Christian Love: More Essential than Miracles

1 Corinthians 13:1-7
St. Paul

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

St. John Chrysostom wrote:

St. John Chrysostom

If there is no love, other blessings profit us nothing.  Love is the mark of the Lord’s disciples, it stamps the servents of God, by it we recognize his apostles.  Christ said:  “This is how all will know you for my disciples.”  By what?  Tell me.  Was it by raising the dead or by cleansing lepers or by driving out demons?  No.  Christ passed over all these signs and wonders when he said:  “This is how all will know you for my disciples:  your love for one another.”  This gift of love must also be achieved through man’s own earnestness and zeal.  Christ said, that His disciples are recognized not by miracles but by love.   (St John Chrysostom, The Fathers of the Church:  On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, pgs 52-53)

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