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Joseph of Petrograd: “Love your enemies. To say this is easy, but how difficult to do it.”

15 February 2016



“Love your enemies (St. Luke 6: 35). To say this is easy, but how difficult to do it. This is much higher than simply love of neighbor. It is the supreme triumph of love, its true essence and most superb expression… In order that one’s heart might be inflamed with love toward one’s enemy, there must be a special, grace-given state of soul, a special heavenly attunement of the heart—there must be that inexpressible and indescribable quality that abundantly filled the soul of the First Martyr Stephen when he, being stoned, his face shining like an angel, prayed for his murderers: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7: 60). Oh, in this great moment for him what small place did everything earthly around him find in him! What were the executioners to him? Before him were the opened heavens, the Son of God right hand of the Father; heavenly glory poured into kits soul and seized entirely with an incomprehensible ecstasy, and the executioners with all heir pitiful malice not only could not prevent this, but even assisted it; at this moment they were even, as it were, his benefactors, hastening his departure from the body and the utter immersion of his soul in these oceans of heavenly ecstasy and blessedness… In this blissful moment, could the tortured sufferer cry out in any other way than with the voice of the supreme triumph of love for one’s enemies?!”

– St. Joseph of Petrograd

One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 February 2016 2:49 pm

    Reblogged this on The Harlemite.

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