Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 21 - Love Follows Knowledge of the Good

"The prophets had a clearer knowledge of God, just as the splendor of sunrise surpasses that of dawn and the first half-light of day. They knew God as the supreme being, eternal, self-subsistent, infinite, the sole origin of all things. Unlike the philosophers, however, they knew him to be the source not only of nature but of grace as well, and the ruler not only of the world but also of the people of God. They knew him as Lord, the most holy, just, good, and great king and judge, of infinite power, wisdom, benevolence, mercy, justice, and love. Yet they had no clear knowledge that God is both one and three, that he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

"It is our privilege that God has revealed to us this divine, incomprehensible, and ineffable mystery, and given us sublime knowledge of himself so that we should love him with the highest, most perfect kind of love. For just as warmth follows the light of the sun, so love follows knowledge of the good. An unknown good cannot possibly be loved, but a known good is loved in proportion to its goodness and our knowledge of it. Now God is infinitely good, he is all goodness, just as the sun is all light and fire is all heat."

Lawerence of Brindisi (AD 1559-1619), Opera Omnia, VIII, 451-452

Lawrence was a Capuchin and preached throughout Europe before dying in Lisbon, Portugal.

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