Thank you for these quotations. I find that when all else fails, reading what Our Lord said always works. How well he knows us, His creation.
He sees our tendency to despair, and lifts us; He sees our tendency to spiritual pride and warns us; He sees how swift we are to condemn in our insecurity, and chides us gently; He offers us the path to salvation, but knows our tendency to turn aside from it, and is willing, always, to guide our feet back to it.
In an earlier part of this conversation, Mark, you asked about 'law' and the BOC views, and we had an interesting discussion. It seems to me that we have to take the scope of Our Lord's teachings as a whole, and they are, in mystical fashion, suffused with His love for us. He knew so well the tendency to legalism and that hard, narrow unpoetical view of the religious life that can develop in those inclined to religious belief, and He constantly guides us towards this larger understanding of the purpose of the Incarnation.
There is a perfect example of that in Mark 2:27 when he tells the Pharisees: 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.' I should love to hear that said in Aramaic, it has the balance, the potency and the clarity of great poetry.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)