8

Does the Catholic Church teach that the type of love shared between all heavenly members is an affectionate brotherly love mentioned in the Bible, for example, in Romans 12:10 and 2 Peter 1:5-7?

Below are the verses from Romans 12:10:

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. (NRSV)

Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour. (RSV)

(τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ εἰς ἀλλήλους φιλόστοργοι τῇ τιμῇ ἀλλήλους προηγούμενοι.)

Below are the verses from 2 Peter 1:5-7 (emphasis added):

For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

  • Is the categorization of affection beyond the commonly understood kinds of love used in Greek? Istorge, philia, eros, agape*(ἀγάπη/charity )? My presumption is that eros isn't involved. – KorvinStarmast Jun 21 '16 at 12:58
  • 1
    @KorvinStarmast I am asking whether "brotherly affection (φιλόστοργοι)" will be the type of love that is shared between all heavenly members. φιλόστοργοι (perhaps translated as "affectionate love") involves tenderness and warm-feeling experienced between family members or in an endearing relationship, whereas ἀγάπη may or may not. – dweins Jun 21 '16 at 13:47
1

In 1 John 4:8, (God is love) the Greek word used for love is agapē. Given that the verse refers to 'God' rather than 'the Father' or 'the Son', one could assume it is referring to God as the Trinity. Thus, the members of the Trinity (God) probably share agapē love.

[agape being the highest and most unconditional form of love]

| improve this answer | |
0

According to Catholicism, is the type of love shared between all heavenly members an affectionate brotherly love mentioned in the Bible?

The short answer seems to be yes, at least for those we have a certain affection for.

St. Thomas Aquinas answers this question as such: Whether the order of charity endures in heaven?

The order of charity must needs remain in heaven, as regards the love of God above all things. For this will be realized simply when man shall enjoy God perfectly. But, as regards the order between man himself and other men, a distinction would seem to be necessary, because, as we stated above (Articles 7 and 9), the degrees of love may be distinguished either in respect of the good which a man desires for another, or according to the intensity of love itself. On the first way a man will love better men more than himself, and those who are less good, less than himself: because, by reason of the perfect conformity of the human to the Divine will, each of the blessed will desire everyone to have what is due to him according to Divine justice. Nor will that be a time for advancing by means of merit to a yet greater reward, as happens now while it is possible for a man to desire both the virtue and the reward of a better man, whereas then the will of each one will rest within the limits determined by God. But in the second way a man will love himself more than even his better neighbors, because the intensity of the act of love arises on the part of the person who loves, as stated above (Articles 7 and 9). Moreover it is for this that the gift of charity is bestowed by God on each one, namely, that he may first of all direct his mind to God, and this pertains to a man's love for himself, and that, in the second place, he may wish other things to be directed to God, and even work for that end according to his capacity.

As to the order to be observed among our neighbors, a man will simply love those who are better, according to the love of charity. Because the entire life of the blessed consists in directing their minds to God, wherefore the entire ordering of their love will be ruled with respect to God, so that each one will love more and reckon to be nearer to himself those who are nearer to God. For then one man will no longer succor another, as he needs to in the present life, wherein each man has to succor those who are closely connected with him rather than those who are not, no matter what be the nature of their distress: hence it is that in this life, a man, by the inclination of charity, loves more those who are more closely united to him, for he is under a greater obligation to bestow on them the effect of charity. It will however be possible in heaven for a man to love in several ways one who is connected with him, since the causes of virtuous love will not be banished from the mind of the blessed. Yet all these reasons are incomparably surpassed by that which is taken from nighness to God.

| improve this answer | |
  • Aquinas' whole thought process is along these lines "a man will simply love those who are better, according to the love of charity ... so that each one will love more and reckon to be nearer to himself those who are nearer to God". This seems to be opposite of what Paul said (Phillipians 2:3) and opposite of Christ's demonstration of love (John 13:14-15) and opposite of God's entire purpose (Romans 5:7-8). The only way we can love is because he first loved us (1 John 4:19) and it is God's love that is shed abroad in our hearts. – Mike Borden Sep 14 at 12:28
  • @MikeBorden Does he not say: ”It will however be possible in heaven for a man to love in several ways one who is connected with him, since the causes of virtuous love will not be banished from the mind of the blessed.” – Ken Graham Sep 14 at 13:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.