Elder Anthimos+ on Love…
“Listen,” the Elder said, “love is the holiest thing that exists in this life. It is Christ Himself. It is He Who loved us to the point of sacrifice. It is He Who sacrificed His life for His friends, just as He has revealed to us: “No man has greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends…” (John 15:13-14).
“Let us love one another with this sacrificial love. Love requires force, as it is written in the Gospel concerning the heavenly Kingdom, ‘that forceful men seize it’ (Matt. 11:12). So, for us, let the beginning and way to God be ‘always to drive ourselves.’”
“Our salvation is primarily a work of the good pleasure of God. He wants ‘all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth’ (2 Timothy 3:7). God is not biased. He has mercy on everyone, but he saves the faithful Orthodox Christians, because they have the true baptism and the true teaching. If we want our salvation, we must keep the commandments of God, which clearly state that we must love God and man. The Gospel says, ‘If you say, O man, that you love God whom you don’t see, and hate your brother whom you see, you are a liar’ (1 John 4:20).
“So our salvation depends on the attitude we will take toward other people.”