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Loving God and Loving Others

“Our world is not as it should be, for we live in a culture devoted to the bottom line. Often our society promotes love of things and the abuse of people rather than love of people and the use of things…Our society is not a community radiant with the love of Christ, but a dangerous network of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get entangled and lose our soul.” (Dynamis 8/16/2014, Henri Nouwen)

“Nowadays, there is a greater or less degree of self-love in most people. The spirit of sacrifice does not exist. Another spirit has entered our life: ‘Let nothing bad happen to me.’” (Orthodox Agape)

"Always give the preference to actions which appear to you the most agreeable to God, and most contrary to self- love." (St. Alphonsus)

“The whole idea here is to be able to see the other person as a brother and feel his pain. It is this very pain that moves God and brings about the miracle. For there is nothing else which moves God as much as a noble and sacrificial spirit. But now, in our time, this kind of nobility is rare, because self-love and self-interest have entered the picture.” (Saint Paisios of Mount Athos)

“If you find there is no love in you but you want to have it, then do works of love, although they may have been begun without love. The Lord will see your desire and attempt, and will put love into your heart.” (Elder Ambrose of Optina)

“There are times when it seems as if we cannot truly love people and also love God: People have too many needs; they are too demanding. If one is called to love God with all of one’s heart, soul, and strength, what is there left over? Yet, reading the Scriptures and listening to the teachings of all those who have spoken of God through the ages, we know that we cannot truly love God unless we love our neighbor. It’s not an “either/or” proposition, but a “both/and.” (Mother Raphaela)

“Love is right at the top of the list in relating to God and to other people (1 John 4:7–21). Once again, the Lord is defining true religion. It is always horizontal (directed toward other people) as well as vertical (directed toward God). If we love God, we will be just and merciful to other people (Mic. 6:8; James 1:26–27).” (Foundation Study Bible, Isaiah 58:6)

"We can only fully love when we think clearly about other people and don’t see or treat them as a means to fulfilling our desires or wishes." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“When people respond in love to each other, they cover over the sins or offenses that would otherwise come between them…Love for God is demonstrated by love for man (1 John 4:20).” (Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 10:12, Matthew 25:32-40)

“Truly, natural and genuine love is the measure of authentic Christianity. Such love always indicates the way of our life in Christ.” (Dynamis 8/13/2018)

#MotherRaphaela #FoundationStudyBible #FatherSpyridonBaily #Dynamis #HenriNouwen #OrthodoxAgape #StAlphonsus #StPaisiosofMountAthos #ElderAmbroseofOptina

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