Friday, November 27, 2009

more from The Four Loves. How does Clive be so awesome?

"In words which can still bring tears to my eyes, St. Augustine describes the desolation in which the death of his friend Nebridius plunged him (Confession IV, 10). Then he draws a moral. This is what comes, he says, of giving one's heart to anything but God. All human beings pass away. Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose. If love is to be a blessing, not a misery, it must be for the only Beloved who will never pass away.

Or course, this is excellent sense. Don't put your goods in a leaky vessel. Don't spend too much on a house you may be turned out of. And there is no man alive who responds more naturally than I do to such canny maxims. I am a safety-first creature. Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as "Careful! This might lead you to suffering."

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities. I doubt whether there is anything in me that pleases Him less. And who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground -- because the security (so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend -- if it comes to that, would you choose a dog -- in this spirit? One must be outside the world of love, of all loves, before one thus calculates."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

C.S. Wisdom

Long time no post, sorry loyal fans. I struggle determining which things in my life are post-worthy, and when I think I've found something I am usually met with a sudden blast of sheepish humility, so then I just forget it and go eat ice cream instead. Given that this is the pattern, it would certainly appear that the whole blog thing is not for me.

Until I was thumbing through my favorite work of C.S. Lewis the other day, The Four Loves, and was reacquainted with this little gem:

"Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is none the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not. We shall draw nearer to God not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it." pg. 92

Well shoot, Clive, you sure know how to speak to my soul. I'm sorry to say that my cursory experiences in this realm have left me somewhat, probably unduly, jaded, and rife with all sorts of mental and emotional armour. Clive brings me back to what it's all about.

I should still keep some armour though, right? You can't go out into that big, scary dating world with just a loin cloth, now, can you? (Pardon the unsettling image)

I have much to learn.