On the Love of God…
If God first loved us, that we might love Him; and if the highest commandment is love for God and all mankind made in His image; then we must comprehend and beg God to taste the love of God for us.
Only when we perceive this love can we judge things correctly; only then can we utter correcting words unto edification, and not out of vanity or spite or ill-will; only then can the sinner see their sins correctly, in the light of Christ; only then can they perceive themselves truly, not as some absolutely detestable monster, but as a broken image of God still loved by the All-Compassionate Christ; only then can true compunction well forth sweet transforming tears from our inner depths! Only then will we be moved to true humility, bowing down in body and soul before our Gracious King, irresistibly attracted in an ever-upward ascent of love.
But it takes effort on our part to perceive the love of God. We must beg the God Who is Love for it in constant prayers, no matter how feeble; we must laboriously read and study the Divine Scriptures and the Holy Fathers, especially Abba Isaac the Syrian and Elder Porphyrios of Athos, in order to find the living testimonies of the Saints regarding God’s incomprehensible love. Finding and collecting these, we must immerse ourselves in them, meditate upon them, pray to understand and experience and taste them, to live worthily of them, and to constantly practice the commandments of love given to us by the Lord.
The love of God: This is the cure for all, the tree of life, the healing of the nations, the quelling of wars, the cessation of strife, the answer for political unrest, the destruction of division, the abolition of schism, the correction for heresy, the foundation of true friendship, the fellowship of true brotherhood, the reconciliation of enemies, the union of the divine marriage between Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church, the womb from which all are reborn as children of God, the life of the Orthodox.
This is the inner Kingdom which the Father desires to give unto us, the Little Flock; this is the grace of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit Christ promises to sinners who beg it of His Father through prayer in His name.
The love of Christ: this is the interior Paradise, heaven-on-earth, God-in-man; for God is Love, and all who love both know God and are known by Him. All who know Him will become like Him; and all who are known by Him will be found in that ever-ascending joy, ever-increasing peace and glory, ever-growing eternal life, and ever-flourishing love, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, our One God, Who has called all to be one in Him, both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
– Homily from Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV, December 2020