1. Felicific Forest
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    05 Jan '06 14:38
    .

    Saint John of the Cross continues to give invaluable lessons to us through his writings. He teaches that love creates a likeness between that which loves and that which is loved. In other words, if you want to know who you really are, ask yourself what you love. What does your mind constantly turn to? Where do your thoughts most easily rest? This self-awareness, which is essential to the spiritual life, can be disturbing when we find that what we most love is either not of God, or leading us away from God.


    What do you love ?
  2. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    05 Jan '06 14:511 edit
    Myself.

    I'm just that awesome.
  3. England
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    05 Jan '06 15:08
    who,s face is on the coin???. then give to him what is his. Give to god what is his.
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    05 Jan '06 15:10
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    .This self-awareness, which is essential to the spiritual life, can be disturbing when we find that what we most love is either not of God, or leading us away from God.
    Could your love of God lead you into error--away from God?
  5. Felicific Forest
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    05 Jan '06 15:121 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Could your love of God lead you into error--away from God?
    Could you give an example ?
  6. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    05 Jan '06 15:23
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Could you give an example ?
    Excessive religious zeal...self-flagellation...Simon Stylites impressions...that sort of thing.
  7. England
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    05 Jan '06 15:271 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Could you give an example ?
    oh on this one shure man belives his way on loving god and trys to show that this way is correct. look at history from hitler to cain all fall victim to there own belief, God loved the jewish nation but it was thier own stance on worship that became there own distruction.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    05 Jan '06 17:411 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Excessive religious zeal...self-flagellation...Simon Stylites impressions...that sort of thing.
    Also a putting love of God above love of neighbor. When Jesus, according to Matthew 22:39, said that the second commandment (from Leviticus 19:18) was “like” the first (from Deuteronomy 6:5), the word in Greek is homoia, which can be translated as the same, of the same nature, equal, of the same rank.

    In John 15:13, where it says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends” (NRSV), the word generally translated as “life” is not the Greek word for biological life (zoe), but psuche, which is more often translated as soul—i.e., one’s very innermost self. the in this passage can mean to lay down, to give up, to relinquish, to put or place.

    With all that said, I love my dear wife above all things, and would, in fact, lay down my soul for her—there is nothing of nobility or virtue in that: it’s just the way it is.
  9. Felicific Forest
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    05 Jan '06 17:50
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Excessive religious zeal...self-flagellation...Simon Stylites impressions...that sort of thing.
    Loving God is also expressed in obeying Him. How to obey God is not as simple as it may seem. We cannot discover this all on our own. We need the Church to help us understand Scripture and to learn what it means to love and obey God.
  10. Standard membershavixmir
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    05 Jan '06 18:03
    I find it a very hard question to actually answer.

    Yes. I love my friends, my family, life, blah blah blah...
    But to actually step away from automatisms on this subject is very difficult.

    I would first of all have to ask: "What is love?"

    Is love the tingling, nervous sensation in one's belly when they're falling in love and can't get someone out of their mind?
    Is love the feeling of just wanting to sit and watch a river flow by slowly?
    Could love be the pain you feel when your father dies?

    See?
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    05 Jan '06 18:14
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Loving God is also expressed in obeying Him. How to obey God is not as simple as it may seem. We cannot discover this all on our own. We need the Church to help us understand Scripture and to learn what it means to love and obey God.
    I’m not sure that I agree with the love-obedience connection, for several (jigsaw-puzzle) reasons:

    (1) It seems to me that Jesus’ invitation was to deeper relationship than master/servant or king/subject—a relationship that might best be characterized as friendship.

    (2) In the example of my wife, I neither expect nor desire her love for me to translate into obedience. My desire for her is that she be free to fully express, live and actualize her innermost being. I do not want obedience from my friend.

    (3) The difference between a covenantal versus a submissive relationship that we discussed before.

    (4) The appear to be several Greek words translated as “obey” in the NT. Some, at least, seem to carry the meanings of to listen, to respond, to keep safe, to regard, to pay attention to—even to answer, as in answering the door. I’ve only done a cursory search, however.

    (5) Although the word eros does not appear on the NT (nor, I think, in the LXX), the Greek Orthodox Church has been insistent all along that agape and eros are not unrelated—indeed, they are sometimes used near-synonymously. This, again, points to a deeper spiritual/mystical intimacy.
  12. Felicific Forest
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    05 Jan '06 18:392 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I’m not sure that I agree with the love-obedience connection, for several (jigsaw-puzzle) reasons:

    (1) It seems to me that Jesus’ invitation was to deeper relationship than master/servant or king/subject—a relationship that might best be characterized as friendship.

    (2) In the example of my wife, I neither expect nor desire her love for me to transla ...[text shortened]... sometimes used near-synonymously. This, again, points to a deeper spiritual/mystical intimacy.
    I wasn't in the first place referring to a master-servant or king-subject relationship, but rather a father-son/daughter relationship. This may not come as a surprise to you ....

    Of course we Christians have a complicated relationship with the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


    EDIT: Please note I wrote "Loving God is also expressed in obeying Him."
  13. Hmmm . . .
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    05 Jan '06 19:24
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    I wasn't in the first place referring to a master-servant or king-subject relationship, but rather a father-son/daughter relationship. This may not come as a surprise to you ....

    Of course we Christians have a complicated relationship with the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


    EDIT: Please note I wrote "Loving God is also expressed in obeying Him."
    I wasn't in the first place referring to a master-servant or king-subject relationship, but rather a father-son/daughter relationship. This may not come as a surprise to you ....

    Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. 🙂

    Of course we Christians have a complicated relationship with the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    And my suspicion is (and I am thinking this out as I go along) that that relationship goes beyond the parent/child one as well—which you know from my interpretations of the Adam/Eve story.

    A number of years ago, I ordered from an Orthodox catalogue the largest “Rublev’s Trinity” that they had; it’s tempura on wood and measures about 23x26 inches and I am looking at it right now. I am reminded of a story about a Russian Orthodox priest who was asked to explain Orthodox theology and doctrine—re replied: “Just look at our icons. It’s all there.” What a “right-brained” approach! There is nothing of command in Rublev's icon, only invitation into intimacy…

    T: Please note I wrote "Loving God is also expressed in obeying Him."

    Understood. I confess, I tend to react strongly to words like “obedience,” because of my own personal history. And I suspect that the etymology of the English word “obey” is broader than my own reading of it. It really is a word that I cannot use very much without a great deal of internal translation…
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