We do well to meditate upon these 5th century Words of Wisdom
from Abba Isaiah of Scetis, Egypt
1) Let us remember love for the poor, that this love might save us from greed, when the sin of greed shall come to greet us.
2) Let us acquire peace with all, the humble and the great, that this might guard us against hate, when it shall come to meet us.
3) Let us acquire patience before all and in all things, that this might guard us against carelessness, when it shall come to meet us.
4) Let us love all our brothers and sisters, without hating anyone or repaying anyone any ill done against us; for this shall guard us against envy, when this demon too shall come to meet us.
5) Let us love the endurance in humility of our neighbor’s word, even if this word should bring upon us hurt and derision; for humility will guard us against pride, when it too shall come to meet us.
6) Let us seek to honor our neighbor and not to condemn or hurt anyone; for this shall protect us from gossip, when it shall come to meet us.
7) Let us despise the cares of the world and its honors, that we might be saved from its bewitching evil, when it shall come to meet us.
8) Let us teach our tongues to be unceasingly occupied with the commandments of God, righteousness, and prayer, that we might be protected from falsehood, when it too shall come to meet us.
Let us do all that is within our power and the power of our Lord Christ, which is great, to humble ourselves; for our Lord Jesus Christ knows that man is hapless, and thus He has granted him repentance, as long as the soul is in this corruptible body, that he might, until his very last breath, correct himself, and flee from sin.
Who is our neighbor? Those we are able to assist and encourage,
whether next door or far away.
May the peace of Christ be with us during this new year as we strive
to love our neighbor as ourselves.