Instead . . .

“You, however, have not been appointed to decree vengeance upon men’s deeds and works, but rather to ask for mercy for the world, to keep vigil for salvation of all, and to partake in every man’s suffering, both the just and sinner’s.

“Instead of an avenger, be a deliverer. Instead of a faultfinder, be a soother. Instead of a betrayer, be a martyr. Instead of a chider, be a defender. Beseech God in behalf of sinners that they receive mercy, and pray to Him for the righteous that they be preserved [in their righteousness]. Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of justice to shame by your compassion. Remember that the sins of all men go before them to the judgment seat.”

St Isaac the Syrian