is continual ascent in these psalms, it was fitting that what is said to be more outstanding than all else should be set down as the climax after everything else.
A canticle of steps. Let us observe closely with the heart's eye how the prophet has topped the steps, and mounted to the highest traces of the virtues; for he addresses the rest of his wholesome persuasion to the blessed brotherhood which he had bidden to gather in unity, urging that their blessed harmony be roused to praises of the Lord with the most burning eagerness of love, so that they may attain the crown of their activity, and may in this life imitate the sweetness which we believe will abide in holy minds in that native land of the future. It is right that a blessing be bestowed on Him to whom they have undoubtedly ascended with the greatest zeal. Now we must discuss the power of His commandment, so that its message when understood and analysed can reveal its usefulness to us. The command is: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and mith thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength, and thy neighbour as thyself. For on these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. 1 What a marvellous text, expressing under one head all that you can find in the holy Scriptures! For the person who loves God with his whole heart, his whole soul, his whole strength, leaves no place for vices. Where is sin to enter, when one's whole spirit is taken up with God? The devil longs for empty spaces, seeks out unoccupied areas, but when he finds God's presence he retires in great confusion. So if we love God with our whole heart, and entrust ourselves to His power with passionate devotion, we cannot leave room for faults, and we perpetually walk on the most upright ways. When vessels are brimming with some liquid, they cannot take in additional increase; in the same way, if divine love fills us totally, there will be no place of entry for sin. Next comes: And thy neighbour as thyself. We love our neighbour as ourselves when we do harm to no-one, but treat all with the same indulgence as we do ourselves. No person mentally agrees willingly to incur disastrous dangers, or to be hemmed in by guileful traps; all seek for themselves