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LOVE – AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

Icon of the Crucifixion

The Greatest Commandment

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.

Gospel according to Matthew 22:35-40

If you love Me, keep My commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of Truth….He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.

Gospel according to John 14:15, 16, 21

Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

First Letter of John 4:18

These tings I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel according to John 15:11-12

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 6:2

Christ preparing for Crucifixion by prayer in Gethsemane

That we may be one

Our Lord prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who believe in Me throung their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are One: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You love Me”.

Gospel according to John 17:20-23

Elder Porphyrios with Blanket

A Quote loved by Father Porphyrios

Father Porphyrios was a priest and a monk who fell asleep in Lord on the 3rd of December 1991. This is one of his favourite quotes that he would copy and distribute to people to read. It was written by Saint Symeon the New Theologian who lived during the eleventh century.

“We should look upon all the faithful as one person, and consider that Christ is in each one of them. We should have such love for them that we are ready to sacrifice our very lives for them. For we ought neither to say nor to think of any person as being bad, but rather, we must look upon everyone as good. If you see a brother or sister afflicted with a passion, do not hate them. Hate the passion which afflicts them. And if you see them being terrorised by the habits and desires of previous sins, have compassion on them. Maybe you too will be afflicted by temptation, since you are also made from matter that easily turns from good to evil. Love toward your brother and sister prepares you to love God even more. The secret, therefore, of love towards God is love towards your brother and sister. For if you do not love your brother and sister who you see, how is it possible to love God, who you do not see?”

Saint Symeon the New Theologian, 1022

St Symeon the New Theologian

Christ the True Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing”.

Gospel according to John 15:4-5

Icon of Christ the True Vine

“The Apostles beheld the Lord in glory when He was transfigured on Mount Tabor, but later, at the time of His suffering and crucifixion, were faint-hearted and ran away.

So weak and frail are we!

In very truth we are but earth – and sinful earth at that. That this why the Lord said, ‘Without me you can do nothing’.

And thus it is said. When grace is in us, we are truly humble, wise, compliant, meek an pleasing to God and each other, but when we lose grace, we wither away like a shoot cut from the vine. The person who does not love his brother or sister, for whom the Lord died in great suffering, has fallen from the vine (which is the Lord); but the person who wrestles against sin, the Lord will help”.

Saint Silouan the Athonite, By Fr Sophrony, page 499.

St Silouan the Athonite

Psalm 102 – A reminder to us of God’s love[1]

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all that He has done for you.

Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your illnesses,

Who delivers your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your desire with good things,

Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

He will not always strive with us, nor will he keep His anger forever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy towards those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,

So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it and it is gone,

And its place it remembers no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

On those who fear Him,

And His righteousness is from generation to generation,

To such as keep His covenant,

And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The Lord has established His throne in Heaven,

And His Kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,

Heeding the voice of His word.

Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,

You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.

Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Mosaic of Christ


[1] In a Western Bible it is Psalm 103.

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