Love all men equally

by Andrea Elizabeth

How does Jane fit with the following?

From St. Maximus’ 400 Chapters on Love

13. The person who loves God cannot help loving every man as himself, even though he is grieved by the passions of those who are not yet purified. But when they amend their lives, his delight is in­describable and knows no bounds”.

14. A soul filled with thoughts of sensual desire and hatred is unpurified.

15. If we detect any trace of hatred in our hearts against any man whatsoever for committing any fault, we are utterly estranged from love for God, since love for God absolutely precludes us from hating any man.

16. He who loves Me, says the Lord, will keep My commandments (cf. John 14: 15, 23); and ‘this is My commandment, that you love one another’ (John 15:12). Thus he who does not love his neighbour fails to keep the commandment, and so cannot love the Lord.

17. Blessed is he who can love all men equally.

18. Blessed is he who is not attached to anything transitory or corruptible.

19. Blessed is the intellect that transcends all sensible objects and ceaselessly delights in divine beauty.

Besides the criticisms in the previous posts, she does wait for Rochester to repent of his flirtation with Blanche and his deception and rule-breaking with his wife. She also works very hard to forgive and not hate Mrs. Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst and to see Lowood school as part of the shaping her character. She does resist Rochester’s sensual advances. I think she still has a ways to go in loving all equally and delighting in divine beauty. But there are developmental steps it seems where one does need to love and be loved uniquely by a parent or a spouse or perhaps someone else so that they can progress to loving others correctly and dispassionately. Until then it is hard not to vilify those who seem to stand in the way of this love. Hence Blanche is banal and Mrs. Rochester is crazy and cruel.

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