"Love and do what you will; if you are silent, be silent in love; if you shout, shout in love; if you correct, correct in love; if you spare, spare in love. Let the root of love be within and nothing but good can spring from this root." These well-known words come from the commentary of St. Augustine on the First Epistle of St. John. For Augustine,"God is Love" sums up the whole Bible and the saint's central teaching, which ultimately means that a person who loves is a free person.
A meditation on this teaching of "love and do what you will" (Dilige et fac quod vis) appears in the Kyeongyang
magazine. Written by a priest who has made a study of the Church
Fathers, the article explores what it means to experience freedom, and
concludes that a person who is truly free is enjoyably aware.
Using this heightened awareness to understand the incarnation and the
resurrection allows for greater understanding of the Hebrew Bible,
deepening even further our understanding of what it means to be free.
then uses three other Latin phrases in the writings of the saint to
help us understand. The first is from a sermon on Zacchaeus: "He saw
because he was seen" (visus est, et vidit). It was because Zacchaeus
was, first, loved unconditionally and accepted by God that enabled him
to see; it was the beginning, for him, of change and understanding.
The second phrase "Love gives us sight" (Ubi amor ibi oculus), though used
by St. Thomas Aquinas, was taken from the writings of Augustine. A
person may have been baptized and received communion and thus
considered a member of the Church, but by wicked actions he is actually
outside the body of the Church. The standard which determines the
rightness of our actions is not the act itself but the intention. Words
that are violent in rebuke may be said with great love, and soft words
and actions may have the appearance of love but in reality are wicked.
The difference is similar to that between a father who punishes his
child to correct him, and a slave master who caresses and uses loving
words to deceive and seduce.
the last Latin phrase: The will is freer the more it is subject to God
(eris liber, si fueris servus ). To love and be loved is dangerous, for
leaving the door of the heart open to receive love opens oneself to
death. Jesus was an example of this love. Augustine uses the words from
Romans 5:5, where Paul says: "For God has poured out his love into our
hearts." Augustine uses this phrase 20 times in his writings. We are
shown the descending love of God, and it is our imitation of this love
that gives us strength.
conclusion, the cross was the meeting place where freedom and servitude
became one. It is only when one is the slave of love--the slave of
grace-- that one is truly free. It is only then that one is free from
egoism, pride, self-indulgence and injustice.