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Faith and Love

“Our first encounter with Him is through faith. Faith opens the door of the soul, so that Christ can enter. Faith receives Him, subjects our hearts to Him and engenders within us a fervent interest and powerful desire to approach Him. This is the initial requirement for Christ to dwell in our hearts, as Saint Paul says (Eph. 3, 17). But it takes love in order for the Lord to stay with us and make us His temple and altar. Jesus declares “Whoever loves me will keep my word and my father will love them and we shall come to them and make our dwelling in them” (Jn. 14, 23). The word of God helps us as regards the confirmation of our faith and the increase of our love. When the word of God, preaching and teaching, dwells abundantly within us, then the Word of God, Jesus Christ, not only squeezes into us, but does so into our innermost parts. He nurtures us mystically and prepares us for our perfect union with God.” (Stergios Sakkos)


“A popular slogan is that we are justified “by faith alone.” But this familiar translation of Romans 3:28 adds the word “alone” to the Greek text. Today in our reading of Galatians 4:28-5:10, Paul does not isolate faith. But he says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Today we will consider how true faith does not exist by itself, but love makes faith “active,” that is, effective. When we separate faith from everything else, we transform it into belief. It becomes the assent to the truth of something that cannot be proven by empirical evidence. The Book of James addresses this mistaken thought directly when it says, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).” (Fr. Basil)


“…humility, which is love for God and a desire to be close to Him and to receive whatever He is willing to give to us, especially if it’s not what we want. That is the kind of character that reveals true faith in God, true faithfulness. We may remember the much-suffering Job in the Old Testament, who at one point actually says, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). Real love for God is when we can begin to pray without expectations, without conditions that we lay down for God, willing to accept whatever God is going to give us. A true child of God will fall down at the Master’s feet and say, “Lord, help me.” It doesn’t matter what then happens. It doesn’t matter if we get our way. It doesn’t matter what our opinions are. Just, “Lord, help me.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)


“Our Lord contrasts false religion and true faith by noting that false piety avoids justice and, most especially, the love of God for others. This means extending God’s love to other people in a fair, loving, and kind manner. Any religious faith that does not require a person to love others is a false religion…” (Dynamis 11/4/2020)


“When Jesus healed in the Gospel He often told the person who He healed that ‘your faith has made you well.’ Faith is key to our wellness. However, when we are sick or tormented, sometimes our faith is not accessible to us because the pain and torment is too much. We need the faith of others. Faith from others comes only through their love. Consider the case of the paralytic who was lowered through the roof by his friends. The Scripture reads that when He [Christ] saw their faith He told the paralytic his sins were forgiven and He healed him (Luke 5:20). It was the love of these men for their friend that motivated them to act in faith. There is no true faith without love.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“…true faith is “active.” The word in Greek means “to energize” or “to work in”…But what is “work.” Work is the energy transferred when a force moves something over a distance. This definition goes along with the sense that love activates faith. Love puts faith to work, transferring the energy of conviction into active caring. Thus, in a sense, love actualizes and implements faith so that it does “work.” Thus, the apostle says of Abraham, “You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected (James 2:22).” (Fr. Basil)


“Call to mind with me the time when Peter was praised and called blessed. Was it because he merely said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” [Mt 16:16]? No, he who pronounced him blessed regarded not merely the sound of his words, but the affections of his heart. Compare that with the words of the demons who said almost the same thing: “We know who you are, the Son of God” [Mt 8:29], just as Peter had confessed him as “Son of God.” So what is the difference? Peter spoke in love, but the demons in fear…So tell us how faith is to be defined, if even the devils can believe and tremble? Only the faith that works by love is faith.” (St. Augustine)


