Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

love

143 Entries

The main name of our God is love…Just as we love our God, let us also love our brother… St Kosmas Aitolos



Everything is for man to love Christ and all the other problems are taken care of. Elder Porphyrios

Love (agape) is born from wisdom; therefore if we do not feel what God has given us and particularly to each one of us, and who we were on account of our sins when God did this great mercy knowing Him and ourselves we will not nail our souls to the fear of Him and we will not rejoice in the beauty of His love (Eros). REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

He who has no love cannot be called a Christian…The whole Gospel is summarized in compassion. And this secures immortality and eternal life to man. REF:Fr Justin Popvitch +1979

'But I say to you,' the Lord says, 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.' Why did he command these things? So that he might free you from hatred, sadness, anger and grudges, and might grant you the greatest possession of all, perfect love, which is impossible to possess except by the one you loves all equally in imitation of God. Maximus Confessor

...he who loves God cultivates pure prayer, driving out every passion that keeps him from it. St. Maximos the Confessor (Second Century on Love no. 7 Lecture 9 no. 2)

...in this world truth exists in shadows and conjectures. That is why there is need for the blessed passion of holy love, which binds the intellect to spiritual contemplation... St. Maximos the Confessor (Third Century on Love no. 67)

...the soul copies the life that is above, and is conformed to the peculiar features of the Divine nature; none of its habits are lift to it except that of love, which clings by natural affinity to the Beautiful. For this is what love is; the inherent affection towards a chosen object. When, then , the soul, having become simple and single in form and so perfectly godlike, find that perfectly simple and immaterial good which is really worth enthusiasm and love, it attaches itself to it and blends with it by means of the movement and activity love, fashioning itself according to that which it is continually finding and grasping. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and Resurrection

...without love the works of virtue are not praiseworthy or profitable to the man who practices them, and the same is true of love without works. St. Paul makes this fully clear with reference to works when he writes to the Corinthians, 'If I do this and that, but have no love, it profits me nothing' (cf. I Cor. 13:1-3); and with reference to love the disciple especially beloved by Christ writes, 'Let us not love in word or tongue but in action and truth' (I John 3:18). St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 58, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg.373)

A pure soul is one freed from passions and constantly delighted by divine love. St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 34)

All that exists can divide itself into uncreated and created. God is uncreated; everything else is created. And love is uncreate: uncreated and eternal. For love is not just an attribute of God but the name of God - one of the names of God - and the plenitude of divine being. This is also how it has been said "God is love" (1Jn. 4:8). Kassiana, Chap. VI: Lessons in Divine and Christian Love

An old man was asked, 'How can I find God?' He said, 'In fasting, in watching, in labors, in devotion, and, above all, in discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing. Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility.' The Desert Fathers

And now, finally, after all that we have said, there remain these three that bind and secure the union of all: faith, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love, for God Himself is so called. (I Corinthians 13:13 and I John 4: 8 and 16)

The first can make and create all things; the Divine mercy surrounds the second and makes it immune to disappointment; the third does not fall, does not stop in its course and allows no respite to him who is wounded by its blessed madness. St john Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, STEP 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues



And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." Divine Truth is contained and found in the commandments of the Gospel. Divine love gives us will, strength, and perseverance for we walk after the [divine] commandments, for we walk after His commandments in them and with them. Our love -- as much towards the Lord Christ as towards men -- consists of living according to the commandments of Christ. For at the end, everything comes back to this double commandment: the commandment of love of God and one's neighbor. This is why the holy Evangelist recalls all the commandments to a single one: This is the commandment, That ... you walk in it [love]. We now know that the entire Gospel of Christ is contained in the single commandment on love: he who lives in love lives in Christ God. Thus, he who fulfills the Gospel of God is deserving of heaven and earth. Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. John by (St.) Archimandrite Justin Popovich, in Orthodox Life, #5, 1994

As it is not possible to cross over the great ocean without a ship, so no one can attain to love without fear. The fetid sea, which lies between us and the noetic paradise, we may cross by the boat of repentance, whose oarsmen are those of fear. But if fear's oarsmen do not pilot the barque of repentance whereby we cross over the sea of this world to God, we shall be drowned in the fetid abyss. Repentance is the ship and fear is the pilot; love is the divine haven. The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian

As it is not possible to cross over the great ocean without a ship, so no one can attain to love without fear. The foetid sea, which lies between us and the noetic paradise, we may cross by the boat of repentance, whose oarsmen are those of fear. But if fear's oarsmen do not pilot the barque of repentance whereby we cross over the sea of this world to God, we shall be drowned in the foetid abyss. Repentance is the ship and fear is the pilot; love is the divine haven. The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian.

As the memory of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not bring about the illumination of knowledge in the soul. Maximus Confessor

BROTHER: How is love (or charity) acquired by men of understanding?

Old Man: True and pure love is the way of life, and the haven of promises, and the treasure of faith, and the interpreter of the kingdom, and the herald of that which is hidden. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), pp. 262-263



BROTHER: How is love made known?

Old Man: By the fulfillment of works, and by spiritual care, and by the knowledge of faith. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), pp. 262-263



BROTHER: I do not know the power of the word.

Old Man: If a man loveth not God, he cannot believe in Him, and His promises are not true to him, and he feareth not His judgment, and he followeth Him not. Now because love is not in him, he cannot be free from iniquity, and await the life which is promised, but he performeth at all times the plans of sin; and this happeneth because the judgment of God is too exalted in his sight. Therefore, let us run after love, wherewith the holy fathers have enriched themselves, for it is able to pay back what is due to its nature and its God. This then is praise. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), pp. 262-263



BROTHER: Is he who is destitute of work also destitute of love?

Old Man: It is impossible that he who is of God should not love, and it is impossible for him that loveth not to work, and it is impossible to believe that he who teacheth but worketh not is a true believer, for his tongue is the enemy of his action, and though he speaketh life he is in subjection unto death.

BROTHER: And is he who is in this state free from retribution?

Old Man: Such a man who speaks the things of the spirit, and performs the things of the body, and supplies his own wants, is not deprived of reward, but he is deprived of the crown of light, because the guidance of the spirit refuses to rule him. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), pp. 262-263



Christ gave us the commandment to love others but did not make it a condition of salvation that they should love us. Indeed, we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit. It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer. Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect - it will not matter provided that the Lord accepts us. Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine, Chapter 6; SVS Press pg. 55)

Christ said, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword' and 'division'. Christ summoned us to war on the plane of the spirit, and our weapon is 'the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.' Our battle is waged in extraordinarily unequal conditions. We are tied hand and foot. We dare not strike with fire or sword: our sole armament is love, even for enemies. This unique war in which we are engaged is indeed a holy war. We wrestle with the last and only enemy of mankind death. Our fight is the fight for universal resurrection. Archimandrite Sophrony, "His Life is Mine

Christ's words that the 'first will be last, and the last will be first' (Mt.19:30) refer to those who participate in the virtues and those who participate in love. For love is the last of the virtues to be born in the heart, but it is the first in value, so that those born before it turn out to be 'the last.' St. Mark the Ascetic, Philokalia, Vol. I

Do not condemn today as base and wicked the man whom yesterday you praised as good and virtuous, changing love to hatred, because he has criticized you, but even though you are still full of resentment, commend him as before, and you will soon recover your same saving love St.Maximos, Text 27

Even a mother does not so cling to the babe at her breast as a son of love clings to the Lord at all times. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world. St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

Faith is the beginning of love; the end of love is knowledge of God. "Instructions to Cenobites and Others", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 115 - 116.

Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. It is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love. "The first kind of fear is expelled by perfect love when the soul has acquired this and is no longer afraid of punishment (cf. I John 4:18). The second kind, as we have already said, is always found united with perfect love. The first kind of fear is referred to in the following two verse: 'Out of fear of the Lord men shun evil' (Prov. 16:6), and 'Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Ps. 111:10). The second kind is mentioned in the following verses: 'Fear of the Lord is pure, and endures forever' (Ps. 19:9. LXX), and 'Those who fear the Lord will not want for anything' (Ps. 34:10. LXX). St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love nos. 81-82)

For him who is perfect in love and has reached the summit of dispassion there is no difference between his own and another's, or between Christians and unbelievers, or between slave and free, or even between male and female. But because he has risen above the tyranny of the passions and has fixed his attention on the single nature of man, he looks on all in the same way and show the same disposition to all. St. Maximos the Confessor (Second Century on Love no. 30)

Give no ear to the slanderer's talk nor let your talk run on in the fault-finder's hearing, by readily speaking and listening to things against your neighbor; otherwise you will fall from divine charity [love] and be found a foreigner to eternal life. St. Maximus the Confessor, Four Centuries on Charity

Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of speech before God. Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky

God is long-suffering and merciful to you: this you experience many times every day. Be long-suffering and merciful to your brethren, also fulfilling the words of the Apostle, who thus speaks of love before everything: "Love suffereth long, and is kind." You desire that the Lord should rejoice you by His love, rejoice on your part the hearts of others by your tender love and kindness. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

God is love. So he who wishes to define this tries with bleary eyes to measure the sand in the ocean. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

Good deeds and love for one's neighbor will result in a holy end for everyone who inwardly supplicates: "Save me, my Christ." Through love and prayer he will be saved. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155

Have unfeigned love among yourselves, keep the tradition, and may the God of peace be with you and confirm you in love. Abba Elias

He that loves Me, saith the Lord, will keep My commandments; and 'this is My commandment, that you love one another.' He therefore who does not love his neighbor does not keep the commandment. Nor is he that does not keep the commandment able to love the Lord. St. Maximus the Confessor, Century 1

He who has love in Christ must observe the commandments of Christ. The binding power of the love of God - who is able to set it forth? The radiance of His beauty - who can voice it to satisfaction? The sublimity to which love leads up is unutterable. Love unites us with God, love covers a multitude of sins; love endures everything, is long-suffering to the last; there is nothing vulgar, nothing conceited, in love; love creates no schism; love does not quarrel; love preserves perfect harmony. In love all the elect of God reached perfection, apart from love nothing is pleasing to God. In love the Master took us to Himself. Because of the love which He felt for us, Jesus Christ Our Lord gave His Blood for us by the will of God, His Body for our bodies, and His soul for our souls. St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians

He who is not indifferent to fame and pleasure, as well as to love of riches that exists because of them and increases them, cannot cut off occasions for anger. And he who does not cut these off cannot attain perfect love. St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 75)

He who loves God cannot but love every man as himself, although the passions of those who are not yet purified find no favor with him. Therefore, when he sees them converted and reformed, he rejoices with great and ineffable joy. St Maximos the Confessor

He who loves God consciously in his heart is known by God (cf. I Cor. 8:3), for to the degree that he receives the love of God consciously in his soul, he truly enters into God's love. From that time on, such a man never loses an intense longing for the illumination of spiritual knowledge... St. Diadochos of Photiki (On Spiritual Knowledge no. 14)

