Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Does God Love?

"We will not be able to know Christ unless He knows us." Elder Porphyrios
Doesn't God know all of us? What does the Elder mean here? To explain he quotes Saint Paul: "Now that you have known God, or rather are known by God..."(Gal 4:9). He is equating God's knowledge of us to our knowing God.  He is trying to explain something that is mystical, our relationship with God. If we don't know God we cant really say that God knows us. It's like calling someone a good friend who we have never met or only passed on the street. How can that person knows us if we have not made the effort to develop a loving relationship?

He continues,
Nor can we love Him unless He loves us. Christ will not love us if we are not worthy for Him to love us. In order for Him to love us, He must discover something special in us.
But again you will say, God is love and he loves us unconditionally. What is it He must discover. It must have something to do with how we choose to use our free will. Without our love and willful surrender to do His will, we will not experience His love, we will knot know Him. We need to open the door so He can enter. This is what we must discover in us. The Elder calls it humility.  He is saying that Gods' love, His grace that brings joy only comes when we humble ourselves and allow His grace to work from within our soul. His grace is there always, but not given without us loving Him.

He continues,
You may desire, demand, struggle and entreat, but you receive nothing. You prepare yourself to acquire those things which Christ desires in order for divine grace to enter you, but cannot enter when that special ingredient you require is lacking. What is that? It is humility. Without humility, we cannot love Christ...humility and selflessness in the worship of God...
Our challenge to get to the point described by Saint Paul: "It is no longer I who live; Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:20)

Quotes from Wounded By Love, p 109-110.

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