Spiritual love is superior to the love between natural brothers and sisters
because one relates to another through Christ and not a common mother. Those
who possess this pure (noble) love are full of kindness, because they have
Christ inside them and the Godhead is depicted on their faces. Naturally, it is
impossible for Christís love to enter within us unless we separate our self
from our love, offer it to God and His images, and give ourselves to others
without wanting them to commit themselves to us.
Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in
their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of
God, feel the greatest joy in the world. Their life is a constant doxology, for
they flutter about internally like angels, glorifying God day and night. Those,
however, who neglect the salvation of their souls and try to find joy and rest
in this vain life, are continually tortured and entangled in endless worldly
machinery and live in hell in this life.
Those who have philotimo, because they move within the heavenly
sphere of doxology, joyfully accept their trials as well as their blessings,
and glorify God for them. Thus, they are continuously receiving Godís blessing
from everything and are melting internally out of gratitude towards God, which
they express in every spiritual way possible, like children of God.
Although the Good God gives us abundant blessings, acts always for our own
good and has made everything to be of service to us and to be sacrificed for
us, from plants to animals and birds, whether big or small, and even though God
Himself sacrificed His life to redeem man, many of us remain indifferent and
wound Him with our great ingratitude and insensitivity. And, all of this even
though He has given us our conscience as an inheritance together with all His
Conscience is the first law of God, which He deeply carved in the hearts of
the First Created, and consequently, each one of us takes it as a
"photocopy" from his parents when he is born. Those who have managed
to sensitize their consciences through the daily study of themselves feel
themselves estranged from this world; and, as a result, worldly people are
dumfounded by their discerning behavior. Those, however, who do not examine
their consciences are neither benefited by spiritual study nor by the advice of
the Elders, nor are they even able to keep Godís commandments, since they
quickly become insensitive.
Those who are sensitive and have philotimo, and who observe everything
with precision, are usually wronged by the insensitive ones due to the constant
concessions they make for them out of love. However, Godís love is always on
their side. Oftentimes, they wrong themselves due to their hypersensitivity,
overemphasizing their minor sins or bearing the burden of othersí faults; but
once again, God comforts them with His heavenly kindness and, at the same time,
strengthens them spiritually.
Those who wrong or wound sensitive people inwardly are not human.
Those who claim they are sensitive, loving, and discreet and endure the
injustices of others, but say, "Let them receive theirs from God,"
are fooled by the deceiver without realizing it, since this is a way to curse
politely. In this life everyone takes exams in order to pass on to eternal
life, Paradise. It is my feeling that this polite curse is below the spiritual
Those who wrong others wrong themselves eternally; those who joyfully accept
the injustice of others are entitled to an eternal reward with interest.
Naturally, every person will be paid by the boss for whom he worked. Those
who work for Christ shall receive a hundredfold now in this time and, in the
world to come, eternal life (Mark 10:30);
and those who work for the dark boss will receive darkness even now.
Those who work for Christ but are prideful pollute their virtues, just as
fried eggs are contaminated when birdís droppings fall on them. They then can
only be thrown in the trash along with the frying pan.
All those, however, who work humbly, acquire virtues and share their hidden
experiences out of humility and love, are the greatest benefactors, because
they give spiritual charity and positively help souls which are weak and
unsound in the Faith. Those who throw even their own selves to the world, out
of love, after having driven out the world from within them, fly into Heaven
and are not caught by the world.
Love with external poverty greatly assists in acquiring the inner poverty of
the passions. These two kinds of poverty make man rich in Godís kindness.
Good people do not keep evil in their hearts, but neither do they keep their
kindness to themselves. For this reason, they do not possess elegant things and
are not moved by the worldís beauties. In this, their fervent faith in God as
well as their great love is made manifest.
There is no man more intelligent than the merciful one who gives away
earthly, perishable things and buys imperishable, heavenly things. Likewise,
there is no greater fool in the world than the greedy one who gathers things
continually and yet is deprived continually, finally buying hell with his
collected savings. Those, naturally, who are lost in material things are
totally lost, for they have also lost Christ.
Sadness and stress always dominate the person who is dominated by material
things, for sometimes he fears that people will take away his possessions, and
other times he is afraid they will take away his soul. The miser, whose hand
has become numb from squeezing it too hard, has also constricted his heart and
turned it into stone. In order to be cured, he must visit destitute people and
sympathize with them, so he will be forced to slowly open up his hand.
Consequently, his stony heart will soften and become humane, and thus the gates
of Paradise will also open for him.
Kindness softens and opens up the heart, as oil opens a rusty lock.
Those who come close to people in pain, naturally draw near to God, because
God is always by the side of His children who are in pain.
God spiritually strengthens His children who have philotimo, who help their
fellow men carry their crosses, and He relieves them from their own crosses
Those who think about the heavy crosses of the righteous, never worry about
their own small trials, for, although they have made more mistakes in their
life, they suffer less than the righteous.
