The Judgmental Monk

May 15, 2017

One of the monks of Sceta said to Abbot Mateus: “My tongue is always causing me problems. When I am among the faithful I just can’t control myself and I end up condemning their wrong actions.”

The old abbot thought a moment and then said to the distraught monk: “If you really don’t think you are capable of controlling yourself, perhaps you should leave teaching and move to the desert and live as a hermit.”

The monk was shocked by the Abbot’s response. He replied, “That is a very extreme solution! Isn’t there something else I can do?”

Abbot Mateus looked the monk in the eye, and said, “Yes, there is another solution. Admit to yourself that you have some faults and feelings of superiority. Next, you must forgive yourself for these faults and work over time to eliminate them. As part of that inner work, you must always forgive others for their faults, just as you have forgiven yourself.”

Author Unknown

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