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Loving God and Loving Others

“Human beings have an innate need for God.  They strive to satisfy it with self-made religions. But St. Porphyrios teaches how we might fulfill this need for religiosity with the simple words, “What makes a person holy is love, the adoration of Christ.” (Fr. Basil)

“…the Church is the fountain of compassion and mercy. It is not Christ’s Church that fails people, but sometimes the very therapists (clergy) who can get caught up in the letter of the law rather than being grounded in the mercy and compassion and love that is the foundation of the Church…If we desire God’s mercy for ourselves, we must be merciful to others. The only person I have the right to judge is myself.” (Abbott Tryphon)

“Only one who is humble is capable of loving God in a wholly spiritual way. A proud person loves not God, but rather merely his own love for God, admiring it, delighting in his own emotional experiences and excited nerves, which are the natural result of this egotistical and sensual love.” (Archbishop Averky (Taushev))

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” [1 Cor. 13:4-8].  This type of love is not merely a feeling or an emotion, but an essential characteristic of those who are becoming participants in the Savior’s fulfillment of the human person in the likeness of God.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)  

“It is for this reason that Christ, as the peace of the world, became the subject of love and not of faith One ought to transcend faith and hope, in order to remain in love. As the Apostle says, ‘eventually hope and faith will be abandoned and only love will remain’ [cf I Cor. 13], since love is an experiential fact — an existential event that makes man realize that he is truly united with God. This is the path walked by all those who loved Him to the end… Therefore, ever since Christ came into the world and brought peace, millions of martyrs gave up their lives for Him … because they truly loved Him and tasted His love. The love of Christ spoke into their hearts.” (Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol)

“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)