I was just having a contemplation a bit earlier today about st. Cyril and now seems like a good time to share it. There is an obvious thing that seems to grow when we defend the faith which is a love for the truth and a firmness in what we believe however there is also another side to the coin. It appears to me that the more you debate an issue, it is also logical that love should grow, not in the sense that you'll fall in love with anything that that person says which may be blasphemous but each time you give more and more of your soul into showing a practical love to that person and a growing desire to see that they are saved. It is for that reason that through the correspondances of St. Cyril with Nestorius despite the wicked acts Nestorius was doing that he refuted, he wasn't lying when he proclaimed "no one love Nestorius more than I do" because each time his love for Nestorius grew and this was proven because no one went as far as St. Cyril in trying to correct Nestorius. I guess great theological books aren't written with the intent of condemning people but saving people...
I live in a diocese where the social climate is difficult and I learned an important thing. In times like this the devil has an agenda to both defend the OO and the EO at the same time. Sound like an oxymoron? It isn't really, the devil spends so much time kindling our emotions which makes it difficult to apporach our neighbour with our full intellectual capacity available to us. This can't negate the natural outrage that can occur when someone says something blasphemous but in exchanges of this nature we have to be aware that our often emotive responses engender greater feelings of bitterness between us. The devil does this to destroy the practicality in our discussions so that we can't work together for our mutual salvation. I personally have come to be part of an impersonal exchange where I don't mean or want to offend anyone and I hope that we have have a common objective in this regard.
I'm also not a person of a very scholarly nature as I'm sure you can determine from this post thus far and I don't presume to be but I believe that in one of Chryssavgis's books on the desert fathers he mentions how our emotions are one of the primary stumbling blocks of our salvation.
If I have erred may God forgive me.
Thank you for these wise words. I was very edified and encouraged by what you wrote. What a powerful message: If we struggle, debate, defend, and proclaim with the intention of saving our opponent rather than defeating him, then surely will be much more successful.
Thanks for that beautiful gem of wisdom.