The Law of Love is the Source of Spiritual Life

“…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through
the Holy Spirit who has been given to us
(Rom. 5:5)
.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Thomas AquinasSt. Thomas Aquinas: “The principle of every good is in this: the law of love is the source of spiritual life. It is a natural and manifest fact that the loving heart is inhabited by what it loves. Whoever loves God possesses Him within. ‘He who dwells in charity* dwells in God and God in him (1 John 4:16).’ The nature of love transforms whoever loves into the beloved being. If we love God we will be completely divine. ‘Whoever is united with the Lord becomes one spirit with Him(1 Cor. 6:17).

“Without charity, the soul no longer acts: ‘Whoever does not love abides in death(1 John 3:14). If a person possesses all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but lacks charity, that person has no life. For it matters not whether one has the grace of tongues, or the gift of faith, or any other gift such as prophecy; these do not bring life without charity. Even if a dead body should be adorned with gold and precious jewels, it nevertheless remains dead. Charity leads to the observance of the divine commandments. …We see a lover do great and difficult things because of the One loved, and that is why the Lord says, ‘If anyone loves Me he will keep My word(John 14:23). Whoever keeps this command and the law of divine love fulfills the whole law. Charity provides protection against adversity. Misfortune cannot harm one who has charity; rather it becomes useful to that person. Misfortune and difficulties seem pleasant to the lover. Charity truly leads to happiness, since eternal blessedness is promised only to those who have charity. For all other things are insufficient without charity. You must note that it is only the different degrees of charity, and not those of any other virtues, which constitute the different degrees of blessedness. Many of the saints were more austere than the apostles, but the apostles excel all the other saints in blessedness because of their higher degree of charity.”  (Text reposted from Secret Harbour, by Jeffrey Allen)

————
*CHARITY:
  The word “charity” is from the latin root ‘caritas’. It embraces the fullness of love; from the, “supreme love to God,” that bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the beloved personal qualities of 1 Cor 13.”

The Burning Bush on the Mountain of God

Moses and the Burning Bush
 
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” (Ex. 3:1-4, RSVCE)
 
“Moses, in the Egyptian desert, was looking after the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro. Wending his way across the desert he came to Horeb, ‘the mountain of God’. And it was there that the angel of the Lord, or rather the Lord God Himself in the shape of an angel, appeared to him in the midst of flames of fire. The flames were blazing out of a bush. Yet the bush was not consumed or destroyed. Moses was overcome with amazement. He decided to turn aside, to deviate from his intended course, so as to gain a closer view of ‘this great site’ and to see ‘why the bush is not burnt’.

“Moses turned aside from his original path. He felt that the marvel of the Burning Bush warranted making a stop; he was moved with desire to contemplate it and ponder deeply on it. He accepted without question this sudden, extraordinary, divine event. And it was because he did not hesitate to change his direction towards the Burning Bush that God was able to call to him. ‘And when the Lord saw that [Moses] turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the Bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.’

“All this applies just as much to us today as it did to Moses. If during the course of our lives we hurry along without stopping, without even a glance toward the Burning Bush (which nevertheless continues its blazing along the whole of our way…), we shall miss the opportunity God desires. If on the contrary, we do not hesitate to leave aside for a time the flocks of Jethro – our daily cares – the Lord will call to us from the midst of the bush. He will call to each one of us by a name that is our own.” (The Burning Bush by Archimandrite Lev Gillet. © 1976 by The Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius)

The Peace and Harmony of the Universe

“And GOD saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Gen. 1:31, Heb. 11:3).”

St. Clement I of Rome: “…let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and cleave to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefits of peace. Let us contemplate Him with our understanding, and look with the eyes of our soul to His long-suffering will. Let us reflect how free from wrath He is towards all His creation.

Milky Way from MGIO* by Dave Harvey

Milky Way from MGIO by Dave Harvey
Click for Vatican Observatory Info. & Links

The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, never hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of the stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, and without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance at the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings upon it, never hesitating nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed. The unsearchable places of abysses, and the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed around it, but does as He has commanded. For He said, “Thus far shalt thou come, and thy waves shall be broken within thee (Job 38:11).” The ocean…and the worlds beyond it, are regulated by the same enactments of the Lord. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, peacefully give place to one another. The winds in their several stations fulfil, at the proper time, their service without hindrance. The ever-flowing fountains, formed both for enjoyment and health, furnish without fail their breasts for the life of men. The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and concord. All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.  (1 Clement to the Corinthians, Chs. 19, 20, A.D. 70-90)

Wisdom for Free and Untroubled Prayer

Staretz Saint Silouan of Mount Athos“Many people like to read good books, and this is right, but it is best of all to pray; while he who reads newspapers or bad books destines his soul to go hungry—hungry because the food of the soul and her true satisfaction are in God. He who would pray freely and untroubled must keep himself in ignorance of the news in newspapers, nor should he read mean books or be curious to know the details of other people’s lives. All these things fill the mind with thoughts that stain, and when one would try to sort them out they further entangle and weary. Now in God are life, joy, gladness, and the Lord loves us ineffably, and this love is made known by the Holy Spirit.”   (Startez Silouan, Wisdom from Mount Athos, pg. 83, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press)