Friday, February 26, 2016

The Word of Love is known to the Angels

The word love is to be found all through Holy Scripture and through the exegesis of Scripture, i.e. through the Tradition of the Fathers of the Church. It is a popular idea and reality, not only within Christianity, but evident in other faiths and ideologies. Its centrality to our existence is apparent, since the first moments of our existence, we base our survival and our faith to those closest to us, and to those who love us and who we love, i.e. our family, our friends, and ultimately God. Love, however, is a divine virtue and reality. Vladimir Lossky, in his book The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, explains:

“The fruit of prayer is divine love, which is simply grace, appropriated in the depths of our being. For love, according to Diadochus, is not simply a movement of the soul, but is also an uncreated gift – ‘a divine energy’- which continually inflames the soul and unties it to God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Love is not of this world, for it is the name of God Himself. That is why it is ineffable, according to St. John Climacus: ‘the word of love is known to the angels,’ he says, ‘and even to them only according to the energy of their illumination.’ ‘Thou hast ravished my soul, and I cannot contain thy flame, so I go forward praising Thee.’ ‘O Holy Love,’ says St. Symeon, the New Theologian, ‘he who knows thee not has never tasted the sweetness of thy mercies which only living experience can give us. But he who has known thee, or who has been known by thee, can never again have even the smallest doubt. For thou art the fulfilment of the law, thou who fillest, burnest, enkindlest, emcracest my heart with a measureless charity. Thou art the teacher of the Prophets, the offspring of the Apostles, the strength of the Martyrs, the inspiration of Fathers and Doctors, the perfecting of all the Saints. And thou, O Love, prepares even me, for the service of God.’” (pp.212-213). 

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