April 16, 2015

Elder Germanos of Stavrovouni on True and Pure Love

- Do you want to find out what kind of love you have?

Stand in front of the mirror of the 13th chapter of the 1st epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, and honestly look to see if those things the Apostle Paul says applies to you:

"They who love have long-suffering towards the weaknesses of others. They have kindness. They are not envious. They are not haughty, they do not distort, they do not seek their own interests, they are not irritable. They forget evils done to them. They are saddened when injustice is done to their neighbor, and rejoice in their joy. In all things they are tolerant, trusting, hopeful and patient" (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

- They who love their neighbor with a true love, in accordance with God's will, feel immense peace and joy within.

They who "love" falsely, superficially, hypocritically, carnally and sensually feel confusion and agitation within.

- True love is intertwined with a spirit of humility, sacrifice and giving. They who love in accordance with the will of God, sacrifice their desires and leisure for the sake of the one they love. The love which is not according to the will of God, is connected to a spirit of egoism. He who has such a "love", instead of sacrificing for others, always requests the other to sacrifice for them.

- Love for our enemy hides great wisdom. When we repay good for evil, we become imitators of Christ. Then His Grace comes and overshadows us! The Grace of the Holy Spirit floods us! The saints loved even their persecutors. And this fact was very crucial for them to emerge as genuine friends of Christ, His saints!

- Love for our neighbor should not only be expressed with words, but it should advance with our works. True love shines on the face with a supernatural light for the person that is loved. The face of the one who hates is somber and cloudy, even dark.

- True love does not rejoice in the misfortunes of others, nor is it saddened by their success.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos.