Tikhon_of_ZadonskThe true lover of God keeps God ever in mind, and His love toward us and His benefactions. We see this even in human love, for we often remember the one we love.

So whoever loves God remembers Him, thinks of Him, and finds consolation in Him, and is enrapt in Him.

For wherever his treasure is, there his heart is also (Mt. 6:21). To him the priceless and most beloved treasury is God.

Therefore his heart also holds itself inseparably before Him. Whence it is that he also remembers His holy name often and with love.

For the heart filled with the love of God reveals outward signs of love. From this we see that those who forget God do not love Him, for forgetfulness is a manifest sign of no love for God.

The lover can never forget his beloved. One who loves, desires never to be separated from the one he loves.

Many Christians desire to be with Christ the Lord when He is glorified, but they do not wish to be with Him in dishonor and reproach, nor to carry their cross.

They entreat Him that they may come into His Kingdom, but they do not wish to suffer in the world, and thereby they show that their heart is not right and that they do not truly love Christ.

And to tell the truth, they love themselves more than Christ. For this reason the Lord says, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Mt. 10:38). A true friend is known in misfortune.

He is our true friend and one who loves us who does not forsake us in misfortune.

Likewise the true lover of Christ is he who abides with Christ in this world, and cleaves to Him in his heart, and uncomplainingly endures the cross with Him, and desires to be with Him inseparably in the age to come.

Such a one says unto Christ, “It is good for me to cleave unto God” (LXX Ps. 72:28).

A sign of the love of God is love for neighbor. He who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. He who loves the lover loves what is loved by him. The source of love for neighbor is love for God, but the love of God is known from love for neighbor.

[…] These are the signs of love for God hidden in the heart of a man. Dear Christians, let us repent and turn away from the vanity of the world, and cleanse our hearts with repentance and contrition, that the love of God may abide in us.

“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 Jn. 4:16).
Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

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