instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, November 03, 2008

The fulfillment of the Law

The Greatest Commandment, as you know, is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind."

But to love someone is to act for his good, and God is already all-good. St. Catherine of Siena is one of the saints who asked God about how we could act for His good. As He explained it:
This is the means which I have given you, that you may exercise and prove your virtue therewith; because, inasmuch as you can do Me no profit, you should do it to your neighbor.
The Second Commandment is not only like unto the first, then, it follows from and ends in the First. St. Catherine goes so far as to record God as saying, "love of Me and of [your] neighbor are one and the same thing."

The identity of the commandments is given perfect expression in the Crucifixion. It is wholly love of the Father that holds Jesus on the Cross. It is also wholly love of mankind that holds Him there. It is, so to speak, the hypostatic union of the two greatest commandments, on which dependeth the whole law and the prophets.