Above everything else is love. The thing that must concern you, my children, is love for the other person, for his soul. Whatever we do, whether it is prayer or offering advice or pointing out some error, let us do it with love. Without love prayer is of no benefit, advise is hurtful and pointing out errors is harmful and destructive to the other person who senses whether we love him or not and reacts accordingly. Love, love, love! Love for our brother prepares us to love Christ more. Isn’t that perfect?

Let us scatter our love selflessly to all, without regard to the way they act towards us. When the grace of God enters us, we will not be concerned about whether they love us or not or whether they speak to us politely or not. We will feel the need to love all people. It’s egotism on our part to wish for others to speak to us politely. If they don’t we shouldn’t be upset. Let them speak to us as they wish. We needn’t become beggars for love. our aim should be to love them and pray for them with all our soul. Then we will become aware that all people love us without our seeking it and without our begging for their love. They will love us freely and sincerely from the depths of their heart without our blackmailing them. When we love without seeking to be loved, people will gather around us like bees. This is true for everyone.

If your brother is annoying you and wearying you, you should think: ‘Now I’ve got a pain in my arm or leg and I’ll need to tend it with all my love.’ But don’t let’s think that we will be rewarded for any possible good we might do or that we will be punished for any evil. You come to knowledge of truth when you love with the love of Christ. Then you no longer ask to be loved. That is bad. you love; you give your love. That is good. It depends on us to be saved. God wishes for our salvation. Scripture says, God wishes for all men to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth.

When someone injures us in whatever way, whether with slanders or with insults, we should think of him as our brother who has been taken hold of by the enemy. He has fallen victim to the enemy. Accordingly we need to have compassion for him and entreat God to have mercy both on us and on him, and God will help both. If, however, we are filled with anger against him, then the enemy will jump from him to us and make a mockery of us both. A person who condemns others does not love Christ. Our egotism is at fault. This is where condemnation of others stems from.

St. Porphyrios, Wounded by Love