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Os Justi Press

The Love of God

The Love of God

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From the Author's Introduction: "It is with some misgiving that the title The Love of God has been given to this book. The handling of such a theme might justly be regarded as the peculiar province of the masters of the spiritual life.... One advantage, however, attaches to what we may call the analytical method: it enables us to see the subject dealt with in its general context, objectively; we have not to surrender our minds entirely to the viewpoint of the writer before we can acquiesce in what he has to say. Contemplative souls, treating of divine charity, persuade by their sincerity, and often charm by their eloquence, but the warmth of their love sometimes leads them to take for granted what the rest of us would wish to have discussed.

 "If the religion of Christ be true, then the love of God to which it invites us is still the most important thing in life. At a time when men's minds are filled with foreboding at the prospect of the future, and that peace which is the tranquillity of order seems almost an idle dream, there is some comfort to be found in turning our thoughts to the two abiding realities: God and our own souls. The kingdoms of the world may pass away, but the truths by which the mind lives endure. To view calamity in the light of supernatural belief is not to take an unworthy refuge from the harsh realities of life; it is only to penetrate more deeply their meaning.

 "That it is more important to love God than to know Him is one of the convictions which inspire these pages. Yet love presupposes knowledge. Not blindly must the Beloved be approached, but with enlightened understanding. Short of the experimental knowledge of the mystics, on which it would be presumptuous folly to rely, perhaps the means best calculated to ensure fulfilment of the greatest of the commandments lie in our trying to appreciate, however imperfectly, what God is, to discern thereby something of His innate lovableness; and, we may add, what man is, and how great his need for God.

 "The command to love God above all else is given to every Christian; it is not the exclusive concern of those who dedicate themselves to the priesthood or take vows of religion. Nothing is more encouraging (and how frequent it is!) than to discover a highly intelligent interest in the questions which underlie our relations with God among those who feel no incompatibility between life in the modern world and unflinching fidelity to the practical demands of religion. It is to the laity then, especially to the young and thoughtful (of whom we know many), as much as to the priest and religious, that these reflections are addressed.

 "The glass, so to say, through which revelation has been viewed is that provided by the immortal Summa Theologica. A perfect harmony between the demands of reason and those of the most exacting religious feeling-such is the secret of St Thomas."

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