Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: The Power of Love

Bishop Sheen discusses the radical transformation of love from the Catholic perspective which has helped change the world as we know it. This form of love is from the Greek word agape, which in Latin is caritas, which translated into English is the word “charity.”

Historically, Catholics have used the word charity in lieu of agape, though many still think of the Salvation Army, or corporal works of mercy when they hear that word,  instead of this really unprecedented form of love. Have a look at this passage from Archbishop Sheen’s little book,

The third word for love was not much used in the classical Greek; it was a love so noble and divine that Christianity alone made it popular. That word is “agape.” It was used only ten times by Homer; it is found only three times in Euripedes; later on, it was used a bit in popular Greek which was spoken throughout the world after Alexander conquered it.

The Greeks did not need such a word, because Plato held that there could be no real love between God and man, inasmuch as the gods being perfect desired nothing; therefore, they had no love for man. Aristotle argued in the same way. He said that there was too great a disporportion between man and God to have any love between the two.

When God sent His only Son to this world to save it, and when His Divine Son offered His life on Calvary to redeem it, then was born a love between God and man which the Greeks could not and did not understand. That kind of love was best expressed by “agape.” In contrast to it, the word “eros” is nowhere found in the New Testament; the word “Philia” in all its forms is found forty-five times, but the word “agape” is found 320 times.

Once this agape began to exist, then it flowed down to illumine even Eros; Eros became the sensible expression of Divine Love; fraternal and friendly love was also sanctified by the agape inasmuch as we were to regard everyone else as better than ourselves. The only true lovers or friends are those whose love is explained by the agape of Him who so loved the world He sent His only begotten Son to redeem it.

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Why Don’t Christians Admit To Christianity’s Pagan Roots?

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Q: Why Don’t Christians Admit To Christianity’s Pagan Roots?

A: Christianity never intended to destroy paganism and all things pagan but to enlighten and transform pagan mankind’s search for God into the theology of truth and the universal liturgy of the New Covenant people of God, taking the pagan world out of the darkness of their search for God and into the light of Jesus Christ. 

Christianity adopted the Greek language as the vehicle by which to spread the Gospel of salvation.

The old ideas of Greek philosophy gasped with an infused breath of new life in Christian oriented theology, and the concept of freedom and the order of law became an expression of the true Christian freedom, according to the doctrine of the New Covenant Church, freedom in living the Law of Love—love of God and love of neighbor through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. 

He who is the eternal One, the Divine Reason/Logos the ancient Greeks for centuries sought in vain, He has been found—for Greek and Jew alike—the resurrected Jesus Christ, our universal Savior and Redeemer.

Source: Agape Bible Study

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