Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Saint Porphyrios Kavsokalivite
We are happy when we love all the people in secret. Then we feel that all of them love us. Nobody can reach God if he is not close to people. We should love and sacrifice ourselves for all unselfishly, without expecting any reward. Then the man finds his balance. This is the greatest mystery of our Church: to become all One with God
Love for our brother prepares us to love Christ more. We should spread our love over all unselfishly, without caring about their attitude.
When the grace of God comes within us we won’t care anymore if they love us or not, if they speak nicely to us, but we’ll feel the need to love them all. To expect that the others should speak kindly to us means selfishness.
When we love without aiming to be loved by them, they will gather around us like the bees. And this is true for all. If your brother bothers you, think like this: `now my eye, my hand, my leg is hurting me.` We shouldn’t expect to be rewarded for doing apparently the good nor to be punished for the bad deeds.
When you love with the love of Christ you come to the knowledge of Truth. Then you don’t ask to be loved, because this is wrong. Only love, give your love, this is right. Our salvation depends on us. According to the Holy Scripture God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
When someone wrongs us by all means, with slanders and insults we should think that he is our brother who was defeated by the enemy. He became victim of the enemy. That’s why we should have compassion for him and pray God to have mercy on him and on us. And God will help us both.
But if we get angry with him then the enemy will leave him and will assault us and will enslave us both. That one who condemns the others doesn’t love Christ. Selfishness is the cause. From this starts the condemnation.
Let’s imagine that a man is alone in a desert. All of a sudden he hears someone crying and shouting. He goes closer and sees a terrible sight: a tiger took a man and tears him furiously. The desperate man is asking for help. What to do to help? Will he take a stone and throw it against him to free him? No way. However this is what happens when we don’t realize that the other one who treats us badly is conquered by the devil, by the tiger.
We ignore the fact that when we treat someone else without love is as if we threw stones on his wounds, causing him a greater pain. And the tiger jumps on us and we do what he did or even worse. Then what’s the love we have for our brother and all the more for God?
We should perceive the badness of the other as a sickness that torments him and makes him suffer, one he is not able to get rid of. That’s why we should look at our brothers with compassion and behave with them with nobleness, saying simply to ourselves the prayer: `Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me`so that our soul may be strengthened with divine grace and stop condemning the others. We should see all the others as saints. We all bear inside ourselves the old man. Our neighbour, no matter who he is, is flesh from our flesh, is our brother and we should not owe anything else to anyone execept for loving each other, according to what says saint Paul . We can never condemn the others because nobody hates his own body.
When someone suffers of a passion we should try to cast over him beams of love and mercy so that he may be healed and get rid of that. And these are achieved only due to the grace of God. Imagine that he suffers more than you do.
We should stand with heed, respect and prayer. We should strive not to commit the wrong ourselves. When we bear the enmity of our brother this will be considered as martyrdom. Let’s do it with gladness.
The Christian has nobleness. We should prefer to be wronged. If good, love come inside us we forget the wrong we suffered. Here lies the mystery. When the evil comes from afar you can’t avoid it. But the great skill is to despise it. With the grace of God seeing the evil coming you won’t be hurt because you will be full of grace.