Those who suffer trials unjustly imitate Christ; and those who face
hardships due to their sins are blessed, because they are forgiven their sins
in this life.
Those who do not co-suffer with those in pain, suffer from a fatal spiritual
illness: mercilessness. Those who are annoyed by the moaning of sick people and
react angrily because they cannot concentrate, suffer from many spiritual
Those who truly love and struggle correctly, can also endure with love,
sacrifice themselves, and give rest to their neighbor, who is Christ.
Those who wish others to provide for them but offer nothing in return, are
constantly asking things from God without giving anything to Him, not even
their sins (by repentance). Such people are completely estranged from God and
deliver themselves of their own accord into the hands of the manslayer (the
devil). Because they have only cultivated love for their own selves, it follows
that great anguish will then develop in them and that they will suffer hell, in
part, already in this life.
Those who do not put themselves in the place of their suffering fellow man
are deserted by God, experience a terrible fall, and learn to feel pain. Those,
on the other hand, who feel compassion, care for other people, and ignore their
own selves, are protected by God and are looked after both by God and by men.
When someone gives his heart to God, then the mind of this man is also
seized by the love of God. He is indifferent towards worldly things and
continually thinks about the Heavenly Father, and being divinely in love, he
glorifies his Creator day and night like an angel.
Merely the thought of Godís benevolent acts is enough to make the heart of a
person who has philotimo break; yet even more so, when he thinks of his
numerous sins and the great mercy of God.
Those who struggle and sense their sinfulness as well as Godís
loving-kindness and who trust in His great mercy, elevate their souls to
Paradise with great confidence and little physical effort, if they have good
People who struggle hard, with much devotion, and have reached the angelic
state to a certain extent and are nurtured with celestial honey, nevertheless
offer nothing significant to God compared with what He has offered us. For they
eat honey while offering Him wax. They eat sweet fruits and offer God tree
resin with the censer. Therefore, we do nothing and offer nothing to God,
compared with His great loving-kindness. For, while the Good God produces
beautiful fruit with our rubbish or even with manure, in order to feed us, we
wretched people turn beautiful fruit into manure.
As the kindness of God renders everything useful for a good purpose, so too
must we, His creatures, make good use of everything in order to be benefited
and benefit others.
Kind people naturally derive benefit even from their fellow menís failings,
for they use them as a strong brake on themselves in order to take care not to
be derailed. But those who are deceitful, unfortunately, are not benefited, not
even by other peopleís virtues, because they interpret them with their wily
lexicon, being darkened by the gloom of the manslayer. They spiritually wrong
themselves and others, and are always upset and continually upset others with
their spiritual darkness; whereas, actual cloudy weather causes sadness only to
people who suffer from grief.
Kindness is one of Godís many qualities; therefore, it always spreads joy,
drives away the clouds, and opens up hearts like the spring sunshine which
makes the earth blossom. It even warms up snakes and takes them out of their
cold holes so they, too, can enjoy Godís kindness.
Ill-tempered people are always strangled by thoughts, and with their frozen
hearts they freeze and choke afflicted people who have come to them for
consolation. Good-tempered people, on the other hand, with their spiritual
(noble) love, being contrite with pain, strangle demons, liberate souls, and
spread divine consolation to their fellow men.
Fervent spiritual love renders sensitive people more sensitive, and makes
insolent ones more insolent.
An orphan, especially if it has lost its mother, and even if it is a little
porcupine, must be embraced with pain and fervent love, so as to first feel
warmth, take courage, and open up its heart.
The fervent love of Christ nourishes more than any other material food and
gives many calories to the soul and body. Oftentimes, it even cures incurable
diseases without medication and brings rest to souls.
Those who do not sacrifice their physical health for the love of Christ,
scorning their bodily rest, will not find spiritual rest, either in this life
or in the next, eternal life.
Those who, out of pure love, sacrifice even their own lives to protect their
fellow men, imitate Christ. These people are, of course, the greatest heroes,
because even death trembles before them, since they defy death out of love.
Thus, they triumph with immortality, and, taking the key to eternity out from
beneath the gravestone, they proceed freely to eternal blessedness.
It is preferable for a sensitive person to be himself killed once, out of
love, in order to protect his fellow man, than to cop out or back out and be
constantly slaughtered by his conscience for the rest of his life.
Sacrifice for our fellow man conceals our great love for Christ. Those who
have good intentions to give alms, but have nothing and on this account are
afflicted, give charity with the blood of their hearts.
Those who want to be martyred for the love of Christ when martyrdom is not
an option, can manifest this love that burns within them through bodily
asceticism for the sake of the souls of the reposed which are burning, so that
these souls will find a little rest.
Indifferent and merciless people, who think only of their own selves,
insensitively satisfying themselves, simultaneously fill their hearts with much
anguish. Within them works the little worm of a troubled conscience, and they
are tormented already in this life. Merciful people, on the other hand, since
they are always filling others with love, are always filled with the love of
God and His abundant blessingsÖ
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