Do all you can to love everyone. If you are not yet able to, at the very least don’t hate anyone. Yet you won’t even manage this if you have not reached detachment from the things of this world.
You must love everyone with all your soul, hoping, however, only in God and honouring him with all your heart.
Christ’s friends are not loved by all, but they sincerely love all. The friends of this world are not loved by all, but neither do they love all.
Christ’s friends persevere in their love right to the end. The friends of this world persevere only so long as they do not find themselves in disagreement over worldly matters.
A faithful friend is an effective protector. When things are going well, he gives you good advice and shows you his sympathy in practical ways. When things are going badly, he defends you unselfishly and he is a deeply committed ally.
Many people have said many things about love. But if you are looking for it, you will only find it in the followers of Christ. Only they have true Love as their teacher in love.
This is the love about which it is written: ‘If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing” – 1 Corinthians 13:2.
Whoever has love has God, because God is Love.1 John 4:16
Excerpt from Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, edited by Thomas Spidlik, translated by Paul Drake, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Spencer, Massachusetts, USA 1994. Original source from Centuries on Charity, 4, 82ff. (SC9, pp. 17off.)
Maximus the Confessor (580-662 AD), also known as Maximus the Theologian and Maximus of Constantinople, was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar. He was born in the region of Constantinople and was well educated. In his early life, Maximus was a civil servant, and an aide to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. He gave up this life in the political sphere to enter into the monastic life. Around 614, he became a monk (later abbot) at the monastery of Chrysopolis. During the Persian invasion of the Empire (614), he fled to Africa. He was exiled twice, tortured in 662 and died shortly after. His title of Confessor means that he suffered for the Christian faith, but was not directly martyred.