Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Love The Lord Your God


Unlike the current Marxist, our last Pope was clear in his exposition of the Faith. Here he is, on loving God, the first and great commandment:

In the gradual unfolding of this encounter, it is clearly revealed that love is not merely a sentiment. Sentiments come and go. A sentiment can be a marvelous first spark, but it is not the fullness of love. Earlier we spoke of the process of purification and maturation by which eros comes fully into its own, becomes love in the full meaning of the word. It is characteristic of mature love that it calls into play all man’s potentialities; it engages the whole man, so to speak. Contact with the visible manifestations of God’s love can awaken within us a feeling of joy born of the experience of being loved. But this encounter also engages our will and our intellect. Acknowledgment of the living God is one path towards love, and the “yes” of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all- embracing act of love. But this process is always open-ended; love is never “finished” and complete; throughout life, it changes and matures, and thus remains faithful to itself. Idem velle atque idem nolle — to want the same thing, and to reject the same thing—was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other, and this leads to a community of will and thought. The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide: God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus. It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. His friend is my friend. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern. This I can offer them not only through the organizations intended for such purposes, accepting it perhaps as a political necessity. Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave. 

I find this beautiful, you may not, no rule. Except there is, the love of God, without which we are nothing.

Your Old Pal,



drjim said...

Yep, it's a beautiful piece of writing.

Thank you, Parson!

LL said...

Love of god is measured by our personal cleanliness before Him. You can't love God and be filthy -- because that would mean you worship a different god.

LSP said...

Glad it was helpful, drjim. B16 was/is one of the greats. I've come late to that, oddly.

LSP said...

LL, "If anyone says they love God and hates his brother, he is a liar." And yes, to your point, the follower of a different God.

Now, we can, must and should fall down in repentance. There's solace, I think, in the thief on the cross.