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.

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  • 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
  • @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

The short answer seems to be yes. The reference would be the response from Jesus to the Saducees -

“Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:29-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

And also as another brother in Christ has responded that we need to love our neighbours as ourselves. And as God loves us. And as Paul confirms -

“For God does not show favoritism.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Heavenly members live love perfectly, while brotherhood is one of the various ways leading to perfect love.

The way heavenly members live love is perfect and various at the same time.

Perfect : living love perfectly means accomplishing Jesus statement about love in Jn 15:13 : there is no greater love than laying down one's life for the beloved. A heavenly member is either a person who did that during earth life and does it forever in Christ Jesus, either an Angel who freely dedicates his giant power to the unique service of God and of the people he protects on earth.

Various : the expression of love can use various ways, and, may we say, those ways are as numerous as the creation is wide. Heavenly love can be the signature of each action : depending on God's will, on the specificity of each person, and on circumstances encountered during earth life, the expression of love can vary a lot from one to another.

The brotherhood spirit buidling preached by Peter and Paul express what the language can speak about communities whose members will to live together, and try to find ways to do that at the best. The love here is not already perfect : each one is invited to develop attitudes that show and settle love in the community. It is the same for the love being lived in a family : smiles, embraces, gifts, all of these, are some ways to show love and make it be in the family.

But when the community of the family becomes, instead, a COMMUNION in the Holy Spirit, meaning, when we are talking about heavenly members, the forms of love deepen and increase, because they are no more about making love effective, they are about experiencing God without restrictions,

The only way to have an idea of what it can be is to pratice love whith all our spirit, soul, strength (Dt 5:6), alone, in our relationships and in the world, until we start experiencing that true love, te very love lived by heavenly members, consists in a kind of full transformation of all what we are, to become somebody that we can feel is wonderful, and is invited to a great Communion which is waiting for each of us.

Hope this gives ideas for an answer.

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