Friday, July 24, 2009

Sayings of the Desert Christians: Love 1


Abba Poemen said, "There is no greater love than that a man lays down his life for revenge; then you are laying down your life for your neighbour."

Some thoughts

Help me out, please. This Saying continually mystifies me. Was there some sort of paradigm shift in world view about the role of revenge that makes it impossible for me to understand what is going on here?

What does revenge have to do with love? Did Jesus die as an act of revenge? Doesn't God say that vengeance is His?

Thanks for any light you can shed.


  • At 3:53 AM, Blogger MikeF said…

    I am as baffled as you are - what an odd remark! Do you think it might be a mistranslation or misquote of this much more consistent one?

    "Someone once asked one of the desert fathers, Abba Poemen, what it means to lay down your life for your neighbour. Abba Poemen replied: "When a person hears a complaining word and struggles against himself, and does not begin to complain; when a person bears an injury with patience, and does not look for revenge; that is when a person lays down her life for her neighbour."

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Gloriamarie Amalfitano said…

    Yep, that's exactly what I think. I have often noticed some strange conflations on the site I've been using, but someone very kindly pointed me to a different site whcih is the one I am going to use from now one.


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