Tuesday, April 03, 2007

novus mandatum

For the upcoming Maundy Thursday, a word from Maximus the Confessor (the especially good bits are in italics):

"Love is therefore a great good, and of goods the first and most excellent good, since through it God and man are drawn together in a single embrace, and the creator of humankind appears as human, through the undeviating likeness of the deified to God in the good so far as is possible to humankind. And the interpretation of love is: to love the Lord God with all the heart and soul and power, and the neighbor as oneself....Other than this there is nothing that can make the human being who loves God ascend any higher, for all other ways of true religion are subordinate to it. This we know as love and so we call it, not divisively assigning one form of love to God and another to human beings, for it is one and the same and universal: owed to God and attaching human beings to one another. For the activity and clear proof of perfect love towards God is a genuine disposition of voluntary goodwill toward one's neighbor."

from Letter 2, "On Love"

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