Wounded by Love by Elder PorphyriosLife changing. Read this book.
I cant decide what moved me more; his life story or his teachings,
both had such simplicity, divine grace, humility and wisdom.
One thing is our aim — love for Christ, for the Church, for our neighbour. Love, worship of, and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth. Love towards Christ and towards one’s neighbour, towards everyone, including enemies. The Christian feels for everyone, he wants all to be saved, all to taste the Kingdom of God. That is Christianity: through love of for our brother to arrive at love for God. To the extent that we desire it, to the extent that we wish it, to the extent that we are worthy, divine grace comes through our brother. When we love our brother we love the Church and therefore Christ. And we too are within the Church. Therefore when we love the Church we love ourselves. [p. 97]
On Love for Ones Neighbour:
Our every neighbour is ‘flesh of our flesh’. Can I be indifferent towards him? Can I cause him distress? Can I hate him? This is the greatest mystery of our church: that we all become one in God. If we do this we become His own. There is nothing better than this unity. This is the Church. This is the Orthodox faith. This is Paradise. [p. 180]
Above everything is love. The thing that must concern you, my children, is love for the other person, of this soul. Whatever we do, whether it is prayer or offering advice or pointing out some error, let us do it with love. Without love prayer is of no benefit, advice is hurtful and pointing out errors is harmful and destructive to the other person who senses whether we love him or not and reacts accordingly. Love, love, love! Love for our brother prepares us to love Christ more. Isn’t that perfect? Let us scatter our love selflessly to all, without regard to the way they act towards us. [p. 181]
When someone injures us in whatever way, whether with slanders or with insults, we should think of him as our brother who has been taken hold of by the enemy. He has fallen victim to the enemy. Accordingly we need to have compassion for him and entreat God to have mercy both on us and on him, and God will help both. If, however, we are filled with anger against him, then the enemy will jump from him to us and make a mockery of us both. A person who condemns others does not love Christ. Our egotism is at fault. This is where condemnation of others stems from. Let me give you a little example.
Let’s suppose someone is all alone in the desert. Suddenly he hears a voice crying out in distress in the distance. He follows the sound and is confronted by a horrendous sight: a tiger has grabbed hold of a man and is savaging him with its claws. The man is desperately shouting for help. In a few minutes he will be torn to pieces. What can the person do to help? Can he run to his side? How? It’s impossible. Can he shout for help? Who will hear him? There is no one within earshot. Should he perhaps pick up a stone and throw it at the man to finish him off? ‘Certainly not,’ we would say. But that is exactly what can happen if we don’t realize that the other person who is acting badly towards us has been taken hold of by a tiger, the devil. We fail to realize that when we react to such a person without love it is as if we are throwing stones at his wounds and accordingly we are doing him great harm and the ‘tiger’ leaps onto us and we do the same as him and worse. What kind of love do we have then for our neighbor and, even more importantly, for God?
We should feel the malice of the other person as an illness which is tormenting him and which he is unable to shake off. And so we should regard our brethren with sympathy and behave with courtesy towards them, repeating in our hearts with simplicity the prayer ‘Lord Jesus Christ’, so that the grace of God may strengthen our soul and so that we don’t pass judgment on anyone. We should regard all people as saints. We all carry within us the same ‘old self’. Our neighbor, whoever he is, is ‘flesh of our flesh’; he is our brother and, according to Saint Paul, we owe no one anything, except to love one another [Rom. 13:8]. We can never pass judgment on others for, no one ever hated his own flesh [Eph. 3:29].” [p. 183]
Let’s have love, meekness and peace. In that way we help our brother when he is possessed by evil. Our example radiates mystically, and not only when the person is present, but also when he is not. Let us strive to radiate our good will. Even when we say something about a person whose way of life does not meet with our approval, the person is aware of it and we repel him. Whereas, if we are compassionate and forgive him then we influence him — just as evil influences him — even if he does not see us.
We shouldn’t be enraged by people who blaspheme or who speak and act against God and the Church. Such rage is harmful. We may hate the words and the malice behind them, but we must not hate the person who spoke them nor become enraged against him. Rather we should pray for him. A Christian has love and graciousness and should behave accordingly.
