Excerpts from The Four Loves

I started reading this book for a few weeks now, reading really slowly, only during breakfast times… Before I forgot the important points, let me type them down~
 
Introduction
 
Gift-Love vs. Need-Love
 
"The typical example of Gift-love would be that love which moves a man to work and plan and save for the future well-being of his family which he will die without sharing or seeing; of the second, that which sends a lonely or frightened child to its mother’s arms."
 
"There was no doubt which was more like Love Himself. Divine Love is Gift-love. The Father gives all He is and has to the So. The Son gives Himself back to the Father, and gives Himself to the world, and for the world to the Father, and thus gives the world (in Himself) back to the Father too."
 
 "Every Christian would agree that a man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God. But man’s love for God, from the very nature of the case, must always be very largely, and must often be entirely, a Need-love."
 
"’The highest,’ says the Imitation, ‘does not stand without the lowest.’ It would be a bold and silly creature that came before its Creator with the boast ‘I’m no beggar. I love you disinterestedly.’"
 
"Thus one Need-love, the greatest of all, either coincides with or at least makes a main ingredient in man’s highest, healthiest, and most realistic spiritual condition. A very strange corollary follows. Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?"
 
"We must distinguish two things which might both possibly be called ‘nearness to God’. One is likeness to God. … Angels, we believe, have likenesses which Man lacks; immortality and intuitive knowledge. … But, secondly, there is what we mean, the states in which a man is ‘nearest’ to God are those in which he is most surely and swiftly approaching his final union with God, vision of God and enjoyment of God. And as soon as we distinguish nearness-by-likeness and nearness-by-approach, we see that they do not necessarily coincide. They may or may not."
 
2 Likings and Loves for the Sub-Human
 
Need-Pleasures vs. Plesasures of Appreciation
 
"Now it is a very old discovery that pleasures can be divided into two classes; those which would not be pleasures at all unless they were preceded by desire, and those which are pleasures in their own right and need no such preparation. An example of the first would be a drink of water. This is a pleasure if you are thirsty and a great one if you are very thirsty. … An example of the other class would be the unsought and field or a row of sweet-peas meeting you on your morning walk. You were in want of nothing, completely great, is an unsolicited, super-added gift."
 
"When Need-pleasures are in question we tend to make statements about ourselves in the past tense; when Appreciative pleasures are in question we tend to make statements about the object in the present tense."
 
"The smell of frying food is very different before and after breakfast. And, if you will forgive me for citing the most extreme instance of all, have there not for most of us been moments (in a strange town) when the sight of the word GENTLEMEN over a door has roused a joy almost worthy of celebration in verse?" <– not apply to me here
 
"Pleasures of Appreciation are very different. They make us feel that something has not merely gratified our senses in fact but claimed our appreciation by right."
 
"Scientifically both sorts of pleasures are, no doubt, relative to our organisms. But the Need-pleasures loudly proclaim their relativity not only to the human frame but to its momentary condition, and outside that relation have no meaning or interest for us at all. The objects which afford pleasures of Appreciation gives us the feeling — whether irrational or not — that we somehow owe it to them to savour, to attend to and praise it."
 
"How the Need-pleasures foreshadow our Need-loves is obvious enough. In the latter the beloved is seen in relation to our own needs, just as the scullery tap is seen by the thirsty man or the glass of gin by the alcoholic. And the Need-love, like the Need-pleasure, will not last longer than the need."
 
"Our Need-love for God is in a different position because our need of Him can never end either in this world or in any other. But our awareness of it can, and then the Need-love dies too."
 
"But in the Appreciative pleasures, even at their lowest, and more and more as they grow up into the full appreciation of all beauty, we get something that we can hardly help calling love and hardly help calling disinterested, towards the object itself. It is the feeling which would make a man unwilling to deface a great picture even if he were the last man left alive and himself about to die; which makes us glad of unspoiled forests that we shall never see; which makes us anxious that the garden or bean-field should continue to exist. We do not merely like the things; we pronounce them, in a momentarily God-like sense, ‘very good’."
 
The Third Type of Love — Appreciative Love
 
"It has revealed to me a deficiency in our previous classification of the loves into those of Need and those of Gift. There is a third element in love, no less important than these, which is foreshadowed by our Appreciative pleasures. This judgement that the object is very good, this attention (almost homage) offered to it as a kind of debt, this wish that it should be and should continue being what it is even if we were never to enjoy it, can go not only to things but to persons. When it is offered to a woman we call it admiration; when to a man, hero-worship; when to God, worship simply."
 
"Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: ‘We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.’ Need-love says of a woman ‘I cannot live without her’; Gife-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection — if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all."
 
To be continued…
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