Wednesday, December 04, 2013

It's Advent Not Christmas: C.S. Lewis on Gift-love (Day Four)

"But Divine Gift-love — Love Himself working in a man — is wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved. 

Again, natural Gift-love is always directed 

to objects which the lover finds in some way intrinsically lovable — objects to which Affection or Eros or a shared point of view attracts him, 

or, failing that, 

to the grateful and the deserving, 

or perhaps 

to those whose helplessness is of a winning and appealing kind. 

But Divine Gift-love in the man enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; 

the sulky, 
the superior, 
and the sneering. 

Finally, by a high paradox, God enables men to have a Gift-love towards Himself. There is of course a sense in which no one can give to God anything which is not already His; and if it is already His, what have you given? 

But since it is only too obvious that we can withhold ourselves, our wills and hearts, from God, 

we can in that sense, also give them. 

What is His by right and would not exist for a moment if it ceased to be His (as the song is the singer's), He has nevertheless made ours in such a way that we can freely offer it back to Him."

~~C.S. Lewis, "Charity," The Four Loves.  Line-breaks mine.

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