Conversations with Father Zacharias – Envy

Conversations with Father Zacharias – Envy


Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou


Question: Is pride the cause of jealousy?

Archim. Zacharias: There may be many causes, but above all it is lack of trust in God Who gives all things to all men. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father says to his elder son: ‘Why do you react with jealousy with regard to your brother? All that is mine is thine, nothing can harm you’ (cf. Luke 15:31) and God says the same words to every one of us. We do not need jealousy if all that is His is available to each one of us, because there is no way that we can be harmed or wronged. When Peter asked the Lord after His Resurrection: ‘What about John?’, the Lord answered: ‘If I want him to stay until I come, what is that to thee? You follow Me’ (cf. John 21:21-22). That is to say, jealousy is a sin because we do not follow Him Who said: ‘All that is Mine is thine.’

Question: What should we do if we feel the energy of jealousy from someone?

Archim. Zacharias: I do not think it is sane to allow ourselves to think that people are jealous of us, because we may be wrong and it will not help us. It is better to ignore that thought and pray for that person, who may be in difficulty. Even if they are jealous, it is better to think that they have a certain difficulty and to pray for them: ‘Lord, You see, we are all tormented by our miseries. Speak good things in our hearts and grant us Your peace as You did grant it to Your Apostles.’


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Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.