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Reflection : The Four Loves – C.S. Lewis

I’ve finally finished reading the ‘Four Loves’ by C.S. Lewis. I actually couldn’t put this book down initially but had other priorities that slowed me down in reading the last chapter. Here, I just want to record two quotes from the book that inspires me as it would probably take a whole day for me to blog about it and presently I have more pressing needs to attend to. Overall I find the book very useful and inspiring read, not only in relation to what Lewis describe as ‘Need-Love’ and ‘Gift – Love’ but in understanding God’s love (supernatural)  in relation to human (natural) love.

Here are the quotes that I find inspiring;

When natural things look most divine, the demonic is just round the corner. (C.S. Lewis on Eros in ‘The Four Loves’)

I can think of many encounters I had and probably still experiencing that initially seemed like God-sent but turned out to be a total nightmare.

The second is Lewis’s response to St Augustine description of how the death of his friend Nebridius plunged him (Confessions -St Augustine), 10)  and of giving one’s heart to anything but God – ‘Of all the arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as ‘Careful! This might lead you to suffering.’

To this C.S. Lewis response in the chapter on Charity is;

“There is no escape along the lines St Augustine suggests. Nor along any other lines. There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it in tact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket and coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

Lewis goes on to say that we shall draw closer in our relationship with God not by trying to avoid the inherent suffering in all loves but by being less defensive in our approach, accepting them and offering them to God. According to Lewis ‘If our hearts needs to be broken and if He chooses this as the way they should break then so be it.’

Sends shivers down my spine:-)

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