H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III
The love which does not
sacrifice is a barren love, without fruit.
Love is a productive mother that gives birth to numerous virtues such as compassion and affection, a word of encouragement and a word of consolation, attention and care, forgiveness and seeking the salvation of the soul. This is the spiritual love...
Perhaps the most distinguished quality in love... is sacrifice.
This is the big difference between love and lust: love always seeks to give whereas lust always seeks to take.
Lust seeks to take because it is concentrated around the self, but love, as the Apostle said, "... does not seek its own."
Love that does not sacrifice is not a true love.
Love sacrifices everything, does not keep anything from whom it likes, no matter how this thing is precious or essential to self. It gives from its needs.
The greatest thing a loving person can offer is to sacrifice himself, and the Lord said, "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). This was shown in depth on the cross...
The crucified Jesus is a sacrifice of love... The Bible said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
During the Passion Week, many contemplate on the passions of Christ. Christ's passions are merely a natural result of His love. Love here is the origin, while pain is the outer appearance...
I wish we would contemplate on His love which He revealed through His passions.
The candle melts to give light to others; this is also a kind of self-sacrifice for the sake of others. So, we put candles before the icons of the saints... as a symbol.
Also the incense burns in fire to give sweet smell which ascends to God... It is a delightful burnt offering to God, and it is also a symbol...
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