Saint Seraphim of Sarov (July 19, 1759 – January 2 (N.S. January 14), 1833), born Prokhor Moshnin (Прохор Мошнин), was a Russian Orthodox monk and starets who spent most of his life near Sarov, Russia. He was canonized as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903.
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- We cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other, not even those whom you catch committing an evil deed. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a morass of filth that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Keep away from the spilling of speech. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, outrage, and will shield your glowing hearts against the evil that creeps around.
- Acquire a peaceful spirit and then thousands of others around you will be saved.
- As quoted in The Inner Kingdom (2000) by Kallistos Ware, p. 133.
- Variant translations:
- Acquire a peaceful spirit, and then thousands around you will be saved.
- As quoted in The Folly of Prayer : Practicing the Presence and Absence of God (2009) by Matt Woodley, p. 156.
- Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.