Today, many virtuous people who lead good lives, who please God with their deeds and words, and who benefit their neighbor, think they have (and
are thought of having) attained Love through their insignificant work or mercy and compassion they show towards their neighbor. But this is not the truth. They are only fulfilling the commandment of love for the Lord, Who said, "Love one another."
He who keeps this commandment is worthy of
praise as a keeper of the divine commandments, but this is not an action of divine Love. It is a road
towards the fountain, but not the fountain. It is stairs towards the palace, but not the gate of the palace. It is a royal garment, but not the King. It is a commandment of God, but not God.
Elder Joseph the Hesychast