“The Four Loves” and Thoughts on Charity

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The sumptuous Botanical Gardens in Oxford.

The Four Loves has to be one of my favorite books by C.S. Lewis, right along with its fictional counterpart, Till We Have Faces.  It is a highly convicting read, though, and my first exposure to it this past Spring for a class in my graduate program was quite challenging for me, to tell the truth.  I am one of those affectionate sorts who can sometimes pride themselves on being able to love even the most unlovable people.  Some things that Lewis wrote in this book pierced my heart to the core.  It was a good thing for it revealed the painful truth that my love is nowhere near as unselfish as I would like to think.  Oh, how easily we deceive ourselves!

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Reason vs. Mystery in The Fox and Priest of “Till We Have Faces” (Essay by Byron Barlowe)

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Essay By Byron Barlowe

“You think the gods have sent you there? All lies of priests and poets, child . . . The god within you is the god you should obey: reason, calmness, self-discipline.”

– The Fox, Greek tutor in Till We Have Faces[1]

“Heaven forbid we should work [the garden of our human nature] in the spirit of . . . Stoics . . . We know very well that what we are hacking and pruning is big with a splendour and vitality which our rational will could never of itself have supplied. To liberate that splendour, to let it become fully what it is trying to be, to have tall trees instead of scrubby tangles, and sweet apples instead of crabs, is part of our purpose.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves[2]

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