to someone who hates you, be sure not to rejoice, or you will sin. If your adversary falls, be in pain and mourning. Keep your heart with all diligence, so that it does not sin in secret—for there will be a time when thoughts and actions are laid bare. Employ your hands in labor, and let your heart meditate in prayer. Do not love vain discourse, but discourse that is good for the soul and the body alike lightens the burden of your labor.

–St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance, 7

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Have I rejoiced at the downfall of personal enemies, or politicians I disagreed with, or anyone else I didn’t like?

Could I make time right now to pray for the happiness of those people?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, do not punish my enemies, and do not take vengeance on those who hate me, but grant in your grace that they may become doers of your will.


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