Saturday, April 1, 2023

    “Love is no turbulent emotion.” Epifaniy addresses Ukrainians on Valentine’s Day

    No matter how one feels about Valentine’s Day in mass culture, its mention can be a good reason to remember what love and happiness are for humanity.

    This is stated in the address by the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, to Ukrainians on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.

    “No matter how one feels about Valentine’s Day currently popular in mass culture, marking it can be a good reason to remember what love, caring, and happiness are for humanity. It is not for nothing that I put these three words next to each other because caring is one of the sides of love, without which it is impossible to feel happiness. The Lord called us to love, all His commandments are based on love, the Holy Scriptures are also, in fact, about love as an invincible weapon against evil and sin on this earth.

    Love is due to which the world was created and still exists. Love gives life, physical and spiritual, it can give wings to a person, raise them above all problems and obstacles, and also give strength to overcome them. But why is it the other way around? Why isn’t everyone happy when they “love”, or rather, when they think they love someone?” Metropolitan Epifaniy noted.

    The head of the OCU also emphasized that love is first of all sacrifice and freedom, and not an attempt to enslave someone. “Love is not a turbulent emotion, as is often mistakenly believed. Love is not “I” in the first place, love is not “for something”, not “for the sake of” something, not “under certain” conditions or circumstances. Love is not about conditions, claims, ultimatums, selfishness, or self-aggrandizement. On the contrary: true love is sacrificial, pro-active, and selfless. It cannot be closed down or hidden, it gives birth to so many good fruits in the heart that it is simply impossible to contain them all there, and they literally “break away” – with a sparkle in the eyes, a happy smile, warm hugs, an uncontrollable desire to do good, protect, defend, help, and please – no matter what. Because love is caring, it is about sincerity and openness, it is always about respect and always about freedom.

    The relationship between a man and a woman is only one element of happiness and one of the many ways to express love. No wonder there are several words for love in the Greek language: στοργή (storgi) – parental love, love for relatives; φιλία (filia) – friendly, sociable love; ἀγάπη (agapi) – spiritual love, exalted and selfless. The latter was chosen to mean love for God – integral, perfect Christian Love.

    So love and be loved,, always. Love the Lord, your parents, children, significant others, friends, and colleagues. Love life, the world around you and everything that fills it. “Let everything you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16: 14) – because there can never be too much love!”