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Envy


Fri­day. [Eph. 6:18–24; Luke 4:22–30] The peo­ple of Nazareth mar­velled at the word of the Lord, but never?theless they did not believe: envy pre­vent­ed them as the Lord Him­self revealed. Every pas­sion oppos­es truth and good­ness, but envy most of all, because false­hood and spite make up its essence. This pas­sion is the most unjust and poi­so­nous both for the one who bears it and for the one against whom it is direct­ed. It occurs on a small scale with every?one when some­one equal or inferi?or gets the upper hand. Ego­ism gets irri­tat­ed, and envy begins to gnaw away at the heart. This is still not so tor­ment­ing if the road is still open to you; but when it is blocked off, es?pecially by the one you already en?vy, then its aggres­sion is unstoppa?ble, and peace is impos­si­ble. Envy demands the over­throw of one’s en?emy from his place on the peak, and will not rest con­tent until it some?how attains this, or until it ruins the envi­er. Good natured, well-wish­ing peo­ple, whose kind­ly sen­ti­ments pre­vail over ego­is­ti­cal ones, do not suf­fer from envy. This is also the way to extin­guish envy for any per?son tor­ment­ed by it. You must has?ten to inspire good will, espe­cial­ly towards the one whom you envy, and man­i­fest it in deed; then envy will imme­di­ate­ly abate. If you re?peat this sev­er­al times, with God’s help it will entire­ly sub­side. But if you leave it the way it is, if you do not over­come your­self and force your­self to do good to the one you envy, it will tor­ment you, dry you up, and send you to your grave.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse