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Perfect Love

“God, the Holy Trinity, is perfect love. As Gregory of Nyssa observes, the Holy Trinity “is a sort of continuous and indivisible community,” a perfect communion of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in which each gives love freely and perfectly to the others and each receives love in the same measure from the others so that the three are not several gods but three divine Persons (hypostases), one Being (ousia), one God (theos)… “Within the Godhead, love that is virtue and love that is self-gift are one. This perfect love, this co-inherence in one another, is the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Some say that they are atheists, but there is no such thing as an atheist…No such thing. Even the devil believes and trembles (cf. James 2:19), but he refuses to do good. There is no such thing as a person who does not believe in God, and there is no rational being on earth that does not long after life with all his heart. We will give anything to live eternally, and we all long after perfect love, love that never changes but lasts forever. God is life, He is love, peace and joy. There are those who oppose Him, but they can do nothing to hurt Him. It is we who complicate our own lives with our negative thoughts.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“But here one need only pay attention to what Christ taught us. He said: ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross.‘ Self-denial is of the essence, and without it no one can follow Him, without it there is no Christianity. Keep nothing for yourself. Lay aside not only material wealth but spiritual wealth as well, changing everything into Christ’s love, taking it up as your cross. He also said – not about Himself and not about His perfect love, but about the love which human imperfection can assume: ‘Greater love hath no man than he who lays down his soul for his friends‘ (John 15:13). How miserly and greedy it is to understand the word ‘soul’ here as ‘life.’ Christ is speaking here precisely about the soul, about surrendering one’s inner world, about utter and unconditional self-sacrifice as the supreme example of the love that is obligatory for Christians. Here again there is no room for looking after one’s own spiritual treasures. Here everything is given up.” (Mother Maria Skobtsova)

“God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.” (St. Seraphim of Sarov)

“Saint Maximos tells those who wish to acquire perfect love: ‘People who don’t scorn human glory and humiliations, riches and poverty, pleasures and sorrows, have not acquired perfect love. Because perfect love is not only above all those considerations, but it also takes no account of this fleeting life, nor even of death itself’…This might seem difficult for us, to the point where we say ‘That’s not for me. I can’t’. Certainly, if I accept that it’s too difficult for me to climb a mountain, then I won’t try to do so, in which case I’ll miss out on the pleasure of the view. If I submit to thinking that perfect love is not achievable, I’ll never make the effort and then I’ll deprive myself of the joy of experiencing it. Christ didn’t come to burden us with guilt, nor to ask of us what is beyond our powers to do if we want to. He also says that, with His help, we’ll be able to achieve things that would not be possible on our own. He’ll give us not droplets of His grace, but whole rivers, so that thereafter we can slake the thirst of the world around us, through the great love of our great God.” (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous)

“Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear. But so do several other things—ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.” (C.S. Lewis)

“We will give anything to live eternally, and we all long after perfect love, love that never changes but lasts forever. God is life, He is love, peace and joy. There are those who oppose Him, but they can do nothing to hurt Him. It is we who complicate our own lives with our negative thoughts." (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Several considerations may be help us in striving toward the perfect love of God and man which is agape. The first consideration is to realize that none of us is without sin. The second is that we have to examine our own sins and not those of others. The next thought to keep in mind is that we can we can judge acts (behaviors) but not the state of soul of the other. Only God knows what is in the heart of the other. As Jesus told the Pharisees: "God knows your hearts." (Lk 16: 15).” (Fr. George Morelli)

“Many espouse punishments for people but don’t talk about compassion and redemption. Christ loved with a perfect love even seeking the forgiveness of those that crucified Him. This is an attitude we need to emulate in how we view ourselves and our failings and how we view others.” (Joseph Girzone, Sacramental Living)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.” (St. John the Theologian)

“…God's love is a continuously abiding, healing, and transforming presence in our lives. The love of God accords peace and tranquility to every aspect of our lives, especially within our families, which are called to be communities of care and intimacy that reflect His perfect love.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)

“The Holy Trinity is the perfect model of fellowship; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share perfect communion and exist in perfect love as a community. By gathering together in fellowship, and by showing love for one another in Christ, we emulate the life of the Holy Trinity in our daily life.” (Archpriest Joseph Purpura)

“Perfect love of God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength will not happen until we are no longer compelled to think about ourselves.” (Bernard of Clairvaux)

“Christ tells us to die to self so that we can grow in His love and reflect His love which is perfect. Though we will never love perfectly, our daily commitment to Him and growing in our union with Him will result in us loving others increasingly the way He would have us love others.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

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