Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Love yourself for God's sake

Jesus told his followers that all the law and the prophets were summed up in loving the Lord you God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. The second of those commands includes love of self as well as love of neighbor. So self-loathing is not of God.

Saint Aelred (1110-1167) wrote of the three loves enjoined on people by Christ (love of God, love of self, and love of neighbour):
... the three kinds of love ... are so bound to one another that unless we love God we cannot love our neighbour and, unless we love ourselves, we cannot love our neighbour as ourselves. ... Each one of these three kinds of love depends on the others, and in each one of the three we find the other two. We cannot have one unless we have all three, and if we lose one we lose them all (DeVico 1981:235 citing Aelred, The Mirror of Charity 1961:82).
About the same time as Aelred wrote the above quote, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) penned his response to an inquiry from an official in Rome, describing four degrees of the Christian's love: 1. Man loves himself for his own sake. 2. Man loves God but for his own advantage. 3. Man loves God for God's sake. 4. Man loves himself for the sake of God.

On a separate topic, today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian, Can other religions be true? is online.


  • At 4/22/2005 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great site, great mission! For those interested, there is a daily-emailed version of the Forward Day by Day meditation, with expanded lectionary readings at Click on the "subscribe" box at the top left center. Peace.


Post a Comment

<< Home