The Proof of Love

Source: The Morning Offering

February 29, 2016

    

The very moment faith enters the soul is that moment when we turn toward God in repentance and recognize we can not live without Him. As we grow in our faith we come to realize we must remain in a continual state of repentance, for grace abounds in the heart of the man who is repenting. We come to see the truth that the saints were those who never ceased to call upon the Lord in repentance. Never did they think themselves worthy of anything but God’s wrath, and their continued plea was for mercy.

This humility spawned God’s love in the hearts of these saints, and works of love and mercy grew out of God’s indwelling love within their hearts. Their works showed forth that their love and good works came out of that deep state of repentance, and their love was the proof of God’s indwelling Spirit in their hearts. Saint Gregory the Great said, “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”

If we do not do good works, love does not dwell in our heart, and we have no faith. “Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18).”

The Liturgy reminds us, only those with faith and love may draw near to receive the Holy Mysteries. Our participation in the Body and Blood of the Lord provides each of us with the opportunity to be Christ-bearers in the world in which we live, and others will know we belong to Christ, “by our love” (John 13:35).

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

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