The Ecstasy of Self-forgetfulness

john_everett_millais_peace_concludedNeither do walls or rich furniture make a home.  Millionaires in magnificent mansions may never know a home.  But where there are good relationships, where love binds the family together and to God, there happiness is always to be found.  For good relationships are heaven anywhere.  Monotony and misery cannot exist where there is love.  But the fire of love must be kept burning warmly and brightly with the sweet wood of sacrifice.  In teaching us to cross the “I” out of life, our Lord tells us the secret of happiness; what the Saints call the ecstasy of self-forgetfulness.  For divine love is always self-effacing, seeks to give rather than to receive, to serve rather than be served, to love rather than to be loved, and will sacrifice anything for the beloved.  Only then does love become a clean and holy fire in the heart, and not an ugly flare of lust.

— Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833)

 

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