He who loves God neither distresses nor is distressed with anyone on account of transitory things." Quote for 12-9-99 St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 41)

He who loves the Lord has first loved his brother, because the second is a proof of the first. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

He who reveres the Lord does what is commanded, and if he commits some sin or disobeys Him, endures whatever he has to suffer for this as being his desert. St. Mark the Ascetic, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 86 - 90

He who says that he loves the Lord but is angry with his brother is like a man who dreams that he is running. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

He who truly loves God, is devoted to His holy will; and no matter what might befall him, he accepts everything, as from the hand of God, with the firm faith that all this serves to his spiritual benefit. For the soul that is devoted to God, the misfortunes that befall it in this life serve as steps leading it up to perfection. St. John Climacus

Hence, in whatever state a person is, he sometimes finds himself making pure and intense prayers. For even from that first and lowest sort, which has to do with recalling the future judgment, the one who is still subject to the punishment of terror and the fear of judgment is occasionally so struck with compunction that he is filled with no less joy of spirit from the richness of his supplication than the one who, examining the kindnesses of God and going over them in the purity of his heart, dissolves into unspeakable gladness and delight. For, according to the words of the Lord, the one who realizes that more has been forgiven him begins to love more. St. John Cassian, The Conferences

Holy man of God, I love God and my brothers.
Good, my child. You have got my blessing. What is your name?
Costas.
What do you do for a living?
I am a shepherd.
Do you weigh the cheese which you sell?
I do.
You, my child, have learnt to weigh cheese and I have learnt to weigh love. Is the scales ashamed of its master?
No.
Let me then weigh your love now and, if it is right and not false, then I shall wish you well and I shall make all Christians forgive you. How can I know, my child, that you love your brothers? Now that I am here and walk and teach the people, I say that I love Mr Costas like my eyes, but you do not believe me. You want to try me first and then believe me. I have bread to eat, you have not. If I give a piece of it to you, who have not, I show that I love you. But if I eat the whole loaf and you are hungry, then what do I show? I show that the love that I feel for you is false. I have got two cups of wine to drink, you have not. If I give you some of it to drink, then I show that I love you. But if I do not give you, my love is false. You are sad. Your mother or father has died. If I come to console you then my love is true. But if you are crying and weeping and I am eating, drinking and dancing, my love is false. Do you love that poor child?
I do.
If you loved him, you would buy him a shirt because he is naked so that he would also pray for your soul. Then your love would be true. But now it is false. Is not it so, my Christians? We cannot go to paradise with false love. Now, since you want to make your love gold, take and dress the poor children and then I shall make them forgive you. Will you do this?
I will.
My Christians, Costas understood that the love which he had till now was false and wants to make it gold, to dress the poor children. Because we have edified him I beg you to tell three times for Mr Costas, may God forgive and have mercy on him. the teachings of St. Cosmas of Aetolia

If for the sake of marriage we leave father and mother, how much more so for the love of God; by this we can verify in ourselves the ardor of our love for God. St. Tikhon of Voronezh

If the face of a loved one clearly and completely changes us, and makes us cheerful, gay and carefree, what will the Face of the Lord do when He makes His Presence felt invisibly in a pure soul? St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

If we are not willing to sacrifice this temporal life, or perhaps, even the life to come, for the sake of our neighbor, as were Moses and St. Paul, how can we say that we love him? For Moses said to God concerning his people, 'If Thou wilt forgive their sins, forgive; but if not, blot me as well out of the book of life which Thou hast written' (Ex. 32:32. LXX); while St. Paul said, 'For I could wish that I myself were severed from Christ for the sake of my brethren' (Rom. 9:3). He prayed, that is to say, that he should perish in order that others might be saved - and these others were the Israelites who were seeking to kill him. St. Peter of Damascus (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pgs. 175-176)

If we want to fare well in this life and to go to Paradise, and to call our God love and father, we must have two loves: the love for God and the love for our neighbor. It is natural for us to have these two loves, and contrary to nature not have them. Just as a swallow needs two wings in order to fly in the air, so we need these two loves, because without them we cannot be saved.

Let us have love for God and for our fellow men. Then God comes and brings us joy and implants the eternal life in our hearts, and we fare well in this life and also go to Paradise, there to rejoice forever.

Fortunate is the man who has these two loves in his heart, that for God and that for his brethren. He surely has God; and whoever has God has every blessing and does not bear to commit sin. Again, wretched is the man who does not have these two loves. Surely he has the devil and evil, and always sins. God, my brethren, asks us to have these two loves. As He Himself says in His Holy Gospel: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets." Through these two loves all the Saints of our Church, men and women, attained sainthood and won Paradise. Whoever has blessed love, firstly for God and secondly for his fellow Christian, becomes worthy of receiving the Holy Trinity in his heart.

If you wish to be saved, seek no other thing here in this world as much as love. Modern Orthodox Saints I, St. Cosmas Aitolos).Dr. Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN GREEK STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., pp.81-94



If you love Christ God, then endure as He endured, and do all that is pleasing to Him. He taught and did. Unfailingly your love also should be such as does good, endures, is disturbed by nothing present, and in everything ever thanks Him not with words and tongue, but with very deeds. You must love Him with heart, with mind, with your whole soul, strength, and mind. Abbot Nazarius of Valaam, Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. II

If your heart has been softened either by repentance before God or by learning the boundless love of God towards you, do not be proud with those whose hearts are still hard. Remember how long your heart was hard and incorrigible.

