All of us are born into this world with a deep and insatiable longing for Paradise. Perhaps we are not even aware of it. Most of us bury it beneath the mire of our passions; we try to satisfy this pure and holy desire with the trinkets and amusements of this fallen world. We become as ships tossed to and fro, as wanderers amid the wasteland of this life, consumed by a gnawing hunger for we know not what. But no matter how we might try to slake our endless, unquenchable desire, we all — like the Prodigal Sons that we are — always end up finding ourselves enslaved to our passions, perishing with hunger, and very, very far away from home.
Throughout this work, particular themes are woven, such as the role of the spiritual father, the memory of death, or how experience corresponds to knowledge, but the theme we will focus on today is the role of love for God, because it is present on the first rung and on the last and contributes in various ways to many of the steps along the way. Love for God is the motivating force of the Christian life, the ascetic life, the monastic life (and these are not exclusive).Continue reading