Good Advice

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Do not be afraid of men’s sins, love man also in his sin, for this likeness of God’s love is the height of love on earth. Love all of God’s creation, both the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love animals, love plants, love each thing. If you love each thing, you will perceive the mystery of God in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin tirelessly to perceive more and more of it every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an entire, universal love. Love the animals: God gave them the rudiments of thought and an untroubled joy. Do not trouble it, do not torment them, do not take their joy from them, do not go against God’s purpose. Man, do not exalt yourself above the animals: they are sinless, and you, you with your grandeur, fester the earth by your appearance on it, and leave your festering trace behind you–alas, almost every one of us does!

Love children especialy, for they, too, are sinless, like angels, and live to bring us to tenderness and the purification of our hearts and as a sort of example for us. Woe to him who offends a child.

–Elder Zosima, in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

One Response to “Good Advice”

  1. Present Matters » on hope and love Says:

    […] A while ago below I posted a quote from the Brothers Karamazov. In it Elder Zosima tells his listeners to love even the sinners, to project hope and life, for in doing that we reflect the same love of God. […]