Just as a hermit, who is seen by no one , benefits the world because the mystical waves of his prayers influence people and transmit the Holy Spirit into the world, so you, too, should scatter your love, without expecting anything in return — with love, patience and a smile…
Love needs to be sincere. And only the love of God is sincere. To a person whom we find tiresome and troublesome, love needs to be offered in a subtle manner without the person being aware that we are striving to love him. It shouldn’t be given much outward expression, because then the person will react. Silence saves us from all evils. Restraint of the tongue is a great thing. In a mystical way silence radiates out to our neighbour.” [p. 184]
It is a kind of self-projection of our own when we insist on other people becoming good. In reality, we wish to become good, but because we are unable to, we demand it of others and insist on this. And whereas all things are corrected through prayer, we often are distressed or become outraged and pass judgment on others. [p. 186]
Let our love be only in Christ. In order to benefit others you must live in the love of God, otherwise you are unable to do good to your fellow man. You mustn’t pressurize the other person. His time will come, as long as you pray for him. With silence, tolerance and above all by prayer we benefit others in a mystical way. The grace of God clears the horizon of his mind and assures him of His love. Here is the fine point. As soon as he accepts that God is love, then abundant light such as he has never seen will come upon him. Thus he will find salvation. [p. 186]
Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God — both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. [p. 218]
For a person to become a Christian he must have a poetic soul. He must become a poet. Christ does not wish insensitive souls in His company. A Christian, albeit only when he loves, is a poet and lives amid poetry. Poetic hearts embrace love and sense it deeply. [p. 218]
Make the most of beautiful moments. Beautiful moments predispose the soul to prayer; they make it refined, noble and poetic. Wake up in the morning to see the sun rising from out of the sea as a king robed in regal purple. When a lovely landscape, a picturesque chapel, or something beautiful inspires you, don’t leave things at that, but go beyond this to give glory for all beautiful things so that you experience Him who alone is comely in beauty. All things are holy — the sea, swimming and eating. Take delight in them all. All things enrich us, all lead us to the great Love, all lead us to Christ. [p. 218]
Observe all the things made by man — houses, buildings large or small, towns, villages, peoples and their civilizations. Ask questions to enrich your knowledge about each and everything; don’t be indifferent. This helps you meditate more deeply on the wonders of God. All things become opportunities for us to be joined more closely with everything and everyone. They become occasions for thanksgiving and prayer to the Lord of All. Live in the midst of everything, nature and the universe. Nature is the secret Gospel. But when one does not possess inner grace, nature is of no benefit. Nature awakens us, but it cannot bring us into Paradise. [p. 219]
How can you fail to sense that you are together with all things? Reflect deeply on their purpose. Their purpose is defined by their Maker. The teleology of creation displays the greatness of God and His providence. [p. 219]
Prayer is to approach everything made by God with love and to live in harmony with everything, even with wild nature. That is what I desire and attempt to do. [p. 220]
All these things connected with nature help us greatly in our spiritual life when they are conjoined with the grace of God. When I sense the harmony of nature, I am brought to tears. Why should we be bored with life? Let us live life with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth. The Person who has the Spirit of God, who has Divine Wisdom, sees all things with love of God and notices all things. The wisdom of God makes him grasp all things and delight in all things. [p. 223]
Seriously. Stop what youre doing and purchase this book. <3
Blessed St. Porphyrios, pray for us!
The Inventor of the Potato Chip: George Crum
Spanish, Bilingual, and Language Collections. Picked on at school because of the dark color of his skin, George escaped into his favorite pastimes—hunting and fishing. Soon George learned to cook as well. George loved his work but was impatient with fussy customers, whom he felt were overly demanding and quick to complain. In a frenetic effort to appease the customer, George sliced the potatoes so thin that they turned crisp and brown when fried. Amazingly the customer loved the crisp potatoes, and a brand new treat was created.
He used the name Crum. It was the name his father used when he was a horse jockey. George became a chef in a nice restaurant. It was the Moon Lake Lodge.
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George Crum was an American native, widely credited with the invention of the first potato chips. Abraham was African American whereas Catherine was an indigenous American belonging to the Huron race, so George was of mixed race. As a youth, he worked as a wild animal trapper as well as a guide working at the Adirondack Mountains. The story about Crum being the inventor of the potato chip is widely believed but may not be necessarily true. Potato chips did already exist at that time, albeit in a different form, usually as sliced potatoes cooked in hot oil and seasoned with salt.