Try to Love Your Enemies and You Will Sleep Peacefully at Night

Love is higher than justice, according to the Greek preacher and theologian Archimandrite Andreas (Konanos).

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When you realize your mistake, ask God, “Lord, Thou hast tested me, and my poverty is revealed. Thou hast given me the opportunity to show my love, but I have not done so. Grant that I might see who I am and who I was originally meant to be.”

Thou hast given me, Lord, a thermometer to measure the warmth of my heart, and I have seen that all is amiss. In what is it manifested? When my enemies have spoken poorly of me, I have become angered; when they did evil to me, I too was evil. I answered not with kindness. Where is my love?

Imagine, how far we are from the words of Christ: Love thine enemies. Enemies? How is it possible to love our enemies if we are so evil that we even at times dislike our own family? How can I love my enemy? It is impossible.

But in fact, it is not so difficult, if we look upon all with the eyes of God. The mere remembrance that we will someday die and be covered with earth lowers us from Heaven to earth—that is, with the thought alone. And when you think about it, then you understand that death connects us all. You ask yourself too late, “Why did I not love?”

It’s not important whether a specific person loves you or not, just love him. Do you know what will happen to you if you step outside of yourself and love? You will be sanctified! And you will not suffer! Try to love your enemies and you will sleep peacefully at night.

One time a spiritual father said to someone who did not want to accept the higher law of love: “Try not to love, try to hate, and then tell me whether you slept at night!” “If your pressure rises or your blood sugar drops, don’t ask why.”

The reason for our hatred, unforgiveness, and misunderstanding is hidden within the depths of the soul. If we rummage around in ourselves, and cleanse ourselves, then you will learn what true love is. Only thus can we be saved—by love!

You can be saved only when you remember it constantly. But how? This way: Tell the people, with whom you have strife, that being friends with them, and spending good time with them, and traveling with them—it’s all a real pleasure, and that they are good people and you are glad you are with them! And then, no matter what you’re doing, sitting behind the wheel or at home, you will always hear the voice of love for all these people. Thus, always remembering this, continue to change yourself so as not to get lost in this world.  

Archimandrite Andreas (Konanos)
Translated by Jesse Dominick

Pravlife.org

11/15/2017

See also
“Lord, Why Can I Not Follow You Now?”: Why Peter Had To Wait “Lord, Why Can I Not Follow You Now?”: Why Peter Had To Wait
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
“Lord, Why Can I Not Follow You Now?”: Why Peter Had To Wait “Lord, Why Can I Not Follow You Now?”: Why Peter Had To Wait
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
In John, the love of Christians for one another is modeled on the love all of them come to know in Christ. Thus, whereas the mandate in the Synoptic Gospels is to love our neighbors as ourselves (cf. Mark 2:31 et al.), in John’s account we are to love one another more than ourselves. And the basis for this new mandate is not an ethical principle, but a personal example: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I loved you, that you also love one another” (13:34).
Forgiveness and Love Forgiveness and Love
Abbot Tryphon
Forgiveness and Love Forgiveness and Love
Abbot Tryphon
The capacity to forgive is directly related to the capacity to love, and it is in our act of forgiving others, that we find forgiveness. For it is in the turning away from our own self-concern, and our own self-will, that we begin to see that our salvation is directly linked to the salvation of our neighbor.
The Law of Love The Law of Love
St. John of Kronstadt
The Law of Love The Law of Love
St. John of Kronstadt
Thus, the measuring stick of relationships to others is simplicity and sincerity, good will, and love for all—this is the best side of relationships to others. But not rarely, the nature of relationships to others is cunning, suspicion, dislike, rudeness, envy, extreme selfishness, self-seeking, partiality, vanity, ambition, vainglory, sensuality, or extreme haughtiness; that is, a high opinion of one's self, which seeks to humiliate others.
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