Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

ON MUTUAL LOVE

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

A couple of weeks ago in my address I said that many find it difficult to use the prayer of the Prayer books, that they are beyond them, that they are the prayers of Saints and we are sinners, that there are so many words that we dont understand and cannot pronounce from all our heart what shall we do? And I suggested something which I was given by my spiritual Father: if you cant pray, if you can pray only partly the words of the Saints pray what you can; but then, if you feel that you are dried out, dead inwardly, make a sign of the cross, kneel down and say, Lord, at the prayers of those who love me, save me and go to bed; and begin to think: who are those who love me in such a way that I can count on my salvation only on their love for me?..

After this sermon some people came to me and said: How easy you have made things for me; I can now count on others people love, indeed secure in their love, in my future, in my salvation! And I said, Yes, this is true; but the people who surround you, those on whose love you count, and those who are around you, around us, including me indeed! they also count on their neighbours love for their salvation; sit down and ask yourself: who have been part of your life? Who have crossed your path in the course of many years, or the few years that you have lived, and ask yourself : when they turn to God and say, Lord, at the prayers of those who love me save me! am I one of those? How strange that this question must be asked, and how frightening it is that the answer may be, No he, or she cannot count on me; they passed through my life, and I have forgotten them long since; they passed through my life and I never loved them when we were neighbours, when we were so-called friends; they can no longer count on my love to open the gates of Paradise for them. And if that is what we feel, we must sit down and ask ourselves: who are those who have passed through my life, whom I have forgotten because I didnt care much for them? whom I have allegedly loved, been friends with, but also forgotten the minute we were no longer side by side? Who are those with whom I was friend, whom I loved, and whom I stopped loving, because they offended me in a minute way and I turned away? I closed my heart to them, I excluded them from my prayers, I excluded them from my love and resurrect them in your heart; resurrect them, think of everyone who have ever passed through your life, and ask yourself: where do I stand now with regard to this person? Let us kneel down before this person and ask for forgiveness that I have forgotten or that I have rejected, that I have renounced, or that I have turned in anger and hatred against this person? Can this person ask God to save him or her at the prayers of those who love them? Think of me and discover that there is nothing but rejection and hatred.

But what will also Gods reaction be: I have given My life for this person, and you are rejecting this person, you dont want ever to meet in time or eternity and who will be excluded? Is it the person that has been rejected, or is it the one who rejects this person? Think of it, because we all, all need one anothers love, compassion, charity, support, memory. Try to remember all the people who have passed through your life, and re-think your relationship, and restore, even if they are dead, if you dont meet them any more restore a relationship of mutual love! And then then the Gates of Paradise will open both for you and for them. Amen !



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