Friday, October 1, 2010

Where there is no love, nothing bears fruit and nothing leavens.

Thanks to the tireless labor of translation by Samn! over at Notes on Arab Orthodoxy once again a terrific article by Archimandrite Touma is ours to partake. Archimandrite Touma is Abbot of the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite in Douma, Lebanon.

"Most of the problems that believers have encountered across history, as compared to non-believers, are on account of the disappearance of divine love among them. Why did Constantinople fall? Because in general the love of God was no longer active among the people. Why do groups of believers rise up against each other and break communion among themselves? Primarily because of a lack of love. Why did the Lord God permit the emergence of Islam? Because the divine love between us and among us had faded and some of us rose up against each other and so Islam was a great chastisement! Why do some Muslims consider the Christians among us to be crusaders and thus their enemies? Because the Crusaders, in the name of Christ, abandoned the love of Jesus and went to war, maiming and destroying. Why did novel teachings and heresies spread here and there? Naturally, because the Devil is at work, but also because at time because of a lack of love in us we do not properly embrace people and guide them, and so they take offence and go into error. The Lord’s last commandment in the Gospel of Matthew was: “Go and make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19). Why have the believers, or those who are considered to be believers, not succeeded in making disciples of all nations after two thousand years, when the Holy Spirit was given in the Church to the world, but to the contrary a very large portion of them have abandoned the Faith? Because they left their first love (Revelation 2:4) and to a large extent behaved in the spirit like pharisaical Jews. From where did disbelief and worldliness enter the world? From the hardness of hearts of a great many Christians and their disbelief in the faith of the Gospel. From where comes blasphemy against the name of Jesus? From the Devil who does not have the love of Jesus in him and from his workers among the non-Christians, but especially from his workers among those who are called Christians who no longer have the love of Jesus in them and they bear false witness against Him in the spirit. There is much talk of theology today: books, libraries, institutes, studies, all the media, internet sites…. But there is only a little of the Spirit! Many personalities but little spirituality! Why? Because the love of Jesus has faded in our hearts and they have grown cold. Where there is no love, nothing bears fruit and nothing leavens. Labor, however shining its appearance, however profound and fresh and valuable it may be, where there is not divine love, the Devil makes for himself a place to live! To a people who have come to sanctify knowledge without faith active through love in the Church except formally, I will recall the words of the Apostle Paul: “If I have all knowledge… but I do not have love, then I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). I will also say that the richest library of knowledge about God in existence is the Devil’s library! There is nothing more expansive than the Devil’s archives! There, there is everything that can be known about God, but without the Spirit of God and without love!"

Read the whole thing here.

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