The Shepherd, April 2010
FROM THE FATHERS
“HE HAS as yet no perfect love, whose disposition towards men depends on what they are like, loving one and despising another for this or that, or sometimes loving, sometimes hating one and the same man. Blessed is the man who can love all men equally."
Ven. Maximos the Confessor, + 662 A.D.
“STRIVE to love every man equally, and you will simultaneously expel all the passions.”
Ven. Thalassius of Libya, seventh century
“KNOW, my brethren, that love has two characteristics, two gifts. One of them is to strengthen man in what is good, and the other is to weaken him in what is evil. I have a loaf of bread to eat; you do not have. Love tells me: Do not eat it alone, give some to your brethren and you eat the rest. I have clothes; love tells me: Give one garment to your brother, and you wear the other one. I open my mouth to accuse you, to tell you lies, to deceive you; but at once I remember love and it deadens my mouth, and does not allow me to tell lies. I stretch out my hands to take what belongs to you, your money, all your possessions. Love does not allow me take them. Do you see, my brethren, what gifts love has?”
Holy Peer of the Apostles, the New Hieromartyr Cosmas Aitolos,
+ 1779 A.D.
“WE STAND before the altar of love, before the very presence of Love Incarnate Himself; and we have no love for each other! Is this not strange? And worse, we do not even worry about it, do not care about it. But love will not come of itself. We must strive for it with earnest efforts.”
Righteous John of Cronstadt, + 1908 A.D.