Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Science of Sciences

“The science of sciences is to conquer the sin dwelling in us, or the passions acting in us. For instance, it is great wisdom not to be angry with anyone, nor at anything; not to think evil of anyone, not even if someone has done us harm, but to excuse him in every way; it is wisdom to despise gain, luxuries, but to love disinterestedness, and simplicity of food and drink, combined with constant moderation; it is wisdom not to flatter anyone, but to speak the truth fearlessly to everybody; it is wisdom not to be charmed by beauty of person, but to respect in all, whether they be handsome or ugly, the beauty of the image of God, which is equally in all; it is wisdom to love your enemies and not to take vengeance upon them either by word, thought, or deed; it is wisdom not to amass wealth for ourselves, but to give it to the poor, in order to gain for ourselves "a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." [Luke 12:33] Alas! we have studied nearly all the sciences, but have not learnt the science of avoiding sins, and often show ourselves entirely ignorant of this moral science. And thus it follows that the truly wise, the truly learned, were the holy, true disciples of the true Teacher, Christ; whilst all of us, so-called learned men, are ignorant; and the more learned we are, the worse is our ignorance, because we do not know and do not do the one thing needful, but only serve our self-love, love of fame, sensuality and covetousness.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt