When seeking to understand Christian love with some precision, we inevitably come to speak about order in loving. The title of this book, Love's Sacred Order, is intended to address the problem of the need for clarification in the matter of love, above all the question of the relationship among the different kinds of love, all of which make their legitimate claim on us. A central concern of these reflections is the fact that we can do as much harm to ourselves by being too restrictive as by being too permissive in what we allow to come under the heading of Christian love.
The main intent of these meditations is to explore what the hierarchy might be that God established among all our human loves, on the one hand, and between these and the gratuitously revealed love of Godthat uncreated mystery, "kept secret for long ages", to which we could not have had access if God himself had not taken the initiative to manifest it in Christ Jesus.
The author approaches this subject pondering and responding to issues raised in the widely known work of C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, of which the year 2000 marks the fortieth anniversary of publication. This volume, then, is offered as a modest contribution to our celebration of this year of the Great Jubilee of our redemption, as well as an homage to the great Christian writer.
Father Simeon, O.C.S.O. (formerly Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis) obtained his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theology from Emory University. Formerly a Professor of Literature and Theology at the University of San Francisco, he is now a Trappist monk at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Mass. In addition to Vols. 1 & 2 of Fire of Mercy, he is the author of several other books including The Way of the Discipleand Love's Sacred Order.