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Keeping the Commandments of God in the Harmony of Love

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15; also 14:21, 15:10)

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Clement I of Rome IconPope St. Clement I:  “Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the blessed bond of the love of God or tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is inexpressible (Eph. 3:16-19). Love unites us to God, “love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8)“. Love bears all things, is long-suffering [patient] in all things. There is nothing vulgar, nothing arrogant in love (1 Cor. 13:4-7). Love knows nothing of schisms, love does not lead rebellions, love does all things in harmony (1 Cor. 14:33, 40). By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well pleasing to God. In love the Lord has taken us to Himself. Because of His love for us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood in accordance with the will of God; His flesh for our flesh and His life for our lives.

“You can see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing love is; its perfection is beyond description. Who is fit to be found in it, except those to whom God has graciously rendered it so? Therefore, let us pray and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, without human partiality (Eph. 1:4, 5, James 2:1, 9). All the generations from Adam even to this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ (Col. 3:4). For it is written, “Enter into thy secret chambers for a little time, until my wrath and fury pass away; and I will remember a propitious day, and will raise you up out of your graves (Isa. 26:19, 20).”  Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; so that through love our sins may be forgiven us. For it is written, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not impute to him, and in whose mouth there is no guile (Ps. 32:2, Rom. 4:7, 8).” This blessedness comes upon those who have been chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Let us therefore implore forgiveness for all those transgressions we may have committed through any suggestion of the adversary. And those who have been the leaders of sedition and disagreement ought to have respect to the common hope. …For it is better that a man should acknowledge his transgressions than that he should harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened who stirred up sedition against Moses the servant of God, and whose condemnation was made manifest to all. For they went down alive into Hades and death swallowed them up (Num. 16:1-35, Jude 11). Pharaoh with his army and all the princes of Egypt, and the chariots with their riders, were sunk in the depths of the Red Sea and perished (Exod. 14), for no other reason than that their foolish hearts were hardened, even after so many signs and wonders had been wrought in the land of Egypt by Moses the servant of God.” (1 Clement to the Corinthians, excerpts from para. 49-51)

+ St. Clement I of Rome, Pray for us. +

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