Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Greatest Commandment

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself.

If I spend all my energies on loving God, what will be left to me with which to love my neighbor? Such is the false dichotomy that undergirds much modern atheism, both in its overt version and in the practical atheism that says that the liturgy is worthless, that we should be about service to men, doing socially useful things. Or, more subtlely, that the liturgy itself should be solely about people and community.

The opposition is false precisely because love is not a limited commodity. It is precisely by loving God that I become purified of my own desires and so can love others truly. And it is in making the effort to love others that I honor God and come to know my own need for a Savior Who will permit me to love freely.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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