OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 01, 2014, 07:51:44 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Love of God  (Read 878 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Thanatos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 82



WWW
« on: November 26, 2006, 06:32:37 AM »

I was reading this passage of a Sufi saint, Rabia al-Adawiyya:

"O my Lord," she prayed, "if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty." (224)

I was wondering, as Orthodox Christians, do we worship God purely out of these reasons - fear and hope? Or do we worship Him because He is who He is (for "His own sake")? If we do worship God out of these reasons, does it detract from our struggle (podvig) and ultimate denial of self; placing, rather, our wants and fears/ambitions over the very figure of God?

As for hope of "Paradise," in the best Orthodox equivalent, I would suppose that its important to hope that we get there because when we achieve a theosis with God - we fully empty ourselves and welcome the blissful indwelling of Christ's divine energies. Consequentially, this "hope" would not distract from the selflessness at the heart of the Orthodox podvig, because of that very emptying we realize the full practice and embodiment of God's Will. Not sure what to offer for the hell/fear part, though.

I know these may sound like silly questions, but I've just been wondering if this selfless, loving devotion to our Creator is, also, ultimately at the heart of Orthodoxy (I'm somewhat new to the Orthodox phronema, so your patience, please  Tongue). Sufism is notorious for its syncretism and I wondered if, perhaps, this early Sufi saint picked up on some Orthodox monastic sentiments - whereby we note a possible parallel, should this "selfless, loving devotion" center be agreed upon by future posters.

I look forward to your responses,
Ioannis

« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 06:39:58 AM by Thanatos » Logged
Thanatos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 82



WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 05:48:47 PM »

I suppose, to add on another thing, is the concept of agape. Agape is, to my knowledge, an unconditional factor in a Christians life. We are to love one another by this agape - and as we all well know from the fathers, there are exhortations that say to love your neighbor is a testament to your love of God.

Since it is unconditional, if its directed at the love of God, then one would love God simply because He is who He is - not based on what one desires to get out of that relationship or whatnot. But simply for the unconditional love we voluntarily show to Him.
Logged
Thanatos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 82



WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 10:09:46 PM »

Came across a quote from St. John Chrysostom:

"And yet the recompense is the greater if you do it without any hope of reward. Why saying all this, and making exact reckoning, is language fitter for an hireling than a domestic of willing mind. For we ought to do everything for Christ's sake, not for the reward, but for Him. For this also was why He threatened hell and promised the kingdom, that He might be loved of us. Let us then so love Him as we ought to love Him. For this is the great reward, this is royalty and pleasure, this is enjoyment, and glory, and honor, this is light, this is the great happiness, which language (or reasoning) cannot set before us, nor mind conceive." (On Love of God and God's Love)
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.039 seconds with 29 queries.