Seven brothers were ill in one hospital. One recovered from his illness and got up and rushed to serve his other brothers with brotherly love, to speed their recovery. Be like this brother. Consider all men to be your brothers, and sick brothers at that. And if you come to feel that God has given you better health than others, know that it is given through mercy, so in health you may serve your frailer brothers. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic. Prolog, 31.march



In 1944, the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko's mother took him from Siberia to Moscow. They were among those who witnessed a procession of twenty-thousand German war prisoners marching through the streets of Moscow:

The pavements swarmed with onlookers, cordoned off by soldiers and police. The crowd was mostly women -- Russian women with hands roughened by hard work, lips untouched by lipstick, and with thin hunched shoulders which had borne half of the burden of the war. Every one of them must have had a father or a husband, a brother or a son killed by the Germans. They gazed with hatred in the direction from which the column was to appear.

At last we saw it. The generals marched at the head, massive chins stuck out, lips folded disdainfully, their whole demeanor meant to show superiority over their plebian victors.

"'They smell of perfume, the bastards," someone in the crowd said with hatred. The women were clenching their fists. The soldiers and policemen had all they could do to hold them back.

All at once something happened to them. They saw German soldiers, thin, unshaven, wearing dirty blood-stained bandages, hobbling on crutches or leaning on the shoulders of their comrades; the soldiers walked with their heads down. The street became dead silent -- the only sound was the shuffling of boots and the thumping of crutches.

Then I saw an elderly women in broken-down boots push herself forward and touch a policeman's shoulder, saying, "Let me through." There must have been something about her that made him step aside. She went up to the column, took from inside her coat something wrapped in a colored handkerchief and unfolded it. It was a crust of black bread. She pushed it awkwardly into the pocket of a soldier, so exhausted that he was tottering on his feet. And now from every side women were running toward the soldiers, pushing into their hands bread, cigarettes, whatever they had. The soldiers were no longer enemies. They were people. A Precocious Autobiography, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Collins, London



In order not to be in daily bondage to the passions and the devil, you must set yourself an object to aim at, have this object constantly in view, and endeavor to attain it, conquering all obstacles by the name of the Lord. What is this object? The Kingdom of God, the Divine palace of glory, prepared for believers from the creation of the world. But as this object can only be attained by certain means, it also is necessary to have such means at one's disposal. And what are these means? Faith, hope, and love, especially the last. Believe, hope, and love, especially love, disregarding all obstacles; love God above everything and your neighbor as yourself. If you have not sufficient strength to preserve in your heart these inestimable treasures, fall down more often at the feet of the God of Love. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you," for He Who has promised is true. Walking, sitting, lying down, conversing, or working, at every time, pray with your whole heart that faith and love may be given to you. You have not yet asked for them as you should ask - fervently and instantly - with the firm purpose of obtaining them. Say now, "I will begin to do so henceforth. St. John of Kronstadt - My Life in Christ

In the life of the holy Apostle John the Theologian it was said, among other things, that when he had grown so old that he couldn't come e to a meeting of the faithful, his disciples carried him there in their arms. And he, not being in a condition to preach an extensive sermon, repeated only his favorite words, which contain the essential foundation of Christianity: "My children, love one another!" I also repeat to you, I repeat even a hundred times: love, love all without exception, both those who love you and those who do not. Abbess Thaisia, Letters to a Beginner

In the life of the holy Apostle John the Theologian it was said, among other things, that when he had grown so old that he couldn't come to a meeting of the faithful, his disciples carried him there in their arms. And he, not being in a condition to preach an extensive sermon, repeated only his favorite words, which contain the essential foundation of Christianity: "My children, love one another!" I also repeat to you, I repeat even a hundred times: love, love all without exception, both those who love you and those who do not. Abbess Thaisia, Letters to a Beginner

It is better to be among thousands with love, than to hide alone in caves with hatred. "Instructions to Cenobites and Others", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 115 - 116.

Know my brethren that love has two characteristics, two gifts. One of them is to strengthen man in what is good and the other is to weaken him in what is evil. I have a loaf of bread to eat; you do not have. Love tells me: Do not eat it alone, give some to your brethren and you eat the rest. I have clothes; love tells me: Give one garment to your brother and you wear the other one. I open my mouth to accuse you, to tell you lies, to deceive you; but at once I remember love and it deadens my mouth, and does not allow me to tell you lies. I stretch out my hands to take what belongs to you, your money, all your possessions. Love does not allow me to take them. Do you see, my brethren, what gifts love has? Modern Orthodox Saints I, St. Cosmas Aitolos).Dr. Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN GREEK STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., pp.81-94

Knowledge which is imbued with life (as opposed to abstract knowledge) can in no wise be confined to the intellect: there must be a real union with the act of Being. This is achieved through love: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...and with all thy mind' (Matt. 22:37). The commandment bids us love.

