No one can reach God without going through people first

We will find happiness when we secretly love all people. It is then that we will feel loved by everyone. No one can reach God without first going through people. Hence, let us love and sacrifice for all unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. It is in this way that one finds harmony. This is the greatest mystery of our Church, allowing us all to become one with God.

Loving our neighbor prepares us to love Christ more deeply. We should pour out our love to everyone, unconcerned about their behavior towards us. When God’s grace enters us, whether we are loved or not, whether we are spoken to kindly or not, becomes irrelevant. We will feel the need to love everyone. It is selfish to want everyone to speak kindly to us.

When we love without trying to make others love us in return, everyone will gather around us like bees. This applies to everyone. If someone is annoying or burdensome to you, think of it this way: “Now my eye hurts, my arm, my leg, and I need to care for them with all my love.” However, we shouldn’t think about what we will get for our good deeds or fear punishment for our misdeeds. You realize the truth when you start to love with the love with which Christ loved us. Then, seeking to be loved in return is not right. To love, to give all your love, that is correct. Our salvation depends on us. As it is written in the Bible: “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

When someone acts unjustly towards us, through slander or insults, think of them as a neighbor under the enemy’s influence, a captive of the enemy. Therefore, we should empathize with them and pray to God for mercy on both of us, and thus God will help us both. If we become angry with them, then the enemy will leap towards us and attack us both. Those who condemn others do not love Christ. Behind it all lies egoism, from which condemnation also arises.

Suppose someone is alone in the desert where there is no one else around. Suddenly, they hear distant cries and screams. Approaching, they encounter a shocking sight: a tiger tearing a man apart, who desperately pleads for help. What should they do to assist? Surely not throw a stone at the victim to finish them off. “No, certainly not!” we would respond. But this can happen when we fail to realize that the person mistreating us is actually in the grip of the devil, the tiger. It escapes our notice that when we do not act with love towards that person, we are, in effect, throwing stones at their wounds and causing harm. Then, “the tiger” turns against us, and we begin to do even worse things than them. What then is our love for our neighbor, and above all, for God?

For the malice of another person, think of it as a disease tormenting them, from which they cannot free themselves. Therefore, we should look upon our neighbors with compassion and treat them kindly, humbly telling ourselves, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me,” to strengthen our soul in God’s grace and judge no one. We should see everyone as holy.

Each of us carries the same old self within. Whoever our neighbor is, they are flesh of our flesh (Genesis 2:23), they are our brother, and we owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another (Romans 13:8), as St. Apostle Paul says. We should never judge others because no one ever hated their own body (Ephesians 5:29).

When someone is consumed by passion, we try to direct beams of love and mercy towards them, for them to heal and be freed. Only by God’s grace can this happen. Think that they suffer more than you.

Let us be careful, with respect and prayer. Let us strive not to do evil. When we humbly endure slander from our neighbor, it is considered martyrdom and should be done joyfully. A Christian is noble. We should prefer to be wronged rather than to do wrong, and we should harbor kindness and love within us to forget the harm done to us. Herein lies the secret. When evil comes from afar, you cannot avoid it. But the real test is to despise it. With God’s grace, you will see it, but it will not bother you, because you will be filled with grace.