I DO not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.
For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
From today’s reading, St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16.
TRULY the evil of the present age has exceeded the evils and sins of all other ages, and every spiritual father with the fear of God and a conscience is in a difficult position when it comes to applying oikonomia to sinners who confess.
In the present wicked generation the spiritual father ought to use oikonomia, for if he uses strictness, either none of those who confess, or few and far between, will be found worthy of receiving communion. […]
PREACHING is good and necessary, but virtuous spiritual fathers are more necessary.
The spiritual father is the one who will wash us from the mire of sin, cleanse our wounds, give us medicines for the safeguard, cure and health of the soul, and reconcile and unite us with God. […]
The teacher whether he is a priest and spiritual father must be careful to invent medicines and appropriate ways, to correct them.
Neither should he be silent, nor should he censure them harshly and abruptly, because strict censures are bruises to prideful and impious ones, and if he abruptly censures them, he will lose them completely.
St Philotheos Zervakos of Paros. Source.
Today is the Feast of the Apostle Thaddaeus. Some identify him with the Apostle Thaddaeus in Mt 10:3, but Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. I.13) knew him as one of the Seventy.
BLESSED Apostle Thaddaeus, at thy divine touch sight was granted to the blind, and wholeness to the lame, and health to the sick, and restoration anew to the paralysed, and saving knowledge to the uninitated: for abundantly didst thou bud forth with spiritual gifts from the Spirit that worketh all things, O happy one; wherefore we hymn thee.
Menaion, August 21. My non-expert translation, from Analogion.