Friday 7 May 2010

Circle of Love

Many thanks, William.
Abbot Dorotheus of Gaza is very interesting - "His writings were greatly admired by Abbot de Rance.

On the previous day I found "The Life in Christ " by Nicholas Cabasilas.
And the theme
See tomorrow.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: William J ...
To: Donald ...
Sent: Fri, 7 May, 2010 8:49:00
Subject: "Circle of Love"

Dear Father Donald,
There is a fabulous commentary on the theme in the Gospel on the website you gave us,
It is of a circle of love. I can condense this on a human level as I think of the Scottish reels, a wide circle of dancers drawing closer together as they come towards the centre. I can expand this on a spiritual level as Christians are drawn together in the Eucharist. The expansion and contraction of love are like the breathing of the living body of the Church. I shall be caught up in this all day!
With my love in Our Risen Lord,

Dorotheus of Gaza (c.500-?), monk in Palestine
Instructions, VI, 76-78 (SC 92, p. 281-287)

Love of God and neighbor
The more we are united to our neighbor, the more we are united to God. So that you can understand the meaning of this saying I'm going to give you an image taken from the Fathers: imagine a circle drawn on the ground, that is to say a line drawn into a round shape with a compass, having a centre. We refer to the middle of the circle as being the exact centre. Now give your attention to what I am saying. Imagine that this circle is the world, its centre is God and each radius represents different ways or kinds of lifestyle. When the saints, desiring to draw near to God, move towards the middle of the circle, then to the degree to which they penetrate further into its interior they draw closer to each other even as they draw closer to God. The closer they draw to God, the closer they draw to each other; and the closer they draw to each other, the closer they draw to God.

From this you will understand that the same thing applies conversely when we turn away from God to withdraw outside the circle: then it becomes obvious that, the more we withdraw from God, the more we withdraw from each other, and the more we withdraw from each other, the more we also withdraw from God..

Such is the nature of charity. To the extent that we stand outside and do not love God, to the same extent each one of us stands apart with regard to their neighbor. But if we love God, then insofar as we come closer to God through our love for him, we also participate in love of neighbor to the same extent. And insofar as we are united to our neighbor we are equally so to God.

No comments: