Friday, September 12, 2014

We must love both God and our brothers ( St. Kosmas Aitolos )

Now, my children, I want to ask you the following, and tell me the truth: Who do you love? God or the devil? Undoubtedly, you will say that you love God..

Let us see if this love for God is correct and perfect, or if it is deficient and in need of anything else? How can we determine this? Let us suppose that you have a child.

 I love you, respect you, and say good things about you to others; however, I beat up your child, I brush him aside, I speak badly about him to others, I take his food and eat it, I take his clothes and wear them. 

It seems to me that this is not real love. If we love the father, we must also love his child.

Similarly, whoever loves God must also love his brother, his fellow Christian. Because we all have one father: God. We have one faith and one baptism. We commune from the same Holy Mysteries. We have one head: our Christ. We have one faith, one law, one worship, and we are all brothers.

Furthermore, my children, you should realize that love has two attributes. One strengthens man to do good; the other restrains him from doing evil. Assume, my children, that I have a loaf of bread to
eat and water to drink, but you have nothing. 

Love tells me, "Do not eat your bread alone, but give some of it to your brothers and then eat the rest of it." I have clothes to wear. Love tells me, "Give one of your garments to your brother and keep the other one to wear." I am about to open my mouth to criticizeyou, to lie to you, to trick you. As soon as I think of love, it paralyzes my lips and does not allow me to mislead you. 

I am about to stretch out my hands to steal your
possessions, your money, everything you own. Love, however, does not allow me to take
anything.Do you see, my brothers, what kind of gifts love contains? 

St. Kosmas Aitolos
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