St. Ignatius ~Brianchaninov
What could be more beautiful than love for one’s neighbour? To love is holiness-to hate is suffering. All the law and the prophets can be condensed into love for God and for one’s neighbour (Matthew 22:40).
Love for one’s neighbour is a path which leads to love for God: therefore Christ willed to be clothed mysteriously in each of our neighbours, and God in Christ (John 1).
Do not think, most beloved brother, that the commandment to love one’s neighbour was very near to our fallen hearts: the commandment is spiritual, but flesh and blood overpowered our hearts; the commandment is new, but our hearts are old. Our natural love was damaged in the fall; we need to mortify it-Christ orders this-and take holy love towards our neighbour and love in Christ from the Gospel.
The characteristics of the new man must be completely new; no old characteristic suits him. Love that comes from the stirring of the blood and fleshly emotions has no merit in the sight of the Gospel.
~Please continue here...