Therefore love is not something given to us: it must be acquired by an effort made of our own free will. The injunction is addressed first to the heart as the spiritual center of the individual. Mind is only one of the energies of the human I. Love begins in the heart, and the mind is confronted with a new interior event and contemplates Being in the Light of Divine love. Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine: Part 2, Chapter 2; SVS Press pg. 117)



Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the [blessed] bond of the love of God? First Epistle Of Clement To The Corinthians, Chap. XLIX

Let us, then, speak here about Christian love which enfolds within its embrace and holds not only our own relatives, brothers, friends, and acquaintances, but all men, and most of all those that are of the household of faith and brethren according to the Christian spirit. Two fruits of this love are explained here; first, to do evil to no one; and second, to show mercy and compassion to a neighbor in need. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven

Love bestows prophecy; love yields miracles; love is an abyss of illumination; love is a fountain of fire, in the measure that it wells up, it inflames the thirsty soul. Love is the state of angels. Love is the progress of eternity. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

Love does not need the law. Love is above above laws. It is the New Law, or the New Testament of Christ. 'We know that all things work together for good for them that love God' (Rom. 8:28). The road of love can be full of obstacles and difficulties, but according to the word of God and the experience of men, that road leads unerringly in the direction of the greatest good. Kassiana: Lessons in Divine and Christian Love

Love edifies because it does not envy, or feel any bitterness towards those who are envious, or ostentatiously display what provokes envy; it does not reckon that its purpose has yet been attained (cf. Phil. 3:13), and it unhesitatingly confesses its ignorance of what it does not know. Hence it frees the intellect from arrogance and always equips it to advance in knowledge. St. Maximos the Confessor (Fourth Century on Love no. 60)

Love for God always aspires to give wings to the intellect in its communion with God; love for one's neighbor makes one always think good thoughts about him. St. Maximos the Confessor (Fourth Century on Love no. 40)

Love has not arisen from the earth, but is granted from heaven. St [John] Cassian said "Love belongs exclusively to God, and those men who have renewed in themselves the image and the likeness of god." Conscious love refers to the conscious person and not to a principle or an idea nor to an impersonal creation, but to personhood. Where there is no reciprocity in love, there is no love. But a principle or an idea or a creation, be it of God or of man, cannot love us, though we may love it. Of that love we are not speaking, but of the love that is from person to person and which is "indivisible and without confusion." Kassiana: Lessons in Divine and Christian Love

Love is a holy state of soul, disposing it to value knowledge of God above all created things. St. Maximos the Confessor(First Century on Love no. 1)

Love is essentially the banishment of every kind of contrary thought, for love thinketh no evil. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

Love is preceded by passionlessness; knowledge is preceded by love. "Instructions to Cenobites and Others", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 115 - 116.

Love of God loves always to give wings to the mind to speak of God and Divine things; and love of neighbor disposes it always to think well of him. St. Maximus the Confessor, 7th century

Love should never be sacrificed for the sake of some dogmatic difference." St Nectarios of Aegina

Love your fellow men and forgive them Among your religious duties is that of loving your fellow men and always forgiving them. If you do this, you will be filled with joy, and with health both of the soul and of the body. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155

Men love one another, commendably or reprehensibly, for the following five reasons: either for the sake of God, as the virtuous man loves everyone and as the man not yet virtuous loves the virtuous; or by nature, as parents love their children and children their parents; or because of self-esteem, as he who is praised loves the man who praises him; or because of avarice, as with one who loves a rich man for what he can get out of him; or because of self-indulgence, as with the man who serves his belly and his genitals. The first is commendable, the second is of an intermediate kind, the rest are dominated by passion. St. Maximos the Confessor (Second Century on Love no. 9 Lecture 10 no. 2)

My Christians, how are you doing here? Have you got love for each other? If you want to be saved, do not ask for anything else here, in the world, but love. Is there any of you who has got this kind of love towards his brothers? Let him rise and tell me so that I may wish him well and make all Christians forgive him. He will receive such forgiveness which he would have been unable to find had he given thousands of pounds of gold. St. Basil the Great First Epistle to the Amphilochios (ca AD 375)

No one can love God consciously in his heart unless he has first feared Him with all his heart. Through the action of fear the soul is purified and, as it were, made malleable and so it becomes awakened to the action of love. St. Diadochos of Photiki (On Spiritual Knowledge no. 16)

Norhing else extinguishes passions so much as compassion. On the other hand, if someone struggles as a result of vainglory or with the idea that he is applying himself to virtue, he is not struggling with knowledge. He, though, who abstains with knowledge does not think he is exercising virtue, neither does he want to be commended as an ascetic, but believes that by way of abstinence prudence is obtained and that through this, comes humility. Abba Dorotheos

On one occasion, a certain excellent man, who feared God in his life and works, and who was living in the world, went to Abba Poemen. Some of the brethren, who were also with the old man, were asking him questions, wishing to hear a word from him.

Then Abba Poemen said to the man who was in the world, "Speak a word to the brethren," but he begged him saying, "Forgive me, father, but I came to learn." And the old man pressed him to speak and, as the force of his urging increased, he said, "I am a man living in the world, and I sell vegetables, and because I do not know how to speak from a book, listen ye to a parable.

"There was a certain man who had three friends, and he said to the first, 'Since I desire to see the Emperor come with me,' and the friend said unto him, 'I will come with thee half the way.' And the man said to the second friend, 'Come, go with me to the Emperor's presence,' and the friend said to him, 'I will come with thee as far as his palace, but I cannot go with thee inside.'

"And the man said the same unto his third friend, who answered and said, 'I will come with thee, and I will go inside the palace with thee, and I will even stand up before the Emperor and speak on thy behalf.'"

Then the brethren questioned him, wishing to learn from him the meaning of the riddle, and he answered and said unto them, "The first friend is abstinence, which leadeth as far as one half of the way. The second friend is purity and holiness, which lead to heaven. And the third friend is loving-kindness, which establishes a man before God and speaketh on his behalf with great boldness." E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, vol. II," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), p. 102



One who loves his neighbor can never tolerate slanderers, but rather runs from them as from fire. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

Only the perfect person, with a perfect conscience, a perfect mind, and perfect power, can have perfect love. Such a person is our God. What every man eagerly desires for his person is therefore that which exists in the person of his Creator. What all people value - love above all - that is therefore what the Creator is - Love. And so it has been from time immemorial to today and unto ages of ages. Kassiana: Lessons in Divine Love. From the collected writings of (St.) Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic

Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, dearly beloved, sometimes connects us by His words and sometimes by His actions. His very deeds are commands, because when He does something silently, He is making known to us what we ought to do. He sent His disciples to preach two by two because there are two commandments of love, of God and neighbor, and there can be no love between fewer than two. Strictly speaking no one is said to have love for himself; love becomes possible when one reaches out toward someone else. The Lord sent His disciples to preach two by two, to inform us silently that no one who has no love for another person should undertake the duty of preaching. St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

Patience, forgiveness and joy are the three greatest characteristics of divine love. They are characteristics of all real love - if there is such a thing as real love outside divine love. Without these three characteristics, love is not love. If you give the name 'love' to anything else, it is as though you were giving the name 'sheep' to a goat or a pig. Bp. Nikolai Velimirovic, Homilies, Vol. I (On the Prodigal Son)

Patient endurance is the fruit of love, for 'love patiently endures all things' (I Cor. 13:7), and teaches us to achieve such endurance by forcing ourselves so that through patience we may attain love... St. Gregory Palamas (Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness no. 8, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 338)

Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds. St. Clement of Rome

Repentance and humility establish the soul. Charity and meekness strengthen it. Monk Evagrius

Since 'knowledge puffs up, but love edifies' (I Cor. 8:1), unite love with knowledge and you will free yourself from arrogance and be a spiritual builder, edifying both yourself and all who draw near you. St. Maximos the Confessor (Fourth Century on Love no. 59)

Studying the holy and sacred Gospel, I found in it many and different teachings which are all pearls, diamonds, treasures, riches, joy, gladness-eternal life. Among the other things I also found this teaching in which Christ says to us: no Christian, man or woman, should be concerned only with himself, how he can be saved, but must be concerned also with his brethren so that they may not fall into sin. St. Cosmas Aitolos in Missionaries, Monks and Martyrs by Veronis

Such is the power of love: it embraces, and unites, and fastens together not only those who are present and near, and visible, but also those who are distant. And neither time, not separation in space, nor anything else of that kind, can break up and divide in pieces the affection of the soul. St. John Chrysostom

The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and Saints the strength to love mankind. As for us, if we love not our brother we cannot have peace. Let every man think on this. Wisdom from Mount Athos, The writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, by Archimandrite Sophrony

The angels know how to speak about love, and even they can only do this according to the degree of their enlightenment. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

The compassionate soul loves, helps, consoles, shares the suffering of an afflicted fellow human being. It works for the spreading of the Gospel, motivated by love for the sinner. We ought to feel sorrow within our souls for persons who live far from God.

The stand of the Lord towards Zacchaeus should serve as a lesson for Christians. Through His stand the Lord showed that we ought to embrace sinners with our love and not to avoid them. It shows us that we ought to seek the power of God to bring them to the regeneration which is effected by our Savior Jesus Christ.

So let us approach sinners with love. And if in the end we do no succeed in bringing them close and fully to the path of God, let us even then not cease praying for them. Perhaps our fervent prayer will be listened to by our compassionate God and He will grant to them the regeneration of their soul. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155



The fragrance of love! When we burn incense, we think of the fragrant heavenly aroma of love. The Holy Spirit, like a heavenly fire, brings the warmth of love into the human heart, and like a fresh wind, chases away the stench of sin and spreads the aroma of Christ to the world. That savor all the saints have borne within themselves. People have sensed it in living saints and in their relics. The Apostle speaks of this: "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ," the sweet perfume of recognition of the truth and the sweetness of love (Cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16). "The Lament of Eve" by Johanna Manley

The fragrance of love! When we burn incense, we think of the fragrant heavenly aroma of love. The Holy Spirit, like a heavenly fire, brings the warmth of love into the human heart, and like a fresh wind, chases away the stench of sin and spreads the aroma of Christ to the world. That savor all the saints have borne within themselves. People have sensed it in living saints and in their relics. The Apostle speaks of this: "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ," the sweet perfume of recognition of the truth and the sweetness of love (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16).

Lessons in Divine and Christian Love from The Lament of Eve by Johanna Manley



The growth of fear is the beginning of love, but a complete state of purity is the foundation of theology. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step30: Concerning the Linking Together of the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues

The key to Divine gifts is given to the heart by love of neighbor, and, in proportion to the heart's freedom from the bonds of the flesh, the door of knowledge begins to open before it. St. Isaac of Syria

The natural love of the soul is one thing, and the love which comes to it from the Holy Spirit is another. The activity of the first depends on the assent of our will to our desire. For this reason it is easily taken over and perverted by evil spirits when we do not keep firmly to our chosen course. But the love which comes from the Holy Spirit so inflames the soul that all its parts cleave ineffably and with utter simplicity to the delight of its love and longing for the divine. The intellect then becomes pregnant through the energy of the Holy Spirit and overflows with a spring of love and joy. St. Diadochos of Photiki (On Spiritual Knowledge no. 34)

The passions of the soul's incensive power are more difficult to combat than those of its desiring aspect. Consequently our Lord has given a stronger remedy against them: the commandment of love. St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 66)

