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"Love of God" means the love that someone has for God, as "friend of God" (theophilos) can mean someone who is friendly towards God or who is loved by God. Love of God, understood as someone's love for God is associated with concepts of piety, worship, and devotion towards God.
"Love of God" also means the love God has for us, as in Psalm 52:1: "The steadfast love of God endures all the day"; Psalm 52:8: "I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever"; Romans 8:39: "Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God"; 2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all"; 1 John 4:9: "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him"; etc.
Devotees of Krishna worship him in different emotional, transcendental raptures, known as rasas. Two major systems of Krishna worship developed, each with its own philosophical system. These two systems are aishwaryamaya bhakti and madhuryamaya bhakti. Aishwaryamaya bhakti is revealed in the abode of queens and kingdom of Krishna in Dwaraka. Madhuryamaya Bhakti is revealed in the abode of braja. Thus Krishna is variously worshipped according to the development of devotee's taste in worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, as father, friend, master, beloved and many different varieties which are all extraordinary. Krishna is famous as Makhanchor, or butter thief. He loved to eat butter and is the beloved of his little village in Gokul. These are all transcendental descriptions. Thus they are revealed to the sincere devotees in proportion to the development in their love of Godhead. Vaishnavism is a form of monotheism, sometimes described as 'polymorphic monotheism', with implication that there are many forms of one original deity, defined as belief in a single unitary deity who takes many forms. In Krishnaism this deity is Krishna, sometimes referred as intimate deity - as compared with the numerous four-armed forms of Narayana or Vishnu. It may refer to either of the interrelated concepts of the love of God towards creation, the love of creatures towards God or relationship between the two as in bhakti.
In Greek philotheos means "loving God, pious", as philosophos means a lover of wisdom (sophia). The word Theophilos was and is used as a proper name, but does not appear as an adjective or common noun in Greek, which uses instead the form theophilês, which means "dear to God" but also "loving God".
Eric Voegelin has used "theophilos" as a common noun: "In the Phaedrus, Plato has Socrates describe the characteristics of the True thinker. When Phaedrus asks what one should call such a man, Socrates, following Heraclitus, replies that the term sophos, one who knows, would be excessive: this attribute may be applied to God Alone : but one well call him philosophos. Thus "actual knowledge" is reserved to God; finite man can only be the "lover of knowledge," not himself the one who knows. In the meaning of the passage, the lover of the knowledge that belongs only to the knowing God, the philosophos, becomes the theophilos, the lover of God."
In Christianity, God's love for mankind or the world is expressed in Greek as agape (ἀγάπη), famously in John 3:16: "God so loved the world" (οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον). The same Greek word agape is used also of the love of Christians for one another and for other human beings, as in 1 Thessalonians 3:12: "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else" (ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ Κύριος πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσαι τῇ ἀγάπῃ εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας), but apart from quotations of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy 6:5 ("Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength"), there is no instance in the New Testament where agape is used of effective love by humans for God.
To avoid the sexual connotations of the Latin word "amor", the word "caritas" was preferred as the Latin equivalent of this New Testament word. Thomas Aquinas taught that the essence of sanctity lies in love of God, and Thérèse of Lisieux made love of God the centre of her spirituality.
In Greek Orthodox Christianity, a person's love for God is called a theophilos, this love one has of God is the catalyst that drives the relationship between man and God referred to as theosis. This is contrasted by the Church's opposition which depict existence and its creation as an act of tyranny. This position is vaguely covered under the terms misotheism, and gnosticism. Theophilia is love for and by God, Philokalia is the love of beauty (as manifestation of God) and also as a set of Eastern Orthodox ascetic religious texts, centered on the idea of using theoria (contemplation of Beauty and or God) called Hesychasm to cultivate true beauty and therefore the love of God. Theoria being the manifestation or experience of God in the life of the person as the highest beauty.
An experience of divine love is central in mysticism. Medieval German mystics, women in particular (Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hildegard von Bingen), express divine love as a burning passion. Similarly, Julian of Norwich in her Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (ca. 1393).
Spiritual love or religious love is love that is either believed to emanate from a supernatural entity, or which is directed towards such an entity, or which is directed at others in the name of or at the behest of such an entity.
|←I. Knowledge of God||Love
Attributed to Christopher Smart without evidence.
|III. Fear of God→|
|From the APPENDIX to the Hymns Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1771).|
LOVE of GOD.
Great God of Love! — that charming name
Should all my powers controul;
Should make my best affections flame
And kindle all my soul.
Nor I, nor Angels round the throne
Can love to what's thy due;
Beauties divine to them unknown
Pass all they have in view.
When they have stretch'd their wings for flight,
The steep ascent to try; <10>
Struck with the vast and boundless height,
In wonder lost they lie.
Yet they for ever wonder on
And gaze with high delight:
And love the Infinite unknown,
With all their mind and might.
I too would lift mine eyes to see
What Angels can't explore,
With fix'd attention gaze at Thee,
And wonder and adore. <20>
O clear mine eyes, my heart inflame,
With love fill up my soul;
Let this affection reign supreme,
And all my powers controul.
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|