Correcting in order to bear fruit

To (correct someone) — there is nothing simpler; but to do it in such a way that it bears fruit is difficult in the extreme.  Everything must breathe with the most sincere and zealous love — not only the content of what you say, but even your glance, and expression, and tone of voice.  Then it may be hoped that this will achieve its aim.  But without this love, it is better not to undertake such a step:  it will come out worse, produce the most sorrowful discord.

St. Theophan the Recluse

For those of us who assess/correct daily, this is such wise and important advice.

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Solzhenitsyn’s Prayer

This prayer (fragment of a manuscript) was found in the notes of a very holy Abbot of the Pechory Monastery in Russia after his death.  Abbot Alipius served through great hardship and suffering in World War II and then lived a life of persecution in Soviet Russia as a monastic.  He was a spiritual father to many and was said to live by the principles of this prayer.
To teach is a great calling, and there are many moments of inspiration and joy in the midst of our practice.  However, it is also a calling that places us on paths that seem hopeless and cause our spirits to sink.  May we all be encouraged by these words and find it easy to live with and believe in God’s presence, reflecting rays of light to our students and colleagues.
How easy is it to live with You, O Lord!
How easy it is to believe in You.
When my spirit sinks
or scatters in confusion,
and the very smartest people
cannot see further than this evening,
and do not know what to do tomorrow,
You send down clear certainty to me that You exist and that You care,
and will ensure that not all the paths of goodness will be blocked.
On the peak of earthly glory
I look back in surprise on the path I have taken
which I would never have been able to invent for myself,
an incredible path through hopelessness
from which I was yet able
to send humanity a reflection of Your rays of light
And for as long as it is necessary that I keep reflecting them,
You will let me do so.
And what I do not finish — well then,
You have assigned others the task. 
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