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Love (Nature of)

“Among human beings, love appears to spring from feelings and emotions. Thus some mistakenly characterize love as irrational. But love transcends feeling and reason. Love is not rationally justified nor is it just a “natural” affection. At its source, love is a divine reality. Love, as I have stated, is rooted in freedom, in the absolute freedom of God and, next, in the relative freedom of the creature.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Love, in the Christian understanding of the word (which should never be confused with other understandings of the word), is to choose freely to lay down our lives for the beloved, be it our friend, our spouse, our children, our parents, our God, our neighbors, or our enemies. Love is inseparable from a freely chosen self-sacrificial act. This being so, since God grants man the freedom to love, He must also grant him the freedom to refuse to love.” (Joseph Pearce)

“When a person truly loves Christ, he cannot but help to love all people — simultaneously. One loves them without asking them if they are worthy of such love, even if they deny this offering outright and reject it. Christian love … is an unselfish love: sacrificial, kenotic, without boundaries and limits, and without discrimination. It is love that does not seek reciprocation or acceptance. It does not seek approval, praise, or recognition.” (St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia)

“He who loves little, gives little. He who loves more, gives more. He who loves beyond measure, what has he to give? He gives himself!” (St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite)

“The more you do for someone the more your love for them grows.” (Father George Kokhno)

"When the soul knows the love of God by the Holy Spirit, then he clearly feels that the Lord is our own Father, the closest, dearest Father, the best. And there is not greater happiness than to love God with all the mind and heart, and our neighbor as ourself. And when this love is in the soul, then all things bring joy to the soul.” (St. Silouan the Athonite)

“Love is the essence of the relationship between God the Son and God the Father, and it remains our test of authentic life in the Church in every age.” (Dynamis 12/13/2019)

“God called us into existence. It was a one-sided act — not of His own powerful will, but of His immeasurable love. He called us into existence, so that we may share with Him not only existence, but life — become partakers of all that He is. We are called, in the words of Saint Peter, to become partakers of divine nature. We are called to be brothers and sisters of Christ, sons and daughters of the Living God. He created us in an act of love. And in this act of love, from the first, He gave Himself as an offering to us.” (Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh)

“How is it that God's commandments are not burdensome? We live these commandments by faith and in God's love, which makes them light on our fallen nature. They are hard and rough only to those who are living a sinful life. That the Kingdom of heaven belongs to those who suffer makes even suffering sweet.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 John 5:3)

“Love is so much more than a powerful emotion or a deep feeling. Love is a way of being or un-being. It is a sweet place of self-forgetfulness where fullness of self is realized. It is an incredibly joyful state and an extremely painful one all at once. It unburdens you with the divine insight and experience of who God is and that no matter what happens, all will be well. Yet it wrenches your heart, the deepest part of who you are, because of the pain and sadness you feel when you love someone who suffers. Yet even this suffering begets a deeper love you wouldn’t trade for anything. Love and lack thereof is the experience of heaven or hell. When you love, you long to draw closer to others because you feel your oneness with them in God. When you don’t love, you wish to create separation between yourself and others and your lack of love causes you to experience any form of love, consciously or unconsciously, with bitterness, anger, apathy, and general negativity. By doing so and rejecting others, you are essentially rejecting God whether you know it or not.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

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