The Perfection of Love

But the perfect love of God, which is only to be found in Charity, is a disinterested love, which loves the sovereign goodness of God in Himself and for His sake only, without any aim except that He may be that which He is, eternally loved, glorified, and adored, because He deserves to be so, as St. Thomas says. And it is in the fact that it attains more perfectly its final end that its pre-eminence consists. This is very clearly shown by Blessed Francis in the same Treatise where he tells us that Eternal life or Salvation is shown to Faith, and is prepared for Hope, but is given only to Charity. Faith points out the way to the land of promise as a pillar of cloud and of fire, that is, light and dark; Hope feeds us with its manna of sweetness, but Charity actually introduces us into it, like the Ark of the Covenant, which leads us dry-shod through the Jordan, that is, through the judgment, and which shall remain amidst the people in the heavenly land promised to the true Israelites, where neither the pillar of Faith serves as a guide, nor the manna of Hope is needed as food. –‘St Francis de Sales ‘The Spirit of St Francis’


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