Speak to us of the love of God; for we have heard that we must love Him, but we would learn how this may be rightly accomplished.
St. Basil: The love of God is not something that is taught, for we do not learn from another to rejoice in the light or to desire life, nor has anyone taught us to love our parents or nurses.
In the same way and even to a far greater degree is it true that instruction in divine law is not from without, but, simultaneously with the formation of the creature - man, I mean - a kind of rational force was implanted in us like a seed, which, by an inherent tendency, impels us toward love.
This germ is then received into account in the school of God’s commandments, where it is wont to be carefully cultivated and skillfully nurtured and thus, by the grace of God, brought to its full perfection.
Wherefore, we, also, approving your zeal as essential for reaching the goal, shall endeavor with the help of God and the support of your prayers, and as power is given us by the Spirit, to enkindle the spark of divine love latent within you.
Now, it is necessary to know that, although this is only one virtue, yet, by its efficacy, it comprises and fulfills every commandment. ‘If anyone love me,’ says the Lord, ‘he will keep my commandments.’ And again: ‘On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.’
Yet, we shall not undertake at this time to carry our discourse to its complete development (for in so doing, we should, inadvertently, make our discussion of one portion of the commandments embrace a full treatment of them), but, insofar as it is fitting and germane to the present purpose, we shall exhort you regarding the love we owe to God.