Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Power of Perseverence

St. Augustine of Hippo, Ora pro nobis.

Fix your gaze on Him Who leads you and do not look back to the place from which He brought you. He Who leads you goes ahead of you; the place from which He brought you lies behind you. Love your Leader for fear He may condemn you for looking backward. -- St. Augustine of Hippo.


Blogger cheryl said...

Love your Leader for fear He may condemn you for looking backward.

That's kind of an odd thing to say, don't ya think? Is Auggie saying that we ought to love (follow) Christ, because not to do so would incure our damnation? How can true love spring from that? There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 Jn 4:18) We should love Christ, because He is lovable, not because He might damn us.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Hi Cheryl,

St. Augustine famously stated we all must love God for His own sake. (Gratis was his exact word.) This is one of many exhortations the saints, both East and West, have made to those not yet advanced far enough to love God in such a way. I can't recall if you are RCC, Lutheran, or another religion -- but the RCC officially believes contrition inspired by fear of Hell is sufficient (though not ideal), and Lutheranism was founded based on it.

Nearly every saint who has preached any amount of sermons has made a similar statement. It does not warrant construing this as his own pronouncement, even his primary one, on the subject of how one should love, and why.

This is one of the many reasons not to judge the saints too harshly.

God bless,

7:38 PM  

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