The perfection of love is contained in union with God; improvement in love offers inexplicable spiritual consolation, enjoyment, and enlightenment. But at the beginning of the labor the disciple of love must endure the brutal struggle with his own self, with his own deeply damaged nature; evil, inborn to the nature by the fall into sin, became for it a law belligerent and rebelling against the Law of God, against the law of holy love. Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, Essays (from Orthodox Life, 1968 No. 1

The person who loves God cannot help loving every man as himself, even though he is grieved by the passions of those who are not yet purified. St. Maximos the Confessor(First Century on Love no. 13)

The person who loves God values knowledge of God more than anything created by God, and pursues such knowledge ardently and ceaselessly. St. Maximos the Confessor(First Century on Love no. 4)

There is no opposition between dogma and love." St Nectarios of Aegina

They alone know how to believe in God who love God, who are Christians not only in name but also in action and [way of] life, because without love faith is empty. With love, it is the faith of a Christian -- without love, the faith of a demon. The Venerable Bede, "Commentary on James

They were the same three principal lusts which provoked the heart of Eve, so that her heart being emptied of love, it tasted the same evil spirits as Christ the Savior encountered in the wilderness near Jericho. These are: desire for earthly satisfaction, desire for worldly possessions that the eye sees, and desire for recognition - all outside and contrary to God and the love of God. But Jesus imperiously drives them away from Himself - and like Eve - with the words: `Get thee hence, Satan' (Mt. 4:10). Kassiana: Lessons in Divine and Christian Love

Through genuine love for God we can drive out the passions. Love for God is this: to choose Him rather than the world ... St. Maximos the Confessor (Third Century on Love no. 50)

Through genuine love for God we can drive out the passions. Love for God is this: to choose Him rather than the world. St. Maximos the Confessor, on Love

To the aspect of the soul that is accessible to passion we impart the best of all dispositions, that of love; and we also raise the level of the intelligence by repelling whatever impedes the mind in its ascent towards God: this aspect of the law we call watchfulness. St. Gregory Palamas (Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness no. 2, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 333)

Virtue in the sight of others is to bear with those who oppose us, but virtue in God's sight is to love them. This is the only sacrifice acceptable to God. St. Gregory the Great

We actively manifest love in forbearance and patience towards our neighbor, in genuinely desiring his good, and in the right use of material things. St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 40)

We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly, whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated from heavenly love. St. John of the Ladder

What separates us from the love of friends is envying or being envied, causing or receiving harm, insulting or being insulted, and suspicious thoughts. Would that you had never done or experienced anything of this sort and in this way separated yourself from the love of a friend. St. Maximos the Confessor (Fourth Century on Love no. 21)

What should one do so that the mind might be constantly occupied with God? If we do not acquire the three following virtues: love for God and men, continence, and the Prayer of Jesus, then our mind cannot be completely occupied with God. For love makes anger meek, continence weakens fleshly desire, and prayer draws the mind away from thoughts and banishes every hatred and high-mindedness. St. Paisius Velichkovsky, Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. IV

When a man begins to perceive the love of God in all its richness, he begins also to love his neighbor with spiritual perception. This is the love of which all the scriptures speak. Friendship after the flesh is very easily destroyed on some slight pretext, since it is not held firm by spiritual perception. But when a person is spiritually awakened, even if something irritates him, the bond of love is not dissolved; rekindling himself with the warmth of the love of God, he quickly recovers himself and with great joy seeks his neighbors's love, even though he has been gravely wronged or insulted by him. For the sweetness of God completely consumes the bitterness of the quarrel. St. Diadochos of Photiki, The Philokalia, Vol. 1

You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil. St Seraphim of Sarov

You have not yet acquired perfect love if your regard for people is still swayed by their characters - for example, if, for some particular reason, you love one person and hate another, or if for the same reason you sometimes love and sometimes hate the same person. St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 70)

You see, to love of God is joined also love of neighbor: the person who loves God doesn't neglect his brother; nor esteem money ahead of a limb of his own but shows him great generosity, mindful of Him Who has said, 'Whoever did it to the least of My brothers did it to Me.' He is aware that the Lord of all considers as done to Himself the service given to his fellow servant, and so he will perform every service with great enthusiasm and give evidence of great generosity in almsgiving, considering not the lowliness of appearance but the greatness of the One Who has promised to accept as done to Himself what is given to the poor. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, Vol. 3

Your see, beloved, how great and wonderful love is, and there is no setting forth its perfection. Who is able to possess it, except those to whom God grants this privilege? Let us, therefore, earnestly beg of His mercy, that we may be found to possess a love unmixed with human partiality and above reproach. All the generations from Adam down to this day have passed away; but those who are perfected in love in the measure of God's grace, have a place among the saints, and they will be made manifest when the Kingdom of Christ comes to visit us. St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians

`But the king cam in to look at the guests, and saw there a person not clothed in a wedding garment.' What do we think is meant by a the wedding garment, dearly beloved? For is we say it is baptism or faith, is there anyone who has entered this marriage feast without them? A person is outside because he has not yet come to believe. What then must we understand by the wedding garment but love? That person enters the marriage feast, but without wearing a wedding garment, who is present in the holy Church, and has faith, but does not have love. We are correct when we say that love is the wedding garment because this is what our Creator Himself possessed when He came to the marriage feast to join the Church to Himself. St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

