[Part 9 of a 10 part series of book notes
taken from On the Upbringing of Children by Bishop IRENAIUS]
The Poison of Envy
“For the envious man, the good fortune of another is un-endurable: his heart is torn by bitterness when his neighbor prospers, while he feels joy and satisfaction at his neighbor’s trials and suffering. May God grant, beloved ones, that no such person may be found among you.” (p50)
to help parents prevent envy and jealousy from taking root in the heart of their children:
- Bridle every manifestation as soon as it appears.
- Do not yourself stir up envy in your children’s hearts (i.e. treat your children the same, avoid favoritism).
- Don’t teach your children envy by your own example.
- Teach your children to hate and abhor envy because it is a fault abominable to God.
- Cultivate the virtue that opposes envy: Goodwill and good disposition towards all, in general, love towards neighbor that God commands.
About the book…
“It was not that long ago that pious parents raised their children to become Saints, to serve God in this world and the next. Perhaps only two generations ago, parents were still raising Saints in Orthodox countries. But the success of anti-Christianity in our time has been so complete that concern for one’s own salvation is considered, at best, a harmless eccentricity, while concern for one’s children’s salvation is sometimes even considered dangerous by forward-looking educators…To parents struggling in this cold modern climate, we off a small book of timeless guidance on how to teach virtues to children. The homilies in this book were originally published in Russia in 1901. The times have changed considerably since then, but human nature has not. We still have the age-old struggle with the passions, the world, and the fallen spirits. We must still strive to train out own and our children’s souls to the high ideals of holiness given us by Christ. May God grant that this book may assist parents in their difficult and delicate task of raising children fit for His Kingdom.”
– St. Xenia Skete (October 13/26, 1991)