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“The only way for God to assist us in actualizing the likeness we have in Him is to guide us in developing His unselfishness in us. Giving is not for God’s benefit, but for our own. He waits patiently for us to learn to give.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

“Love doesn’t come from some sudden flash of sympathy for the unfortunate person, perhaps inspired by the secret fear that we might one day find ourselves in the same situation; or the subconscious gratitude that we haven’t yet been in such a situation. It’s an unselfish and total act of giving, after the model of Christ who showed on the Cross what absolute love is. We love because ‘He first loved us’ (1 Jn. 4:19), according to the phrase of the disciple of love.” (Ioannis Karavidopoulos)

“Another characteristic feature is unselfishness. The usual code of conduct in social relationships depends on mutual self-interest, which, in the best of circumstances means ‘I love those who love me’, ‘I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine’, and ‘I trust those who trust me’. From this attitude I expect personal benefit and this why I have an input. Christian love transcends this logic of mutual benefit in human relationships. It works on the basis of another ‘logic’, which is, for some people, the ‘absurd’ reasoning of simply giving and loving. If love is limited to ourselves and to our friends, then we’re in no way different from non-Christians, since ‘even sinners do this’.” (Georgios Patronos)

“… when people are activated by selfishness, the fear of God precedes the acquisition of love for Him....For Christian morality, however, which is dynamic by nature, the fear of God is necessary for the transition from selfishness to unselfishness, which is what characterizes moral independence. People under the influence of the passions can’t love God with their whole being, since their mind inclines to those passions. Cleansing from the passions and progress in love are made possible through fear. At this stage people are, indeed, under outside control, but are simultaneously being trained to acquire that perfect and unselfish love, which ‘drives out fear’. First we observe God’s commandments out of fear, then later from love. In this way we acquire perfect fear, which is the fruit of the presence of Grace, and, instead of controlling us, this fear liberates us from all worldly fear. The first fear we must be freed from is that of death. As long as this fear exists, people will be selfish and will sin. Only by transcending it can there be unselfishness. With faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection, the prospect of death changes. We no longer fear it, we stand before it and face it with courage and the boldness we have because of Christ’s triumph over it. This is why the source of true, perfect and unselfish love is God. True love can’t exist apart from God because He alone is immortal, eternal and really completely free.” (Christoforos Papadopoulos)

“We should love, sacrifice ourselves for others unselfishly, without expecting anything in return. That’s when we find our balance. Love that expects a return is selfish. It’s not genuine, pure or true. We should love and suffer with everyone. If one part suffers, all the other parts suffer with it… Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. [1 Cor. 12, 26-27]. That’s the Church: me, you, other people, all aware that we’re members of Christ, that we’re one. Selfishness is egotism. We shouldn’t ask ‘Let me endure, let me go to paradise’, but rather we should feel this love for other people. Do you understand? That’s humility. So if we live united, we’ll be blessed, we’ll live in paradise.” (Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia)

#GreekOrthodoxArchdiocese #IoannisKaravidopoulos #GeorgiosPatronos #ChristoforosPapadopoulos #SaintPorphyriosofKavsokalyvia

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