Thursday, February 13, 2014

God's Love Induces Great Love in the Penitent

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  (1 John 4:9)

He then who is so anxious to be loved by us, and does everything for this end, and did not spare even His only begotten Son on account of His love towards us, and who counts it a desirable thing if at any time we become reconciled to Himself, how shall He not welcome and love us when we repent?  Hear at least what He says by the mouth of the prophet: “Declare first your iniquities that you may be justified.”*  Now this He demands from us in order to intensify our love towards Him.  For when one who loves, after enduring many insults at the hands of those who are beloved, even then does not extinguish his fondness for them, the only reason why he takes pains to make those insults public, is that by displaying the strength of his affection he may induce them to feel a larger and warmer love.

John Chrysostom, To Theodore after His Fall 1.15

*  Isaiah 43:26 LXX

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