Saturday, August 30, 2014

That the Good May Shine the Brighter

"This is why God has left the wicked in the world: so that the good may shine the brighter.

Do you see how great the gain is?  But the gain is not owing to the wicked, but to the courage of the good. Trees tossed about by contrary winds grow stronger. And the wicked gain too, by mixing with the good. They feel confused; they are ashamed; they blush in the presence of the good.  Even if they do not keep from evil, nevertheless they dare what they dare in secret. This is no small thing, not to have sins publicly committed.

The life of the good becomes the accuser of their wickedness. 'It hurts even to see him,' they say of the righteous man. It is no small amendment to be tormented by his presence."

St. John Chysostom

Painting: Adolphe Alexandre Dillens, Capture of Joan of Arc


  1. Had not quite thought of it that way. Much evil is being done in the light of day now; I wonder if our presence is not strong enough or shining brightly enough. Food for thought, Nancy.

    1. I hadn't thought of things this way either, which is why this struck me when I read it. The words 'not to have sins publicly committed' really grabbed me, and I thought of how sin is so publicly committed today. As you say, much evil is being done in the light of day.

      Thank you, Deborah.