In this struggle, many brothers of ours lay prostrated on the ground, in wounds, in their own blood, and there’s nobody to take care of them: neither lay, nor clergy, nobody; there is nobody to help them, neither friend, nor brother; because we all think just of ourselves.
This is why we are all sinking. Only then are we strong, only then are we victorious, when we do not seek our own interest; now, however, we are week and easily defeated by people and devil, because we are seeking our own interest alone, because we do not protect each other, nor do we strengthen with love of God, but only seek other causes for friendship: some seek kinship, others seek customs, others – common work interests, others – neighbours; any other cause, except for faith in God; while only belief in God should unite friends. Things, however, are completely different; we are friends with Hebrew and with heathen, but we are not friends with the sons of the Church.
St. John Chrysostom, “Homily on Matthews”
If, for example, I tell my brother, “Now I can’t help you, it’s prayer time”, my saying is not at all scandalous, it’s comfortable and proving piety. However, it is anything, but not Christian. If I judge in myself: “I should sooner renounce the sweetness of service, then leave my brother helpless, alone, struggling with his own sorrow; being merciful with him I may appear scandalous and cause confusion to a Pharisee, but this would be very Christian like. If I feel elevated, but ignore a sick person who needs my help, I may appear very pious, but I will not be a Christian.
Fr. N. Steinhardt, “Through giving you shall receive”.
Who takes any interest in his neighbour today? Nobody. All we are interested is our own selves, and nothing about the neighbour. But God, Who is all love, will not forgive us this indifference for our neighbour.
Rev. Paisios of the Holy Mountain