Maximal love

I was praying with St. Maximus the Confessor’s exquisite writings in the Philokalia, and came across a rich text.

After talking about struggling in prayer to detach ourselves from our disordered love of the world (i.e. our inner disposition toward greed, lust, gluttony, envy, wrath, etc), Maximus then talks about how freedom from such disordered inner ‘passions’ allows us to love our neighbors with a Godlike love. But, he argues, the demons are utterly enraged by any likeness to God in humanity, and so throw up innumerable obstacles to such a love. Here’s one obstacle he mentions:

When the demons see us disdaining the things of the world in order through them not to hate men and fall away from love, they then incite slanders against us, hoping that, unable to bear the hurt, we will come to hate those who slander us.

Amor omnia vincit, ‘love conquers all.’

2 comments on “Maximal love

  1. WhoopieCushion says:

    It’s this kinda thinking that plunges into the Pasch; that remunerates the prize of Christian life: tounge cut out and hand chopped off! S. Maximus, pray for me!..why is no one waiting for me with sharp objects?

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