Love yourself for God's sake
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.