|Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - September 2003||Last Modified September 9th, 2003|
The Lord Is Love
The Lord our God is love; and He has taught us to love one another and to love even our enemies. This is the profound and wonderful message we read in the Holy Scriptures, a truth constantly proclaimed by our Holy Church, a truth that has issued forth from the mouth of God since He created the world and all of us! Through the tender mercy of our true Lord and God towards us, He enables us not only to learn about the great love He has for us through the Holy Spirit, but to experience that love in our daily walk with Him. For the Holy Spirit teaches us to love.
When our souls begin to know the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we find that we receive from Him an infusion of Divine Love. We receive the potential to love everyone we meet, day by day. In human terms, this does not sound possible! But what we cannot do in our own strength, and by our own will, the Holy Spirit empowers us to do, once we ask Him to do it for us. We receive not only the ability to love – we receive the desire to love! When we have love for God then our Lord loves us all the more and we are spiritually nourished.
At the same time, all of us have to battle daily against sin, and as we embark on this battle we discover that at once the love of our Lord is present within us. Just like us, the Saints of the Church struggled daily against sin and temptation, and we can all recognize the great love the Lord had for them. It is no different for us. We are equally loved and empowered, called to live saintly lives for Him who loves us. If we are to lay down our lives for others, we demonstrate that love in action, and are greatly beloved by our Lord. We have seen throughout the history of the Holy Orthodox Church that many martyrs have laid down their lives so that we could live and enjoy the fruits and blessings of our Church. This in itself is true love for God and for us all! These martyrs are so beloved by our Lord that they even pray for us.
To behold the Glory of our God we must piously and humbly seek to be good and loving Christians, and at the same time love and defend our faith - Holy Orthodoxy. If we love our faith and our Church then we find the love of God and His peace.
In recent days we cannot but help notice so much suffering around the world. Every kind of suffering that has its source not from the love of one another and our Lord God, but instead revenge, and hatred, and so often the killing of innocent people. The reports of our suffering world on TV and in our newspapers can reduce us to despair and hopelessness. What we must do to remain pious and loving Orthodox Christians, is to humble ourselves beneath the strong and merciful hand of God. God sees the sufferings of others and His heart is full of compassion. He is near us and cares about us because He loves us all! Pray for those who are struggling with destruction, killing, and hunger. Pray that the love we have been writing about may, through the compassion of our brother and sister Christians in or near the places of unrest, bring the peace of God into each situation.
We should not only pray for others who are suffering, but cry out to our God in our humble and pious prayers. Then we shall be ever blessed with the grace of our true Lord God.
The only hate we should have in our lives as Christians is the hatred of our sins - our wrong thoughts that can so often lead to wrong actions. Since we have been baptized into the Holy Orthodox Faith, we should go to Church as often as the doors are open to pray within the mystical community of which we are a part. Within the Church our Lord hears us, sees us express our love for Him, and responds to our prayers for others. Pray not just for yourself, but also pray for others whatever their needs may be, and not least for their salvation.
Finally let us continue onward in our struggles. Be sober, having a humble spirit and continuing love for our fellow men. The Lord our God will love the soul that does this, and make His presence manifested in us. What is that manifestation? The Love of our Lord.
The great love and the peace of our Lord God are always with you! Let us love Him too, with peace.
Humbly In Christ Our Lord,
+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you!
Glory Be To God For All Things!
Content written/compiled by Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes.
(c)Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes