Handout from Dr Harry Boosalis

Lecture October 17, 2015 SUNY Potsdam, New York

Love: A Christian Path to Holiness

St. Silouan: “I began to beseech God for forgiveness, and He granted me not only forgiveness but also the Holy Spirit, and in the Holy Spirit, I knew God. ... the Lord remembered not my sins, and gave me to love people, and my soul longs for the whole world to be saved ... and delight in the love of God.”

The First Epistle of Peter: “But as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’.”

The Book of Genesis: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ... So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him ...”

St. Silouan: “How infirm is the soul! Without God's grace we are like cattle, but with grace great is man in the sight of God.”

St. Gregory of Sinai: “Through trespasses, we have become akin to beasts and have lost the natural blessings given us by God, becoming as beasts instead of reasoning beings, and animals instead of divine.”

The Gospel of John: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The First Epistle of John: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”  

St. Silouan: “The more perfect the love, the holier the life.”

The Gospel of Matthew: “‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’.”

The First Epistle of John: “If someone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother ... how can he love God ...? And this commandment we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

The Gospel of John: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

The Gospel of Matthew: “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”

St. Maximos the Confessor: “Do not disdain the commandment to love, because by it you will be a son of God.”

St. Silouan: “Our brother is our life.”

St. Silouan: “The greater the love, the greater the sufferings of the soul.”

Elder Sophrony: “Where there is great love, the heart necessarily suffers and feels pity for every creature.”

St. Maximos the Confessor: “Be as eager as you can to love every man ... The friends of Christ love everyone sincerely.”

Elder Sophrony: “We see in others that which our own spiritual experience has shown us about ourselves ... Whoever has experienced how deep and intense the suffering of the human spirit can be …has no doubt that every human being is a permanent eternal value ... He is conscious of man’s worth, conscious that ‘the least of these my brethren’ is dear in God’s sight.”

St. Silouan: “Love cannot suffer a single soul to perish.”

The Gospel of Matthew: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also ... You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

The Gospel of Luke: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you.”

St. Silouan: “If you forgive your brother the affronts he puts upon you, and love your enemies, then you will receive forgiveness for your sins, and the Lord will give you to know the love of the Holy Spirit.”

St. John Chrysostom: “There is nothing more grievous than the remembrance of injuries.”

St. Silouan: “The soul sorrows for her enemies and prays for them because they have strayed from the truth. That is love for our enemies.” ... “The Lord is love, and He gave the Holy Spirit on earth, Who teaches the soul to love her enemies and pray for them, that they, too, may find salvation. That is true love.”

St. Silouan: “The Lord taught me to love my enemies. Without the grace of God we cannot love our enemies. Only the Holy Spirit teaches love. ”

Elder Sophrony: “The bearer of such love ... is the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit ... the brother and friend of Christ — he is a son of God and a god through grace.”

The Gospel of Matthew: “But I say to you, love your enemies ... pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven ...”

St. Silouan: “If we love our enemies, peace will dwell in us day and night.”

St. Maximos the Confessor: “Many people have said much about love, but only in seeking it, among Christ’s disciples will you find it, for only they have the true love, the teacher of love. Therefore, the one who possesses love possesses God himself, since ‘God is love’.”

 

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