Notebook

Living Truly

While his nation bleeds, and his pastoral heart bleeds for the nation, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv reflects on essentials. He asks what love stands for. ‘Today the word “love” is so devalued […] that we sometimes do not understand what it means to love. Therefore, the virtue of love should be distinguished from the feeling of liking some wish of ours, a desire, something that we like, something that is dear to us, something that is the subject of our longing. Love, divine love, is complete self-sacrifice, complete self-giving for the sake of the one I love. This is the divine love with which God loves us all, and the fullest manifestation of the content of this divine love that leads to sacrifice are the words, once again of the Saviour Himself: “ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16). Therefore, the revelation, the full revelation of our God in Whom we believe, is the God of sacrificial love we have on the Cross. When our Saviour dies, He gives His spirit into the hands of the Father and says, “It is finished!” […] It seems to us that when we sacrifice ourselves for another, we die. But the truth is that love is a life-giving force, a force that gives life. When we give ourselves, then we truly live, we live eternal life.’