STORIES FROM THE
Abba Alonius said :
"If a man does not say in his heart
that ‘in this world, there is only myself and God', he will not
Saint Diadochus of Fotiki
The love which the soul feels by
nature is different to the love that the Holy Spirit creates within
Because the first kind exists
whenever and however we want; and for this reason it is easily
destroyed by the demons, whenever we do not control our will.
The second kind however, inflames the
soul so much towards loving God, that every part of the soul fixes
itself onto the unutterable goodness of divine love, with a
disposition which is infinitely uncomplicated. The mind is then filled
by this spiritual energy as if gestating and gushing out a spring of
love and joy.
As a consequence of the cardinal sin
of the first man and woman,
the beginning of human nature became
birth through sensual gratification, during the fertilization of woman
the end of human nature became pain,
caused by deterioration and death.
Our Lord, whose carnal birth did not
have the same kind of beginning, was likewise impervious to its
ending, that is, death.
Love, which has its origins in God,
is ecstatic; it does not allow its lovers to belong to themselves, but
to those who love them.
This can be seen, in the caring that
superior beings display to inferior ones;
by the solidarity between beings of
the same class and by the even more divine trend of lower beings to
look up towards the higher ones.
This is why the great Paul - when
he was conquered by divine love and felt its ecstatic power - said
with his god-inspired mouth "I no longer live, Christ lives within
me", just like a true lover and ecstatic for God - as he himself
said - who does not live his own life, but the life of his lover,
because he loves him exceedingly.
In conjugal life, a man and a woman
cannot look at each other without passion;
innocent looks can be found in
monastic life, where the difference between genders is not perceived,
because a monk lives within Christ, in His image.