The Tyranny of Spiritual Love

I thought I might torture you all with some more from Chyrsostom. This quote is a comment on Philippians 1:7.

Καὶ τί θαυμαστὸν, εἰ ἐν τῳ δεσμωτηρίῳ εἶχεν αὐτούς; Οὐδὲ γὰρ κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν, φησὶ, καθ᾽ ὃν εἰσῄειν εἰς τὸ δικαστήριον ἀπολογησόμενος, ἐξεπέσατέ μου τῆς μνήμης. Οὕτω γάρ ἐστι τυραννικὸν ὁ ἔρως ὁ πνευματικὸς, ὡς μηδενὶ παραχωρεῖν καιρῷ, ἀλλ᾽ ἀεὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἔχεσθαι τοῦ φιλοῦντος, καὶ μηδεμίαν θλῖψιν ἢ ὀδύνην συγχωρεῖν περιγενέσθαι τῆς ψυχῆς·

And why is it marvelous that Paul has them [in his heart] while in prison? For he says, “Not according to that time, according to when I entered into the law-court to make a defense, you did not fall away from my mind.” For in this way spiritual love is tyrannical, as it does not concede to an occasion, but always has the soul of the loved on [on the mind]. There is no affliction or hardship permitted to have mastery over the soul.

– John Chrysostom Homily 2 on Philippians

The troubles that loomed over Paul’s head could not shake him from his concern for others or his concern for the Gospel. Even in the midst of his suffering, others took the pride of place in his thoughts.

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2 Responses to The Tyranny of Spiritual Love

  1. Dave Black says:

    So ἔρως can be “spiritual”? Interesting …. Might wreak havoc with a few sermons on the Greek words for love!

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