Elder Moses of Mount Athos
We do not need to be either excessively strict or inappropriately lenient. Intrusive and invasive behaviour is the reason why some people were saddened and became disappointed.
In order to approach the other people, it is no use being stubborn, superficial, or using a heavy hand. Discreetness stems from knowledge, experience, spiritual culture and maturity. It is the result of self-control, self-criticism, study and divine enlightenment. Discreetness can console and calm the souls. Indiscretion hurts, tires and torments.
The instructors has a huge responsibility.
They must not create new problems with unknown results.
In our everyday interpersonal relationships we need to be open, understanding, co-operative, courteous, receptive with a sacrificial offering. When we put pressure on young people, we do not help them. They react, they do not listen and they go away. When you put so much pressure on someone, you will have the opposite results of what you would have expected.
Coercion is inhuman. The humble one is also discreet. Discreetness can protect someone from overly dangerous excesses for spiritual life. Discreetness protects all those who possess it from every from of disillusion. It will not let the disease get worse.
Saint Chrysostom says that in spiritual education great severity, constant reprimands, and many remarks and punishments are elements that will hurt, tire and discourage the disciples.
Discreetness is meant to save and not to exacerbate a situation. Forgiveness, repentance and love go beyond any sin. The polite, cute and humble way is always useful. Good begets good when it is to be achieved in a good manner. We can help better the others with love-centered truth, brotherhood and receptiveness.
Everyone has one’s unique feature. We should not act as if we were investigators, judges, psychoanalysts, and prosecutors.
*The article was originally published in Greek in ikivotos.gr