11/11/2015

Love by C. S. Lewis

The will. "Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will." "Love in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion.  It is a state not of feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people."

Feeling after acting. "The rule for all of us is perfectly simple.  Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did.  As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.  When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.  If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more.  If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less."



Love is never too much. "God wants us to love Him more, not to love creatures (even animals) less.  We love everything in one way too much (i.e. at the expense of our love for Him) but in another way we love everything too little…. No person, animal, flower, or even pebble, has ever been loved too much—i.e. more than every one of God's works deserve."

We can never love a person too much, only God too little. "It is probably impossible to love any human being simply 'too much.' We may love him too much in proportion to our love for God; but it is the smallness of our love for God, not the greatness of our love for the many that constitutes the inordinacy….But the question whether we are loving God or the earthly Beloved "more" is not, so far as concerns our Christian duty, a question about the comparative intensity of two feelings.  The real question is, which (when the alternative comes) do you serve, choose, or put first?  To which claim does your will in the last resort yield?"

True love for others. "You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God." "To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin; though we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God."

Vulnerability. "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 intact, 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—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy is damnation.  The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

No fear. "Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear.  But so do several others things—ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity.  It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that state, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear."