Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

john15_13

"The law of grace directly teaches those who are led by it to imitate God Himself. For it is permitted to speak in this way despite the fact that because of sin we were His enemies.

God loved us so much more than Himself that, although He is beyond every being, He entered without changing into our being, supra-essentially took on human nature, became man and, wishing to reveal Himself as a man among men, did not refuse to make His own the penalty we pay.

And as in His providence He became man, so He deified us by grace, in this way teaching us not only to cleave to one another naturally and to love others spiritually as ourselves, but also, like God, to be more concerned for others than for ourselves, and as proof of our love for each other readily to choose, as virtue enjoins, to die for others. For as Scripture tells us, there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend" (cf. John 15: 13). Philokalia, Vol. 2, "Fifth Century on Various Texts," No. 12







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