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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