Attending to oneself

“An offspring of [the sin of] pride is censure, which is unfortunately also a habit of many Christians, who tend to concern themselves more with others than themselves. This is a phenomenon of our time and of a society that pushes people into a continuous observation of others, and not of the self.
Modern man’s myriad occupations and activities do not want him to ever remain alone to study, to contemplate, to pray, to attain self-awareness, self critique, self-control and to be reminded of death. The so-called Mass Media are incessantly preoccupied with scandal-seeking, persistently and at length, with human passions, with sins, with others’ misdemeanors. These kinds of things provoke, impress, and, even if they do not scandalize, they nevertheless burden the soul and the mind with filth and ugliness and they actually reassure us, by making us believe that “we are better” than those advertised.
Thus, a person becomes accustomed to the mediocrity, the tepidity and the transience of superficial day-to-day life, never comparing himself to saints and heroes. This is how censure prevails in our time – by giving man the impression that he is justly imposing a kind of cleansing, by mud-slinging at others, albeit contaminating himself by generating malice, hatred, hostility, resentfulness, envy and frigidity. Saint Maximos the Confessor in fact states that the one who constantly scrutinizes others’ sins, or judges his brothers based on suspicion only, has not even begun to repent, nor has he begun any research into discovering his own sins.”
~Fr. Moses of the Holy Mount of Athos


Judging/Correcting Others

“You must see everyone else a Saints and only yourself – only yourself – as a sinner and inferior to all, no matter how sinful other people may be. We have no right to see them as sinners. We have no right to judge them. We have no right to say anything against a sinner. We should only see ourselves a sinners and lower than everyone.” ~ Elder Paisios the Athonite 

“The Law, in its imperfection says: ‘Attend to yourself’ (Deut. 4:9). The Lord, in His perfection, tells us to correct our brother, saying, ‘If your brother sins against you, etc.’ (Matt. 18:15). If your reproof, or rather your reminder, can be pure and humble, then do as the Lord commanded, particularly in the case of those who will accept it. But if your progress has not reached this far, at least do what the Law says.” ~ St. John Climacus.

“If you wish to correct anyone from his faults, do not think of correcting him solely by your own means: you would only do harm by your own passions, for instance, by pride and by the irritability arising from it; ‘but cast thy burden upon the Lord,’ (Ps. 55:22) and pray to God ‘Who trieth the hearts and reins,’ (Ps. 7:9) with all your heart, that He Himself may enlighten the mind and heart of that man.” St. Gregory Palamas

“Hence, I beseech you, let us not draw attention to our neighbors’ faults, should we learn about them from others, far from being anxious to see their nakedness, let us rather, like the right minded sons, conceal them, cover them up, strive to raise the fallen person by exhortation and advice, instructing him in the magnitude of God’s love, the extraordinary degree of His goodness, His boundless compassion, so that like them we may enjoy greater commendation from the God of all, Who wants ‘all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth,’ Who wants not so much ‘the death of a sinner as his conversion to life.’ ‘They did not see their father’s nakedness,’ the text says (Gen. 9:23). See how right from the very beginning they fulfilled these obligations from the law innate in their nature and thus anticipated their imposition in the law drafted for the instruction of the human race, as is legislated for in the words, ‘Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you.” ~ St. John Chrysostom

“He who with fear of God admonishes or corrects a man who has sinned, gains the virtue that is opposite to that sin. But he who reproaches him out of rancor and ill will becomes subject to a similar passion, according to the spiritual law.” ~ Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

“If we have true love with sympathy and patient labor, we shall not go about scrutinizing our neighbor’s shortcomings. As it is said, “Charity shall cover the multitude of sins”  (1 Peter 4:8), and again, “Love thinketh no evil… hides everything, etc.”(1 Cor.13:5,6) As I said, if we have true love, that very love should screen anything of this kind, as did the saints when they saw the shortcomings of men.Were they blind? Not at all! But they simply would not let their eyes dwell on sins.” ~ Saint Dorotheos of Gaza, On Refusal to Judge our Neighbor

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other… Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.” ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Every minute God forgives us, we should forgive one another. This is the greatest virtue, if you say: My God forgive my brother for whatever he did to me.” St. Anthimos of Chios +1960

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? ~ James 4:11-12

“Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” ~ James 5:9

A certain elder, who was asked by the brothers what condemnation is and what it means to speak ill of another, gave the following explanation: “In the case of speaking ill of someone, one reveals the hidden faults of his brother. In the case of condemnation, one censures something obvious. On the one hand, if someone were to say, for example, that such-and-such a brother is well-intentioned and kind, but lacks discretion, this would be to speak ill of him. If, however one were to say that so-and-so is greedy and miserly, this is condemnation, for in this way he censures his neighbor’s deeds. Condemnation is worse than speaking ill of another.” ~ From the Desert Fathers

“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we all will stand before God’s judgment seat…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” – Romans 14:10-13 “Do not regard the feelings of a person who speaks to you about his neighbor disparagingly, but rather say to him: “Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize him?” In this way you will achieve two things: you will heal yourself and your neighbor with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins; I mean, not to judge. ‘Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.’ (Luke 6:37)” ~ St. John Climacus

“It is no great thing not to judge, and to be sympathetic to someone who is in trouble and falls down before you, but it is a great thing not to judge or to strike back when someone, on account of his own passions, speaks against you. Likewise, it is a great thing not to disagree when someone else is honored more than you are.” ~ St. Dorotheos of Gaza

 “Even without any other passion, self esteem can ruin a man; and in the same way, if we have formed the habit of judging, we can be utterly ruined by this alone; for indeed, the Pharisee was condemned for this very thing.” ~ St. John Climacus

“Treat everyone with equal love and respect. Do not be hasty in judgment, or quick to show anger, but be patient and calm, trusting always in the judgment and the power of God. Day by day, pray to God to forgive you for the ways in which you failed in your duties, asking him for greater strength in the future.” ~ Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr

“My children, avoid criticism — a very great sin. God is grieved whenever we criticize and loathe people. Let us concern ourselves only with our own faults — for these let us feel pain; let us criticize ourselves and then we will find mercy and grace from God.” ~ Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos

“Do not be irritated either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbour, and for judging him, as we are in the habit of doing. Everyone shall given an answer to God for himself. Everyone has a conscience; everyone hears God’s Word, and knows God’s Will either from books or from conversation with other people. Especially do not look with evil intention upon the sins of your elders, which do not regard you; `to his own master he standeth or falleth.’ Correct your own sins, amend your own life.” ~ St. John of Kronstadt

Do not regard the feelings of a person who speaks to you about his neighbor disparagingly, but rather say to him: “Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize him?” In this way you will achieve two things: you will heal yourself and your neighbor with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins; I mean, not to judge. ‘Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.’ (Luke 6:37)” ~ St. John Climacus