1 – Spiritual love (unconditional love) without expectations.
Love without expectations makes us expansive and helps us to see God in others.
Being able to love someone unconditionally is something we all aspire to, but in reality we find it difficult to achieve. In general when we say we love someone, this is loaded with expectations and is conditional by nature. Once the person acts against our wishes, our love is diminished.
However, spiritual love, or unconditional love, is Divine in nature and does not change according to the situation. Such spiritual love is found among Saints and those advanced in their search. In spiritual love, there are more thoughts about others than about oneself.
However, this spiritual love (unconditional love) develops after a considerable amount of spiritual practice. Then, one becomes capable of overcoming oneself and perceiving the Principle of God in others.
When we begin to develop spiritual love (unconditional love) that is immaculate and undiluted with expectations, we experience happiness and contentment. Worldly love, which is love with expectations, is based on similarities with another person’s nature. But there is no guarantee that all aspects of our nature will be similar or complementary to the nature of another person. Conflicts and difficulties begin as soon as we discover the differences.
On the other hand, spiritual love (unconditional love) is based on the immutable soul. It resembles the way a string connects the pearls of a necklace regardless of shape, color or size – the external nature is not important.
“Worldly and carnal love is only material, selfish and mortal, while spiritual love is eternal, it is exchange, communion with the other, and transcendence toward God the Most High.” (G.H.).
2 – God calls us to be his people and his beloved ones.
The Church of God is a people of sinners who love each other, who share with one another all that touches them, who build each other and heal each other by their spiritual love, so it is a people united in the love of God.
Saint Paul addresses the Romans and Corinthians saying:
“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
3 – Pride is an obstacle to unity.
Pride is the greatest obstacle to unity, it is a source of divisions.
Pride enters our hearts when we look down on each other from above, when we think ourselves better than they are, more spiritual, and closer to God.
Often, it is the unconscious feeling of being better than another part of the body of Christ, or another divine creature.
Pride infiltrates unconsciously when we do not stay near to the cross and to suffering and sacrifice.
Pride is a spiritual problem, we get rid of it by staying close to the Lord; it is a great obstacle to the unity of the body of Christ, causing this mania of labeling one another.
Let us learn to confess our sin, to forgive one another, to open our heart for sharing, to humble ourselves, to pray, to glorify our God, creator of all humanity and to evangelize together without seeking to change one another.
4 – We are members one of the other.
All who belong to God are members of one family, co-heirs of his grace.
Just as in a normal family, there are members who get along better than others and have more things in common, the same goes for the family of God.
In our earthly families, we do not deny our brother simply because he is different from us.
Nor should we do it in the Church because we are members one of the other.
There can be no unity in human society without forgiveness and discipline as St. Paul said to the Ephesians: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
The critical spirit is one of the greatest enemies of unity in human society, so we must be delicate in our speech and our advice to others (if any), and get rid of any negative critical spirit:
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Recognition, encouragement, graceful actions, such qualities are not acquired accidentally. They need to be cultivated until they become an integral part of our way of thinking and are reflected daily in our attitudes and actions.
We need to spend time in prayer, in the presence of God, to ask him how we can, in him, love and encourage those around us.
If the Church unites herself in love, she will be filled with love and purified; she will then be able to set fire to the world by her example.
May God give us the grace to live this unity within our couples, our families, our groups, within our church and our society, then the outside world will believe in God and His Divine Love, because it will see the authenticity of our testimony and will turn to Jesus as He comes again.
Only you, Lord, can transform difficult fraternal relationships and make them harmonious in the world so that your peace remains in the midst of your people.
We read in Psalm 133 the following:
- “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
- It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
- It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing and life forever more.”
Metropolitan Georges Haddad