Friday, April 16, 2010

A Century of Love in a Day, Pt. 3

3-4. When we misuse the soul’s powers their evil aspects dominate us. For instance, misuse of our power of intelligence results in ignorance and stupidity; misuse of our incensive power and of our desire produces hatred and licentiousness. The proper use of these powers produces spiritual knowledge, moral judgment, love and self-restraint. This being so, nothing created and given existence by God is evil.
It is not food that is evil but gluttony, not the begetting of children but unchastity, not material things but avarice, not esteem but self-esteem. This being so, it is only the misuse of things that is evil, and such misuse occurs when the intellect fails to cultivate its natural powers.

8. …A man dominated by self-love is dominated by all the passions.

10. If a man loves someone, he naturally makes every effort to be of service to that person. If, then, a man loves God, he naturally strives to conform to His will. But if he loves the flesh, he panders to the flesh.

14-15. Do not compare yourself with weaker men but rather apply yourself to fulfilling the commandment of love. For by comparing yourself with the weak you will fall into the pit of conceit, but by applying yourself to the commandment of love you will reach the height of humility.
If you totally fulfill the command to love your neighbor, you will feel no bitterness or resentment against him whatever he does. If this is not the case, then the reason why you fight against your brother is clearly because you seek after transitory things and prefer them to the commandment of love.

17-18. There are three things which produce love of material wealth: self-indulgence, self-esteem, and lack of faith…the self-indulgent person loves wealthy because it enables him to live comfortably; the person full of self-esteem loves it because through it he can gain the esteem of others; the person who lacks faith loves it because fearful of starvation, old age, disease, or exile, he can save it and hoard it. He puts his trust in wealth rather than in God, the Creator who provides for all creation, down to the least of living things.

21-2. God knows himself and He knows the things He has created. The angelic powers, too, know God and know the things He has created. But they do not know God and the things He has created in the same way that God knows Himself and the things He has created. God knows himself through know His blessed essence. And the things created by Him He knows through knowing His wisdom, by means of which and in which He made all things. But the angelic powers know God by participation, though God Himself transcends such participation; and the things He has created they know by apprehending that which may be spiritually contemplated in them.

45. The virtues exist for the sake of the knowledge of creatures; knowledge of the sake of the knower; the knower, for the sake of Him who is known though unknowing and who is beyond all knowledge.

54. …The Son teaches us, “Do not judge so that you may not be judged;” “Do not condemn, so that you may not be condemned.” St. Paul likewise says, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes;” and “By judging another you condemn yourself.” But men have given up weeping for their own sins and have taken judgment away from the Son. They themselves judge and condemn one another as if they were sinless. Heaven was amazed at this and earth shuddered, but men in their obduracy are not ashamed.

55. He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins, which are truly heavier than a great lump of lead…That is why, like a fool who walks in darkness, he no longer attends to his own sins but lets his imagination dwell on the sins of others, whether these sins are real or merely the products of his own suspicious mind.

58. Just as parents have a special affection for the children who are the fruits of their own bodies, so the intellect naturally clings to its own thoughts. And just as to passionately fond parents their own children seem the most capable and most beautiful of all – though they may be quite the most ridiculous in every way – so to a foolish intellect its own thoughts appear the most intelligent of all, though they be utterly degraded. The wise man does not regard his own thoughts in this way. It is precisely when he feels convinced that they are true and good that he most distrusts his own judgment. He makes other wise men the judges of his thoughts and arguments --- lest he should run, or may have run, in vain – and from them receives assurance.

79. A true friend is one who in times of trial calmly and imperturbably suffers with his neighbor the ensuing affliction, privations, and disasters as if they were his own.

82. The person who truly wishes to be healed is he who does not refuse treatment.

98. A soul is perfect if its passible aspect is totally oriented towards God.

99. A perfect intellect is one which by true faith and in a manner beyond all unknowing supremely knows the supremely Unknowable…

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