Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Based on what principle and scale can I love everyone around me? How do I do it?

Love, and any friendship or relation based upon it, is wonderful because love is the first and greatest of all virtues and commandments to which all other divine commandments are subsequent. "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith" (I Timothy 1:5). St. Paul places love above faith (which could move mountains) and also above hope in which we are saved (Romans 8:24). Did you know it is the first among the fruits of the Holy Spirit? (Galatians 5:22) We receive the power of love from the Holy Spirit that is abiding in us.

Verses to read and meditate upon concerning love are:

Matthew 10:38; 13:46, and 22:35-40;
II Timothy 3:17;
Romans 13:8;
Colossians 3:14;
John 4:8;
I Corinthians 12:31.

Saints stood amazed before love They did not know how to explain it in plain words. They interpreted it experientially.

In the Holy Book of I Corinthians 12:31 states, St. Paul calls it a more excellent way, "But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way." With all gifts in place and as they should be, that there is still something more excellent. It is the love of God, the true sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

There is more to our life in this world and that is attaining Godís Love and His wisdom. Without these two attributes, every thing we do during our earthly life will be meaningless. Perhaps St Clement of Alexandria can help you understand and practice love correctly.

"One gains immortality by the very exercise of loving the Father to the extent of one's might and power. For the more one loves God, the more he enters in with God...In both of the commandments, then, He introduces love. Yet, He distinguishes these loves in order. The first requirement of love, He assigns us to give to God. The second He allots to our neighbor."

St Polycarp tells us, "He that has love is far from every sin."

Justin, the Martyr tells us, "We (Gentiles) who used to hate and destroy one another, and would not live with men of a different tribe because of their different manners, now, since the coming of Christ, live familiarly with them, and pray for our enemies."

Love should be without degree or measure. Do not focus on the measure of love but on the act of love itself; the act in the true Christian sense of the word. When speaking of love, True love is the primary focus of the Holy Scriptures.

Continue your reading and study of the Holy Bible. I further encourage you to obtain a Holy Bible, which contains the other canonical books that were omitted by the Protestants, "the so called Deuterocanonicals or Apocrypha."

God bless you and your journey toward a more spiritual life.
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