“Faith is a knowledge that does not come by brief encounter. It is a perception that goes deeply beyond mere observation. It requires true attention. Attentiveness (nepsis), often rendered as “sobriety,” is a key element of the ascetic life of classical Christianity. It is more than mere mindfulness, much less holding a single thought. Rather, it is the fruit of love. It is the attentiveness that is reserved for the beloved – a communion of adherence.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints [Philemon 1:5]. In accord with Paul, John also advocates this combination of “faith in Christ and love for the saints.” The believers’ invisible faith becomes visible in the demonstration of love for others. This, of course, is not only desired, but commanded (1 John 3:23).” (NET Bible, Philemon 1:5)


“The Lord used the story of the Good Samaritan to show us who we must become if we are truly uniting ourselves to Him in faith. Purely out of compassionate, boundless love, Christ came to heal us all from the self-imposed pain and misery that our sins have worked on our souls. He came to liberate everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, from slavery to the fear of death, which is the wages of sin. Like the Samaritan, He was despised and rejected as a blasphemer.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“God is the source of faith…God has revealed Himself to us, most especially in the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom we know as the Son of God. This Revelation of God, His love, and His purpose, is constantly made manifest and contemporary in the life of the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rev. Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald)


“To believe in Christ involves faith working through love (Galatians 5:6).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 5:16-12)


“Because we have conceived faith in Him and because we have believed His promises and because through His resurrection we too rise and have suffered all things with Him and rise to life with him but also through Him, our faith is sure. Through this faith comes works fitting to salvation. This comes about through the love that we have for Christ and God and thus toward every human being. For it is these two relationships above all that set life straight and fulfill the whole sense of the law…if it follows necessarily that he who keeps faith will also keep love, since these two fulfill all the precepts of the law of Christ.” (Marius Victorinus)


“Call to mind with me the time when Peter was praised and called blessed. Was it because he merely said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” [Mt 16:16]? No, he who pronounced Him blessed regarded not merely the sound of his words, but the affections of his heart. Compare that with the words of the demons who said almost the same thing: “We know who you are, the Son of God” [Mt 8:29], just as Peter had confessed him as “Son of God.” So what is the difference? Peter spoke in love, but the demons in fear. . . . So tell us how faith is to be defined, if even the devils can believe and tremble? Only the faith that works by love is faith.” (St. Augustine)


“Faith and love are bound together like word and deed. They cannot be separated...Too many think it possible to take refuge in faith and flee from responsibility to love those whom the Lord loves. We should not take for granted that faith abounds—at least in these troubled times. I find it strange and sad that many who give themselves in service for others, for animals and now in the concern for the earth, yet consider themselves agnostics or atheists. Before we dare judge them we ought to judge ourselves and realize how official religions…seem to have failed them somehow.” (Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“…faith expresses itself through love…When we give love and respect to others, their faith level rises. You and I become a mirror, a witness, of Jesus to the world around us. Love from you draws out faith in others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 5:6, Frank Hammond)“

The connection between faith and love cannot be stressed enough—love makes faith deeper, while faith makes love stronger. Mere assent to religious philosophy always fails to rise to the level of true faith and love…Let’s work so that our Christian faith progresses from being about something we know to being about Someone we love.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“In sickness and, in general, during bodily infirmity, as well as in affliction, a man cannot in the beginning burn with faith and love for God, because in affliction and sickness the heart aches, whilst faith and love require a sound heart, a calm heart. This is why we must not very much grieve if during sickness and affliction we cannot believe in God, love Him, and pray to Him fervently as we ought to everything has its proper time.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“When Jesus healed in the Gospel He often told the person who He healed that ‘your faith has made you well.’ Faith is key to our wellness. However, when we are sick or tormented, sometimes our faith is not accessible to us because the pain and torment is too much. We need the faith of others. Faith from others comes only through their love. Consider the case of the paralytic who was lowered through the roof by his friends. The Scripture reads that when He [Christ] saw their faith He told the paralytic his sins were forgiven and He healed him (Luke 5:20). It was the love of these men for their friend that motivated them to act in faith. There is no true faith without love.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


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