True Christian love

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

Scripture: “In brotherly kindness, love” (2 Pet: 1, 7)


"Christianity is the expression of all-encompassing, universal love. It teaches us to love and help not only those close to us, but all of mankind – to love even those with whom we have nothing in common, to love those who hate us. Christian love is like no other love. Human love extends to people who attract us with their admirable qualities, but Christ’s love seeks to find and save the fallen, it watches for the prodigal son from afar and comes to meet him. It searches for the lepers and summons all the outcasts.

"O marvelous love of Christ! Illuminate me with your rays! In my sinful earthly love there is still so much of self-love. Often, thinking to love others, I seek only myself in this love. But I long for another love; I want to embrace with my love the unworthy, the perishing and fallen brothers and those whom everyone has turned away from.

“In You alone can I find such love. Breathe into me Your life-giving Spirit, cover me with the glory of Your Cross, which will help me carry another’s burden; lay upon me your yoke, which will be easy because it will destroy all selfishness within me; expand the limits of my love so that I may understand the depth of Your love and call all mankind my brothers.”

This brings to mind what Lewis writes in the chapter on “Charity” from “The Four Loves”:

"[God] communicates to men a share of His own Gift-love. This is different from the Gift-loves He has built into their nature. These never quite seek simply the good of the loved object for the object’s own sake. They are biased in favour of those goods they can themselves bestow, or those which they would like best themselves., or those which fit in with a pre-conceived picture of the life they want the object to lead. But Divine Gift-love – Love Himself working in a man – is wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved. Again, natural Gift-love is always directed to objects which the lover finds in some way intrinsically lovable – objects to which Affection or Eros or a shared point of view attracts him, or, failing that, to the grateful and deserving, or perhaps to those whose helplessness is of a winning and appealing kind. But DIvine Gift-love in the man enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; lepers, criminals, enemies, morons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering. "


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

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