Words of Wisdom Part 1 | Is it Possible for Someone to be Born Without Love?

Updated: Jul 10, 2020


Gerondas


No, because we are born in the image and likeness of God, so we do have love inside us. But it depends if we activate this love or not. For example, if we love ourselves more than God, then the love for God is blocked out and we can’t even help ourselves.


That’s what it is when we are selfish and that’s what it is when we put ourselves above others.


Audience


I remember as a kid, I thought everybody was good.


Gerondas


That’s good. That’s how we are created. Then you realise sooner or later that in practice everyone is not equally as good. That’s a positive thought though.


Judgement


Audience


This is what I had in my mind; that everybody is good. Even my father told me to be careful. I could not understand why he was saying this to me. I had this idea, because I was brought up in a communist country and people were always helping each other with a little bit of sugar or something. I could only see everybody as good. So when my parents warned me to be careful, I couldn’t see what is so scary when everyone, I thought, was good?


Gerondas


This is another way that God uses to help people in finding themselves. The difficulties can soften our hearts to open up to others and to God. You can either do this yourself with prayer and love, as we said before, or God provides the way - when He gives us difficulties. We slowly melt and it’s like we understand others better through our difficulties because we ourselves went through rough times. If you know what it is to be hungry when you see someone suffering, you feel for them. Sometimes even the thought of death can make us realise that this life is just material and nothing other than our salvation really matters.


I have an example from my journey in the monastic life that shows how we can be attacked from a thought that someone could pass on to us and then we may suffer from it for years until our hearts soften up. When we have suffered ourselves, then we understand others better:


There was this old priest-monk in our Monastery and he was from the old generation of monks. Back in his time they had an idiorhythmic monastic life. Every monk had to take care of himself. Not like the new generation of monks that moved into the Monastery later on and supported the cenobitic way of monasticism. In the previous generation of monks it was common to have in your room some food. Me being from the new generation, I only experienced one way of life in the Monastery and it was different. It was the new monastic way.


One day, someone told me that this priest-monk had in his room this and this and this. I hated it, but my logic started judging. Without talking about it to anyone I judged him in my mind. I kept this judgement not thinking of confessing it for years. Eventually I realised how holy this person was and how I was attacked from my brother’s words and that this was from the devil and I should have never accepted the thought. Back then I didn’t know any better.

Clearly I was not at the level to be able to understand that I should have nepsis, reject the thought and not keep it in my mind. [For more on nepsis, click here]. I didn’t even realise that it would have been wiser to confess my silent judgment than suffer from it every time I saw the poor man. The thought was stuck in my mind for years. I could never see him as a good person, until I realised the level of his obedience. When he broke his ankle, his elders did not let him go and fix his leg. Of course back then it was not easy to get in and out of Mt Athos. He ended up dragging his leg for the rest of his life, he could not walk properly. He was literally dragging his leg and he suffered this out of obedience to his elders. So, having something in his room was nothing. He was used to this monastic way of life anyway. And his sacrifices and everything he did were so much greater than what I could understand.


I was carrying this negative judgment inside me for years and years. I had to mature and be humbled in many ways before I realised that there is a greater picture than the one my narrow mind could see and that it’s not for me to judge this old priest-monk who was there all his life, especially as I had just joined the brotherhood. This is to give you an idea of how hard we might often be on someone. Like the first son, we judge the second [prodigal] son. And the second son can become a Saint and us, the self-called 'righteous ones', can just waste our lives in judging others and also waste our souls.




Obedience - Emptying Yourself - the Will of God