In 1847 the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard published his “Christian reflections” on “the works of love.” I have come to believe that Kierkegaard has been largely misunderstood, misrepresented, and therefore ignored by many Christians, to their own detriment. So for these reasons, and due to my own interest in what he has to teach about the “works of love,” I will be presenting a series of meditations as I read through this book.
In this entry to the series on ‘Works of Love” I am merely presenting the magnificent prayer of Soren Kierkegaard that was between the preface and the beginning of the “reflections.”
How could love be rightly discussed if You were forgotten, O God of Love, source of all love in heaven and on earth, You who spared nothing but gave all in love, You who are love, so that one who loves is what he is only by being in You! How could love properly be discussed if You were forgotten, You who made manifest what love is, You, our Savior and Redeemer, who gave Yourself to save all! How could love be rightly discussed if You were forgoteen, O Spirit of Love, You who take nothing for Your own but remind us of that sacrifice of love, remind the believer to love as he is loved, and his neighbor as himself! O Eternal Love, You who are everywhere present and never without witness wherever You are called upon, be not without witness in what is said here about love or about the works of love. There are only a few acts which human language specifically and narrowly calls works of love, but heaven is such that no act can be pleasing there unless it is an act of love–sincere in self-renunciation, impelled by love itself, and for this very reason claiming no compensation.
Sketch of Soren Kierkegaard by Niels Christian Kierkegaard, c. 1840
BMC & Manifest Propensity, 2013