The cypress is green in both summer and winter …
Beware … of two sins: fearing sinners and scorning sinners. For your greenness will vanish like the greenness of a willow … And your humility will become arrogance. And sinners will call your their namesakes.
You who are righteous: sin is weakness, and to be afraid of sinners is to be afraid of weaklings. A sinner is terrified of the dead righteous man within himself, and twice as terrified of a living righteous man outside himself.
You who are righteous, sin is a sickness, and to despise sinners is to scorn the sick. He who gives of His own health to the sick, multiplies his own health. Scorning sinners undermines the health of one who is healthy.
Sin sits at the table of those who are afrid to sit at the table of a sinner. Sin enters the home of those who are afraid to enter the home of a sinner. Whoever turns back from his way, in order to avoid meeting a sinner, returns home laden with sin.
O compassionate Heavenly Mother of God, protect all those who have set out on the way of righteousness, lest they fear sinners and lest they scorn sinners.
Lest their fear make them God-betrayers, and lest their scorning of sinners make them manslayers.
Lest their quasi-righteousness be merely a pinnacle, from which they will fall even further downward to their destruction.
St. Nicolai Velemirovich, Prayers by the Lake, Prayer LXXX