Continuation from the north and the south…

Give love, then, and receive the kingdom; love and it is yours.

Love God more than yourself, then, and already you will begin to have what you desire to possess fully in heaven. Be at one with God and with other men and women – so long as they are not a variance with God – and already you will begin to reign with God and all the saints.

The desires of God and all the saints will be the same as yours in heaven, if your desires now are  the same as those of God and other people. So, if you want to be a king in heaven, love God and other people as you should and then you will deserve to become what you desire.

But you cannot have this perfect love unless you empty your heart of every other love. That is why those who fill their hearts with love of God and neighbor desire nothing but the will of God or that of some fellow human being – provided this is not contrary to God.

That is why they devote themselves to prayer, spiritual conversations, and reflections, for it is a joy to them to long for God, and to speak, hear, and think about him whom they dearly love. That is why they rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, show compassion to those in distress, and give to the needy, since they love others as themselves.

Hence too, their contempt for riches, power, pleasure, honor, and praise. Those who love these things frequently offend against God and their neighbor- “for the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

So those who wish to possess the fullness of that love which is the price of the kingdom of heaven should love contempt, poverty, toil, and subjection, as do the saints.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.