“How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5, 44)
1. He who does not fulfill the commandment of loving one’s neighbor cannot consider himself a Christian. There cannot be a more pitiful state than not being able to forgive your brother, even in the most difficult moments of your life. He who cannot forgive, cannot love. He who cannot love others can neither love God. And in order to love God, we must be reconciled with those around us.
2. Only that which springs from love, from the heart, can go to the heart. He who does not pray from the heart can neither open the way to the heart of those around him, nor to the heart of God.
3. If there is no love and mercy in your heart, it means that your heart is unsuitable for grace.
4. Instead of condemning others, we should try to love them, so that we can understand them. To understand someone, to value and help him, you must feel his soul, his inner life. Lord, help me to not criticize others! I want to say all that I know is good, about anyone.
Excerpts from „Smerenia și dragostea, însemnele trăirii ortodoxe” [Humility and Love: Attributes of Orthodox Life], by Elder Sofian Boghiu, 4th ed., forthcoming from Doxologia Publishing House.
Romania lives as a people through her deep roots in a millenia-old spirituality which lies dormant in each person, but from time to time erupts as a volcano, being expressed by representative personalities, such as: the hermit Chiriac of Bisericani, Elder George, Saint Calinic, or in Father Dumitru Staniloae’s theology, which will dominate Orthodox theology for several centuries to come. This mystical character of the Romanian people goes back to the Dacian “capnobotes” who lived alone throughout the Carpathian Mountains, or the ascetics of the Christian Middle Ages whose names remain inscribed in the topography of our mountains, valleys, and meadows: Mount Krill, the Chiriac Valley, and the Pachomius Meadow, to name only a few of the picturesque dwellings of the ancient, Moldovan hermits.
– Be optimistic, trust in Divine Providence without reservation.
– Pray constantly, surrender to God’s will, give thanks for everything.
– Rejoice if the Lord has found you worthy of trials. Suffering is necessary both for the one who suffers and for the betterment of the whole world.
– Do not bind yourself to anything that is temporal.
– Serve your neighbor with total love and dedication; not only as much as he asks, but even more; be an example of a Christian life.
– Let your life be determined, without compromises and confusions, clear.
– Let your faith be alive: life, not theory.
– Are you ready to die for Him?
– Do not lose sight of the target you are running towards. Let us not drown in the sea of life.
P.S. Father Petroniu: „I met with the Reverend Father Stăniloae after he had gotten out of prison. I asked him to give me some advice and he gave me those above.”
(Father Petroniu of Prodromu, Bizantină Publishing House, Bucharest, 2015, pp. 226-227)
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
(John 15; 5, 7, 10 – 12)