Everytime We Love, We Restrain the Other One

Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi

What I mean by that is that type of suffocating love, where one “takes possession” of one’s fellowman, and which starts to “model” everyone else according to oneself. I think that we have all done such things: for instance, parents who love their children to the point where children, when they grow up, they don’t know how to escape from their parents’ tyranny – which isn’t true tyranny, but which can be perceived as such in the other one’s heart. Therefore, one first misunderstanding, one first “hazard” of love is that of us acting like people who actually know what real love is about and who therefore think they can – or even must – impose it to others.

Love – says Apostle Paul – bears all things, believes all things, forgives all things. Loves does not get puffed up, seeks not her own, does not vaunt itself; love never fails. So in order for us not to get lost in our own deformed understanding of love, the Apostle lists the signs of true love: that is, to be near the other one as if you were not. Love does not seek her own. Every time we love, we restrain the other one’s space.

That kind of love never bears fruit. But humility has always convinced one. It has even convinced tyrants, many times.

(A fragment from a lecture by Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi – “On the Hazards of Love”. Arad, Romania, Dec. 13, 2007)

You Don’t Have What You Have – You Have What You Give

Interview with Fr. Arsenie Papacioc

There is a comment in the Scripture that says: ‘there is no greater sign of love than someone putting his life on line for his friend’s sake’.

– That’s right. Because we are not created only for ourselves. You must understand this passage from the Scripture by all means: we do not come into this world only for ourselves, but for the entire Creation! That’s why I keep telling you that we are responsible for everything there is in the whole of Creation. We are born into this world for our fellowman’s sake, too. The more you live this life for the other one – whether he is a beggar or a needy person, etc –, the better. Give him something. Ok, sometimes you may not have anything in your pocket for him, but at least, don’t ignore him. For it was God Who arranged it so that you saw him. That was done to help you save your own soul.

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