The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Love Our Enemies Because God Loves Them

On the principles which have been laid down, we see how we may fulfill the command of our Savior to love our enemies, to bless them that curse us, and to do good to them that hate and persecute us. Instead of being a very difficult thing, as is commonly supposed, and as it would undoubtedly be on natural principles, it becomes easy, because, in the language of Francis De Sales, "We cannot love God as we ought, without adopting his sentiments and LOVING WHAT HE LOVES." Now we know  that God loves those who do not love Him. He loved us, even when we were his enemies.  He so loved a rebellious and disobedient world, as to give his Son to die for it. And if we are in the same spirit, loving only what He loves and hating what He hates, we shall find no difficulty in loving our enemies, and in praying for those who "despitefully entreat us." No matter how unlovely they may be in themselves, no matter how cruel and unjust their treatment be to us, the consideration, that our heavenly Father loves them and requires us to love them, lays all things even, and opens the full channels of the heart, as if there were no obstacles existing.

When we love our fellow-men in this way, we love with a perseverance and constancy, which could not be realized under other circumstances. Our love is not subject to those breaks and variations, which characterize it when it is based upon the uncertainties of the creature, instead of the immutability of the divine will. On the contrary, it continually flows on and flows on, whether it meets with any favorable return or not, partaking, in no small measure, of the unchangeableness of the divine nature.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 13.

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