"Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt. 22, 39)
There is no other path to the spiritual love with which the invisible image of God is inscribed in us, if first of all man does not become merciful in the likeness of Heavenly Father, who revealed His perfection in mercy. The Lord commanded those obeying Him to believe in mercy in the foundation of a pleasing life(82, 280).
Do not exchange love for your brother for the love of some thing, because by loving your brother you have gotten inside yourself of the One who is the most precious thing in the world.Reverend Isaac the Syrian (82, 280).
Abba John Kolov said: it is impossible to build a building, starting from the roof, it is necessary to build from the base upwards. He was asked: what should be understood here under the ground? He answered: the foundation is the neighbor, when we help and acquire it, because all the commandments of Christ are based on it.Abba John Kolov (82, 288-289).
Abba Agathon said: "If I could take the body of a leper and give it to mine, it would be a pleasure for me to do it." This is perfect love(82, 56).
Abba Agathon said: "How much it depended on me, I never fell asleep with sorrow in my heart to anyone and was not allowed to fall asleep with any sorrow for me"(82, 57).
The brother said to Abba Agathon: "I am commanded, but the fulfillment of the commandment is associated with sorrow; and I want to fulfill the commandment, and I'm afraid of sorrow. " The Elder answered: "If you had love, you would fulfill the commandment and overcome the sorrow."Avva Agafon (82, 61).
Being subjected to God in the mind and obeying the commandments in humility, attains to love. Love introduces into dispassion(82, 144).
Do not do what your brother insults you,(82, 179).
If the mind becomes stronger and decides to follow love, then all passions of the flesh and spirit are extinguished. "Love is long-suffering, merciful, love does not envy, love does not boast, it does not take pride" (1.13, 4), makes it natural for the heart to be persistent and does not allow anything unnatural to forcibly enslave the mind ...Rev. Abba Isaiah (82, 197).
Someone asked the old man: "Why do not the current ascetics receive blessing gifts like the ancients?" The elder replied: "Because then there was love, and everyone raised their neighbor up; now the love has cooled, and everyone draws the neighbor down. For this reason, we are not honored to receive grace "(82, 398).
The elder said: "I never desired a deed useful to me and not useful to my brother, believing that the acquisition of a brother is my acquisition"(82, 399).
The sinner must separate himself from all human love until he is convinced that God accepted his repentance: the love of this world excommunicates from the love of God.Pronunciations of nameless elders (82, 405).
"There is no more love than if someone laid down his life for his friends" (John 15, 13). If anyone hears a distressing word and, being able to respond with the same word, overcomes himself and does not say, or if someone who, being deceived, transfers this and does not take revenge on the deceiver, he believes his soul for the neighbor.Reverend Pimen the Great (82, 345-346).
Get close to the righteous - and through them you will approach God. Communicate with those who have humility - and learn their ways. For if you look at them useful, then even more so learn from them. Love the poor so that you will be able to gain mercy through them. Do not come close to those who love to argue, so that you will not be forced to lose your silence. Without disgust, bear the bodily deficiencies of the sick and especially the poor, because you are also surrounded by the body. Do not rebuke those who mourn in heart, lest you be staggered by their staff, and then you will seek consolers and you will not find them. Do not despise the crippled, because we go to hell in equal terms. Love sinners, but hate their deeds and do not neglect sinners for their shortcomings, so that you yourself can not be tempted in the same way that they have been tempted. Remember that you are also involved in the earthly nature, and do good to everyone. Do not rebuke those who ask for your prayer and do not deprive them of their kind words of comfort, so that they will not perish, and you will not be recovered from them. On the contrary, remember that doctors reduce inflammation in inflammation, and use warming agents in opposite states.
When you meet your neighbor, force yourself to honor him above his measure. Greet his kisses with great honor ... and praise him even for what he does not have. And when you are separated from him, talk about him all the good and the most worthy. For by this and the like, you will draw him to good, make him ashamed of the greeting that you greeted him, and sow in him the seeds of virtue. From such a habit you have acquired, a good image will be imprinted in you, you will acquire high humility and without effort succeed in the great. And besides this, if the one you are honoring and has some drawback, he will easily take medicine from you, ashamed of the honor you have shown him. Let there always be this disposition - be nice and respectful to everyone. Do not grieve anyone, do not envy anyone - neither to the power of faith, nor, on the contrary, to his bad deeds. But beware of someone and blame or convict in anything, because we have an impartial Judge in Heaven. If you want to convert someone to the truth, then grieve for him and with tears and with love, tell him a word or two, and do not be inflamed with anger, and he will not see in you a sign of enmity. For love can not be annoyed or upset at someone, or reproach someone with vexation. Indication of true love and understanding is humility, which is born from a good conscience about Christ Jesus, our Lord.Rev. Isaac the Syrian (55, 303-304).
What is characteristic of love for one's neighbor? Seek not their benefits, but the soul and bodily benefit of the beloved(6, 417).
He who loves his neighbor as himself, does not have anything superfluous to his neighbor(7, 90).
As God gives everyone the opportunity to share in the same light, so imitators of God and pour out on everyone a common and equally strong light of love(8, 68).
He who loves his neighbor fulfills his love for God, because God transfers his mercy to Himself.St. Basil the Great (8, 89).
What can compare with love? Nothing. This is the root, the source and mother of all blessings. It is a virtue associated with pleasure and bringing one uninterrupted joy to those who sincerely assimilated it(37, 796).
We all have need of mercy, but not all are worthy of mercy, because she, though merciful, is looking for a worthy(39, 50).
As fire burns thorns, so charity annoys people of inhuman and cruel people, because it serves as a denunciation of their wickedness.St. John Chrysostom (39, 320).
