Perfect Love

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

Perfect love is to sell all your possessions and to give alms, and even to sell yourself as a slave, and whatever you get to give in alms.
In the East there was a bishop from whose province a hundred slaves were taken captive. He sold all of his possessions and ransomed them. Only a child of a widow remained enslaved. What did the bishop do? He shaved off his beard and went and begged the master who held the child to free it and to keep him in its place. And so it happened.
The bishop lived a life of great hardship, but because of his patience God found him worthy of performing miracles. Later his master freed him and he returned to his episcopal duties. It is this kind of love that God wants us also to have. Is there anyone here who has this kind of love? No! Don't sell yourself, sell only your possessions and give alms. You can't do this? Give half, a third, a fourth. You can't even do this? [Then] don't take your brother's bread, don't persecute him, don't slander him.
How do we expect to be saved, my brethren? One thing seems too much for us, the other too bitter. It's true, God is compassionate, but he's also just. He also has an iron rod. So if we want to be saved, we should have love for God and for our brethren.

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