Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Giving to others seems a difficult thing, but love makes it easy. Receiving from others seems a plesant thing, but love makes it unplesant. Speaking against the others seems a plesant thing, but love makes it bitter.
Saint John Chrysostom
Love finds its greatest delight in the kind word and in the praising of all people.
Anger gives a sort of wild pleasure, but not to the loving man, because he doesn’t know any anger.
If his brother upsets him, he doesn’t get angry, he starts crying, prays and implores.
If he sees his brother sinning, he grieves and suffers in his heart. And this pain is sweet, because tears and sadness from love are above any laugh and gladness.
The peace and delight felt by those who cry for their beloved ones, are never experienced by those who laugh.
You may ask me: Love – of any kind would it be – doesn’t it bring pleasure anyway, including the indecent one? No. Only pure love brings pure, true joy. And pure love is not the wordly one, that one from the market, which is rather malice and sin, but the Christian love, the spiritual love, that love required by saint Paul, which seeks the benefit of our neighbor. The Apostle had this love he talked about: Who is weak and I do not feel weak?Who is led into sin and I do not inwardly burn?1
Nothing angers God more than our idifference towards our brother. That’s why He asked to be severely punish the slave who behaved mercilessly with that one who was a slave like him.
That’s why He said that His disciples must have love as a sign of recognition among them. Because love leads naturally to the care for our brother.
And you may ask me again: If we care about our brother, don’t we neglect our own salvation? Isn’t it possible such danger?
On the contrary. That one who cares about the others, does not cause any sadness to anyone, but empathizes with them all, helps them all, as much as he can. He doesn’t take anything from anyone. He is not greedy, nor a thief or a liar. He keeps himself far away of all evil and always tries to do all goodness. He prays for his enemies, he does good to those who treat him unjustly. He doesn’t curse or gossip, regardless of what someone would do to him. By all these won’t we aid our own salvation?
Therefore love is the path to our salvation. Let’s follow it in order to inherit eternal life.
From the book – Matters of life I – Holy Monastery Paraklitou
1 2 Corinthians, 11-29