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Love Thy Neighbor

“This second commandment…”You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, or more clearly, “as being yourself.” It is often misinterpreted, “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself,” which destroys the force of the statement. How much we love ourselves is not the standard by which Christ is calling us to love others. Rather, we are called to love our neighbor as being of the same nature as we ourselves are, as being created in God's image and likeness just as we are. As the Fathers teach, we find our true self in loving our neighbor.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 22:39)

“…when we harm another, we not only harm the image of God, but we, in fact, do harm to our own selves.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We are to seek Christ in everyone, from the holiest of saints down to the most depraved souls.” (OCPM 12/28/2017)

“There are people who love themselves in a narcissistic way because they love the false self of their own imagination and making; and then there are those who love themselves because they have come to know Christ and love themselves because they have experienced His love. The latter are able to love others in the way Jesus commands when He said, “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12)” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Christ came chiefly for this reason, that human beings might learn how much God loves them, and might learn this so that they might begin to love Him by whom they were first loved, and so might love their neighbors at the bidding and after the example of Him who made Himself man’s neighbor by loving him, when instead of being His neighbor he was wandering far from Him.” (St. Augustine)

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