무조건의사랑과 용서만 미래를 바꾸 할 능력이 되다.  (Only unconditional love and forgiveness is capable of changing the future.)

This message was something which I have been struggling with over the last few years. I guess in many ways, more than one, a large part of my life was spent trying to forgive those whom I loved and yet hated because they also hurt me in ways unwittingly. First it was my family, then my best friends. I pray that when I enter that final phase of my life into love and romance, then it would not become something of a vicious cycle. But the heart of the Christian message is forgiveness, mainly because God first forgave us of our trespasses, and if we do not forgive, then we are not worthy to live the calling we are called to.

사랑에 의하여 전세상를 바꿔요. (Change the whole world by means of love.) It might seem to be a tall order, and in fact, the large part of the world seems to view this as some kind of fuzzy, lovey-dovey thing, when it is not. There are many many kinds of love in this world, more than just the love of God and that includes various other loves, from an Augustinian sense, which far surpasses what Augustine of Hippo has taught before to echo what the Bible itself says about false loves. If a man loves the world, he is an enemy of God. So if he loves pleasure, sex, money, power, looks, or various other things, more so than he loves God, then at the end of the day, perhaps he did not truly love God. Competing loves and competing impulses are at work here……The love that I mean here in this Korean saying is not even the lovey-dovey love or the so-called tolerance promoted by a large part of the world, and there are many many so-called Christians whom I am at variance with, because their understanding of love is very shallow and in fact carnal to begin with. Tolerance is not love, and in fact, is FALSE love, because it brings people to their ruin sometimes. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: who or what do we love truly, at the end of the day?

“I say,” writes Saint Isaac the Syrian, “that those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love…. It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love’s power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it” (Homily 84) (Source: River of Fire, a sermon at an Orthodox Church posted online). This saying, while rooted more in patristics, has made me more aware than ever of the whole dimension of the nature of love, something which has been advocated by the Christian faith since old. It’s easy to separate love from judgement, to assume that we love but that justice also implies that there is wrath and hence an absence of love. But perhaps, rather than this artificial division, we should see that it has more to do with the state of the person who receives that love. To those who hate God, when they see God’s love, it is poison to them, and they cannot in all due honesty see it as anything but a fire that consumes their whole soul in agony–an unbearable one at that. For those who obey and surrender, this love is felt more as beatitude than anything else, because they are consumed in it and conform more and more to the image of God.

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