Blessed is the man who regards every man as a god after God.Reverend Neil of Sinai (47, 195).
People who love the world can not get love for people.Reverend Isaac the Syrian (56, 211).
The Savior says: "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22, 39). Do not pay attention to how far you stand against this virtue, so as not to start to be horrified and say: "How can you love your neighbor as yourself? Can I take care of his afflictions as my own, and especially those hidden in his heart, whom I do not see and do not know how to be my own? "Do not get carried away by such reflections and do not think that virtue exceeds your strength and was unrealizable. But put the beginning with faith in God, show Him your desire and diligence - then you will see the help He will give you for the performance of virtue. Imagine two ladders: one elevates to Heaven, the other brings down to hell, and you stand on the ground between them. Do not think and do not say: "How can I fly from the earth and suddenly find myself in heaven?" ... This, of course, is impossible, and God does not require this from you, but beware so as not to go down. Do not do evil to your neighbor, do not grieve him, do not slander, do not slander, do not despise, do not rebuke. And later you will start gradually little by little and do good to your brother, comforting him with words, compassion or giving him what he needs. And so, rising from one step to another, you will reach with the help of God and the top of the ladder. For little by little, helping your neighbor, you will get to the point that you will desire and benefit him as your own, and his success as your own. This means loving "your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22, 39).Reverend Abba Dorotheus (58, 162).
Philanthropy is a likeness to God, as it is charitable to all people, and pious and wicked, just as God Himself is good.Reverend Simeon the New Theologian (60, 32).
Love for God does not have a measure, as a beloved God - of limit and limitation. But love of neighbor has a limit and limitation. If you do not keep it within the proper limits, it can alienate you from the love of God, cause great harm, even destroy you. Truly, you must love your neighbor, but in a way that does not harm your soul. Do everything simply and sacredly, do not mean anything other than pleasing God. And this will protect you in the affairs of loving your neighbor from all wrong steps.The Monk Nicodemus of the Holy Cross (64, 265).
"He who does not love his brother stays in death," writes the apostle (1in 3, 14). Such a body lives even though he is a body, but he is dead by the soul. For as the body is a soul, so the soul is quickened by the Spirit of Christ. And where there is no Christian brotherly love, there is no Spirit of Christ. "Everyone who does not do righteousness is not of God, nor is he who loves his brother" (1IN 3, 10). But there, instead of that, the spirit of dislike: for the soul is either in the grace of God and is enlivened by grace, or has no grace and is deprived of spiritual life. One of these two certainly follows: where there is no spiritual life, there is spiritual death, just as where there is no bodily life, there is bodily death. After the death of the spiritual follows eternal death, if the soul does not rise with true repentance.Prelate Tikhon Zadonsky (104, 992-993).
Love for one's neighbor is a path leading to love of God, because Christ favored mysteriously clothed in everyone our neighbor, and in Christ - God(108, 123).
Give respect to your neighbor as the image of God, reverence in your soul, invisible to others, manifest only for your conscience(108, 127).
Give respect to your neighbor, not distinguishing age, sex, class - and gradually begins to appear in your heart holy love(108, 127).
And to the blind, and to the leper, and to the damaged mind, and to the suckling infant, to the criminal and the pagan, pay homage, as to the image of God-that to your weaknesses and weaknesses! Watch yourself, so that you do not have the flaws of love(108, 127-128).
If you think that you love God, but in your heart there is an unpleasant disposition to at least one person, then you are in a woeful self-deception(108, 128).
The manifestation of spiritual love for one's neighbor is a sign of the renewal of the soul by the Holy Spirit(108, 128).
The perfection of a Christian - in perfect love for one's neighbor(108, 128).
When your heart is overshadowed by a holy, blessed world to all of humanity, then you are at the very door of love(108, 130).
Mercy to the near and humility before them in conjunction with the purity of the heart ... is the foundation and power of prayer(108, 146).
With the members of Christ - Christians - you need to be very careful and prudent: you need to compassionate them in their ailments and cut off only those who, without giving any hope of recovery, only infect others with their ailment.(108, 339).
Keep your conscience toward your neighbor: do not be content with one aspect of your behavior(108, 371).
Any Orthodox Christian, if he wants to move from negligent life to life attentively, if he wants to take care of his salvation, should, first, pay attention to his relations to his neighbors(109, 340).
To love your neighbor as yourself, you first need to love yourself correctly(111, 259).
The love of God lies in the love of one's neighbor, and he who has cultivated love for his neighbor with him attains in his heart an inestimable spiritual treasure - the love of God(111, 330).
Your heart belongs to the one Lord, and in the Lord and neighbor(111, 518).
The love that pays tribute to people in proportion to their piety is at the same time equal to all, because it is in Christ and loves in all Christ(111, 522).
Although the commandment about love of God is so sublime to the commandment of love for the image of God - a man, as far as God is higher than His image, but the commandment of love for one's neighbor is the basis of the commandment about the love of God(112, 87-89).
Pay all attention to the acquisition of love for your neighbor, as the basis of your residence and monastic exploit(112, 88).
The reason ... of love (for one's neighbor) is one - Christ, revered and loved in every neighbor(112, 90).
Love for neighbor is preceded and accompanied by humility before him(112, 91-92).
The one who achieved love for his enemies achieved perfection in the love of his neighbor, and the gates of love to God opened themselves by themselves(112, 145).
If you want to be faithful, a zealous son of the Orthodox Church, then achieve this by fulfilling the Gospel commandments regarding the neighbor(112, 277).
Do not seek and do not expect love from people; with all your might, seek and demand from you love and compassion for people.Bishop Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) (112, 303).