... no one can acquire spiritual love unless he experiences fully and clearly the illumination of the Holy Spirit. If the intellect does not receive the perfection of the divine likeness through such illumination, although it may have almost every other virtue, it will still have no share in perfect love. Only when it has been made like God -- in so far, of course, as this is possible -- does it bear the likeness of divine love as well ... St. Diadochos of Photiki, "On Spiritual Knowledge" Philokalia (Vol. 1) , p. 288, text 89)

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

An Athonite elder said, "If you humbly carry the load of your neighbor's fault, you have greater love than someone who carries the heavy bag of his or her companion." an Athonite Gerontikon

Charity, it is said, `rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.' It often happens to us to see the unrighteous, sinful doings of men, or to hear of them, and we have a sinful habit of rejoicing at such doings, and of shamelessly expressing our joy by foolish laughter. This is wrong, unchristian, uncharitable and impious. It shows that we have not Christian love for our neighbor in our hearts: for charity `rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth .' Let us therefore, cease doing this so that we may not be condemned with the workers of iniquity. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ.

He that loves Me, says the Lord, will keep My Commandments; and 'this is My commandment, that you love one another.' He therefore who does not love his neighbor does not keep the commandment. Nor is he that does not keep the commandment able to love the Lord. St. Maximos the Confessor

Since salvation comes to you as a free gift, give thanks to God your saviour. If you wish to present Him with gifts, gratefully offer from your widowed soul two tiny coins, humility and love, and God will accept these in the treasury of His salvation more gladly than the host of virtues deposited there by others. Dead through the passions, pray like Lazarus to be brought to life again, sending to God these two sisters to intercede with Him; and you will surely attain your goal. St. Theognostos, in The Philokalia, Vol. 2.

When our hearts are reluctant we often have to compel ourselves to pray for our enemies, to pour out prayer for those who are against us. Would that our hearts were filled with love! How frequently we offer a prayer for our enemies, but do it because we are commanded to, not out of love for them. We ask the gift of life for them even while we are afraid that our prayer may be heard. The Judge of our souls considers our hearts rather than our words. Those who do not pray for their enemies out of love are not asking anything for their benefit. St. Gregory the Great, Be Friends of God.

"The state of love may be recognized in the giving of money, and still more in the giving of spiritual counsel and in looking after spiritual needs." St. Maximos the Confessor (1st Century on Love no. 26, The Philokalia Vol. 2 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware)

"God, Who is by nature good and dispassionate, loves all men equally as His handiwork. But He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time, in His goodness he is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the path of virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also loves all men equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention; and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness." St. Maximos the Confessor (First Century on Love no. 25, The Philokalia

"The farther Christians remove themselves from the spirit of their faith, the more they become divided by self-love; the more they are absorbed in themselves, the lesser community they have in spiritual and material blessings - especially of material ones with those in want - love becomes exhausted in them, and mankind more distressed." St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1; Holy Trinity Monastery pg. 82)

The person who loves spiritually, feels prayerful, that he can be found within God and his brother. He is saddened when his brother is not advancing well and prays for his progress. Whoever has Christian love never changes. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

The more a person loves God, the more he loves other people. He loves them with holiness, respect and refinement, as images of God. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

Because of widespread corruption, people cannot understand that spiritual love exists. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

We must have Love, even if they do us the greatest harm, we must love them. We will be able to enter Paradise only with love. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

Charity, it is said, `rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.' It often happens to us to see the unrighteous, sinful doings of men, or to hear of them, and we have a sinful habit of rejoicing at such doings, and of shamelessly expressing our joy by foolish laughter. This is wrong, unchristian, uncharitable and impious. It shows that we have not Christian love for our neighbor in our hearts: for charity `rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth .' Let us therefore, cease doing this so that we may not be condemned with the workers of iniquity. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ.

Since salvation comes to you as a free gift, give thanks to God your saviour. If you wish to present Him with gifts, gratefully offer from your widowed soul two tiny coins, humility and love, and God will accept these in the treasury of His salvation more gladly than the host of virtues deposited there by others. Dead through the passions, pray like Lazarus to be brought to life again, sending to God these two sisters to intercede with Him; and you will surely attain your goal. St. Theognostos, in The Philokalia, Vol. 2.

Stop loving yourself and you will love God. REF:St Maximus the Confessor

37. Christ's words that the 'first will be last, and the last will be first' (Mt 19:30) refer to those who participate in the virtues and those who participate in love. For love is the last of the virtues to be born in the heart, but it is the first in value, so that those born before it turn out to be 'the last'. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

223. Every word of Christ shows us God's mercy, justice and wisdom and, if we listen gladly, their power enters into us. That is why the unmerciful and the unjust, listening to Christ with repugnance, were not able to understand the wisdom of God, but even crucified Him for teaching it. So we, too, should ask ourselves whether we listen to Him gladly. For He said: 'He who loves Me will keep My commandments, and he will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him' (cf. Jn 14:21).

Do you see how He has hidden His manifestation in the commandments? Of all the commandments, therefore, the most comprehensive is to love God and our neighbor. This love is made firm through abstaining from material things, and through stillness of thoughts. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779



Without godly love we are not benefited in anything, even if we have all other gifts of the Holy Spirit. REF:Saint Basil the Great

Every work which does not have love as its beginning and root, is nothing. REF:Saint John Chrysostom

The grace of charity is greater than the grace of resurrecting from the dead…No one is saved if he does not help others to be saved also. REF:Saint John Chrysostom

If we do not have love we are deprived of everything…Nothing attracts God so much as mercy, philanthropy…Nothing enrages God so much, as for us to be uncharitable. REF:Saint John Chrysostom





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