and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.
1 Peter 1:13-16
If God does not command, reward or punish, why be good? If God does not require anything of us to love us, why should we act in anything but self-interest? The closing line of Peter’s letter provides the answer. Virtue is not virtue if it is coerced. Love is not love if it is required. But maybe we can be inspired to virtuous and loving in allegiance to the divine. God does not say, “be holy or else”.
St. Augustine said, "Dilige et quod vis fac", which I understand means, "if you but love God you may do as you are inclined."
Photo: A new star forming. BBC News