Love’s Limits


Leorningcnihtes boc

As Christians we talk about love quite a lot.  Love the Lord your God – that’s the first and great commandment.  Love your neighbor as yourself – that’s the second.  Love is the fulfillment of the Law.  Perfect love casts out fear.  Love not only your neighbors, but your enemies also.

Are all these loves the same?  Certainly not!  The love I have for my wife includes actions and commitments that would be inappropriate (and illegal) to direct toward my son; I love them differently.  The love that I have for the flock God has given me is not the same sort of love that I have for my friends.  The love that we are to have for God is not the same as the love we are to have for others.

When we mix up these loves, catastrophe follows.  St. Augustine of Hippo experienced this in his pre-conversion life.

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