Monday, September 1, 2008

The (Only) Religion of Love

Love must always be practical, or it isn’t love at all. Love cannot be love if it exists only within your bosom. Like faith, love exists in your deeds and grows the more you exercise it.

That is why I am Orthodox. I realized one day that to learn to love was what I deep-down most wanted, is what every human being, in the deepest core of his being, wants most of all, or at least originally did; for that is how human beings are made. We are all created by Love, for Love. And I realized I knew very little, if anything, about love, and that Orthodox Christianity – alone! – could teach me.

And I stand by that. In every other religion I have ever encountered, God is thought to have a dark side or an “alien work” or something contrary to love, something that tempers his love, qualifies it, serves as a counterweight or an impediment to it or a restraint upon it, or puts conditions upon it. God is said to be most loving indeed, but then atrocious behaviors are ascribed to Him. Orthodox Christianity alone is consistent in upholding, defending, preaching and preserving faith in the God Who is pure love, with no “but” at the end, as in, “Yes, God is love, but – ”.

Perhaps (I only say perhaps) that is why the way some people love, at least at the nitty-gritty level of actual deeds, is indistinguishable from hatred.


Tony said...

Thanks for posting this, I think you're spot on.

I always tell people I've never felt closer to God than I do now. He's no longer a vague concept of an angry bearded man in the sky. He is love, because that is how He feels about mankind. And furthermore, He proved it.