Thoughts for Reflection from Benedictine & Monastic Authors

Day by Day

September 30th - The Four Degrees of Love

Our father Saint Bernard said there are four degrees of love. The first degree was to love ourselves – to appreciate and really celebrate who we are. We are one of God’s greatest creations; we have been Christ-ed. In the second degree, we begin to really love God for what he has done for us. Because of this experience, in the third degree we come to love God because he is so good. The fourth degree, says Bernard, is rarely fully attained in this life; it is when we come to love ourselves for the sake of God. We have turned from our own will in order to turn completely to the will of Christ. The will of Christ is that we be loved immensely, be cared for, come to all fullness. When our love for Christ has been so strong that we really love ourselves for Christ’s sake, then we have it all put together in Christ, for Christ, through Christ, by Christ.

From Listen With Your Heart: Spiritual Living With The Rule of Saint
M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, Page 38