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Quo vadis, Domine?

Love and do what you want

“Love and do what you want” is one of the most famous phrases of St. Augustine. Concise, powerful, and at the same time easily equivocal. Augustine spoke in one of his ten sermons commenting on the First Letter of Saint John. One in which God is defined as Love. Pascal wrote, just to mark the difference between the Greek understanding of the Logos, and the Christian: “The Christian God is not a God only author of geometrical truths, and the order of the elements, like the thought pagans and Epicureans. […] The Christian God is a God of love and consolation, is a God who fills the soul and heart of which He hath taken possession, is a God who makes you feel internally to each his own misery and His infinite mercy, who unites with the depths of their soul, that the floods of humility, joy, confidence, love, making them incapable of having another end that he himself “(Thoughts, 556).

God is therefore both Logos Love. But what is love? The divine simplicity becomes complicated when there are half of these creatures with big ambitions and huge limitations that are men. Love is certainly not synonymous with sentimentality, the whim, of personal taste, of indifference, of indifference … Let us read the whole sentence of St. Augustine: “Once and for all, then you are forced a brief precept: love and do ‘what want; whether you shut up, shut up for love; whether you speak, you speak of love; whether you correct, correct for love; whether you forgive, forgive out of love; It is the root of love in you, because from this root can not proceed unless the good. “

One reads these sentences and immediately felt, however confusedly, the infinite wisdom of Rivelazione.Tacere for love and talk of love. This would be enough to confuse the evaluation of many of our speeches. How many times we say the truth, without love? Not only because we do it in anger, the wrong way, but because that wrath comes from pride? The will to speak to affirm ourselves, and not the truth of which we do bearers. How many times we fail to bite our tongues, and we believe we are justified, because “it is fair to say it like it is”? How many times a real notation and right is nothing more than an excuse to take away a pebble from shoes? How many times to mention a brother, denigrate, even without lies, is just the way to highlight ourselves?

St. Augustine is clear: every truth proceed out of our mouth, for love and with love. Otherwise we will be held responsible for how we spoiled, exploited, clouded the truth. If we read it well, in fact, Augustine, though never use the word “truth”, about love and truth together. He speaks in fact of words and correction, that is, precisely, truth. But emphasizing the love. So much so that at the end of the sentence, after the invitation to correct for love, invites to forgiveness: that is not the abdication to a judgment, but the recognition that every human judgment does not define and does not conclude. Lose the next when I clear that is not reducible to his guilt, his mistake of the moment, and that I judge that, also rightly, are not the only One who has the power and the right to a final decision.

Towards the end of the homily Augustine returns to remind his listeners that Love is not molasses, or acquiescence, but an expression of magnanimity that only comes from God and to Him we can ask. A love that makes us true, and truly free: “If you want to preserve charity, brothers, first of all do not think that it is demeaning and tedious; You do not think that it is preserved under a certain gentleness, and even of submissiveness and negligence. Not that it is preserved. Not believe then to love your servant, for the fact that not strike; or you love your son, for the fact that not punishment; or you love your neighbor when not scolding; This is not charity, but neglect. Both fervent charity in correcting, in amending … Do not want to love the human error, but the man; God made man, the man instead made the mistake. He loves what did God do not love what did the man himself … Even if sometimes you cruel monsters, what happens to the desire to correct. That’s why charity is symbolized by the dove came upon the Lord. That is, that figure of a dove, with which the Holy Spirit came to instill charity in us. Why this? A dove has no gall: otherwise in defense of the nest fighting with beak and feathers, striking without bitterness. Even a father does this; when chastises his son, he chastises to correct it … but it’s no gall. These ye may be also to all … Who is the father who does not give punishments? And yet it seems that he inflicts. The raging love, sneaking charity but rampant, in a way, no poison, so the doves and not of crows “.

This considerations have something to do also with the debate that there will soon be the Synod on the family. That Love guides the reflections of the Synod Fathers, without forgetting that “charity rages” (Augustine used a strong verb: saevit), without poison.

Source: FRANCESCO AGNOLI

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