Saint Porphyrios: Love for Christ

Christ is the summit of desire; there is nothing higher. All sensible things lead to satiety, but with God there is no satiation. He is everything. God is the summit of desire. No other joy, no other beauty, nothing else can rival Him. What is higher than the highest?Love for Christ is something else. It is without end, without satiety. It gives life; it gives strength; it gives health; it gives, gives, and gives. And the more it gives, the more the person wishes to fall in love. Human love and passion, by contrast, may be destructive and even drive a person mad. When we love Christ, all other loves abate. Other loves have a point of satiety. The love of Christ has no point of satiety. Fleshly love has a point of satiety. Thereafter jealousy and disgruntlement may set in, and may even lead to murder. Love in Christ knows no alteration. Worldly love remains for a time, and is gradually extinguished, whereas divine love continually grows and deepens. Every other kind of love can lead a person to despair. Devine eros, however, raises us up into the sphere of God; it bestows on us serenity, joy and fullness. Other pleasures enervate us, but of this pleasure we can never have enough. It is an insatiable pleasure, which you never tire of. It is the highest good.

We should regard Christ as our friend. He is our friend. He asserts this Himself when he says, “you are my friends…” (John 15:14). Let us stretch out to Him and approach Him as a friend. Do we fall? Do we sin? With familiarity, love and trust let us run to Him – not with fear that he will punish us, but with confidence which we derive from the sense of being with a friend. We can say to Him, ‘I have fallen, forgive me.’ At the same time, however, let us have the sense that He loves us and that He receives us with tenderness and love and forgives us. Don’t let sin separate us from Christ. When we believe that He loves us and we love Him, we don’t feel strangers and distanced from Him, even when we sin. We have secured His love, and however we behave, we know that He loves us.

– Saint Porphyrios