A Saint Falls

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
GENESIS 9:20-21
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A Saint Falls
This is indeed a silly and altogether unprofitable little story if you compare it with the rest of Noah's outstanding achievements through the course of so many years. . .. But the intention of the Holy Spirit is familiar from our teaching. He wanted the godly, who know their weakness and for this reason are disheartened, to take comfort in the offense that comes from the account of the lapses among the holiest and most perfect patriarchs. In such instances we should find sure proof of our own weakness and therefore bow down in humble confession, not only to ask for forgiveness but also to hope for it. . .. Hence when we see saints fall, let us not be offended. Much less let us gloat over the weakness of other people, or rejoice, as though we were stronger, wiser, and holier. Rather let us bear with and cover, and even extenuate and excuse, such mistakes as much as we can, bearing in mind that what the other person has experienced today we may perhaps experience tomorrow. We are all one mass, and we are all born of one flesh. Therefore let us learn St. Paul's rule that "he who stands should take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).
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