Loving All People is God’s Will for Us

“He who forsakes all worldly desires sets himself above all worldly distress. He who loves God will certainly love his neighbor as well. Such a person cannot hoard money, but distributes it in a way befitting God, being generous to everyone in need. …
“The state of love may be recognized in the giving of money, and still more in the giving of spiritual counsel. …
“ He who has genuinely renounced worldly things, and lovingly and sincerely serves his neighbor, is soon set free from every passion and made a partaker of God’s love and knowledge. …
“Just as the thought of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not actualize the light of spiritual knowledge in the soul.” ~The Philokalia

Loving All

If, like most Christians, you believe that God created man just as he is, then isn’t that good reason to love all men? Even if you are sometimes horrified by the things some do, you should still love the person. As Jesus put it, “forgive them for they no not what they do.”

On the other hand, If like the Gnostics you believe that God did not create the physical body of man, but only his soul, shouldn’t that still be true? In this case, you realize that the actions of the body and brain-mind cannot be blamed on God, but instead on the Demiurge and his minions. You can love the person, while being opposed to the actions.

Loving All Means Giving

There are people who will claim that they do love all. At the same time, they are greedy, selfish, and uncharitable. They will brag, of course, that they have donated a small percentage of their money to a charity they consider worth while, then kick a dieing homeless child into the gutter as they head into a restaurant for a $300 dinner.

Loving all means giving to others. But as the Philokalia says, what we give is as important as the act of giving. Is it good to give clothes to those who have none. It is good to give food to the hungry. But if you are truly loving all, what you will give more than anything else spiritual knowledge, spiritual truth.

The Greatest Gift

While it is certainly a good thing to give others food, clothing, shoes, and medical care, spiritual care is more important. While we can’t force another to develop their spiritual faculties, we can encourage them. And when we find one who is seeking to do so, we can help them in some small way. Sometimes this means teaching them the path to truth. Other times, it means pointing them toward a spiritual teacher who can do that better than we can.

Loving all doesn’t mean we can teach others the ultimate truths, the great Knowledge called Gnosis. No one can do that. We can only point the way and they must do it for themselves. They must turn there eyes to the spiritual sun and gain the truth for themselves.

Start Small with Loving All

To someone who isn’t used to practicing unconditional live, it may seem an impossible task. Like growing muscle or losing weight, the solution is to do it gradually. Start by being a little more helpful and giving to others in your own neighborhood. Give a little more to charity than you had planned to. And start awakening your own spiritual faculties. You will not know how to help others spiritually until you have awakened your own spirit and soul. Once you have awakened them, the desire to help others comes automatically in most of us.

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