With His own mouth He warned us

We’re deceiving ourselves if we believe, for example, that the venial sin of idle talk isn’t displeasing to God when His word is clear: ‘I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every idle word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned’ (Matth. 12, 36).

And how can we say that we’re not contradicting the will of God with unrestrained laughter, when the Lord Himself never laughed as a man, though He did weep four times. With His own mouth He warned us: ‘Woe to you who are laughing now, for you shall weep and mourn’ (Luke, 6, 25). Basil the Great, in fact, imposed a penance of exclusion from communion for a week for a monk or nun who joked or laughed improperly (in his Digest of the Canonical Ordinances).

How can we claim that lying and feasting aren’t against the will of God, when the Lord warns that He will destroy all liars (Ps 5, 7) and curses those who are well-fed: ‘Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry’ (Luke 6, 25)?

“Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite”

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