“I Will Give Them One Heart and One Way:” Self-Love and Love for Others
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Love of neighbor originates in a rightly ordered love of self; though it appears contradictory at first blush, this relationship of the two loves underlies the Christian understanding of love. In order to get a clearer picture, we must examine the notion of the common good. The common good holds a prominent place within the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and illuminates the relationship of self-love and love of neighbor. Modern Catholic philosophy has often struggled with how the common good should be interpreted, with personalists in particular coming under fire. Looking at the monastic life described by St. Aelred of Rievaulx we can glean some insight into how we might embrace a personalist understanding of the common good.
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