LET this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation,* and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
* Literally, ‘emptied himself’.
AS an aphrodisiac drives human lovers out of their minds, when it overpowers and gains control over those who take it, in the same way burning love* for mankind emptied out God.
He does not summon the servant he loved to his side while remaining in his own place, but comes down and looks for him; and the rich man shares the poor man’s hovel.
When he comes to him, he reveals through himself the secret of his longing, and seeks the same in return.
He does not abandon one who disowns him.
He is not annoyed at gross ill-treatment.
When he is chased away he waits outside the door.
He does everything to show his burning love.
He even bears it when he is caused pain.
He even dies.
Nicholas Cabasilas (14th century), “Our Life In Christ” VI.12.
* ἔρως, intense longing or burning love (definition in ‘Monastic Wisdom: the Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast’).
This is my translation. The ancient Greek text is here, and a modern Greek translation appeared in the October edition of Πειραϊκή Εκκλησία this year, under the intriguing title Ὁ μανικὸς ἔρως τοῦ Θεοῦ πρὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπο (‘the crazy love of God for mankind’).
‘Love’ by George Herbert, read by Robert Newton.
You need the sound up for this, but it is well worth it.