The Four Loves

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The Four Loves

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Aug 4, 2006, 1:21 pm

Hey, all!

My small group just finished up studying the Four Loves a few months ago. We had some pretty interesting discussions since all of us come from drastically different backgrounds and our different viewpoints on agape and eros.

How about you all? Have you read it? What was the most poignant part of the book? Anything in particular that you agreed or disagreed on?

Have a great Friday,
Chelsea :)

Sep 5, 2006, 10:04 am

In my opinion, the best paragraph in The Four Loves is:

"There is no escape along the lines St. Augustine suggests. Nor along any other lines. There is no safe investment. 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 or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

Oct 19, 2013, 9:36 pm

Serendipitous find, this old old thread. I just entered my copy of The Four Loves and clicked into this topic and thought this would be a great book to re-read. I am a member of a book club called "Second Looks at Favorite Books" and this is one for our list!

This month we are reading The Shack and I can't get into it. I am told it gets better. I hope so. So far it is a giant yawn. It's not even that old, I thought, or enough old to warrant a second look. I should have gone to the last meeting and objected on those grounds alone. (We choose by consensus, one month at a time, and I have noticed that I can wield some influence...)

Oct 28, 2013, 3:27 pm

The Shack wasn't the great yawn I thought it might be. It occasioned some interesting conversation, especially about the characteristics of God. The take-away I can handle is that loving God means having loving relationships here on earth. Where else?

I was unable to jump in and offer The Four Loves and more the loss since we next meet on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, scarcely mentioned at the time for reasons of a world-class assassination that Friday. Instead we will be reading another genre we seem to have missed -- short stories. These in a book called Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You. Not a bad choice, but not C. S. Lewis. Perhaps the next time I will ask for some C.S. Lewis.

Dec 5, 2016, 4:37 pm

I am a very great fan of CSL, who is widely viewed as the most successful Evangelist of the 20th century, although sadly, not directly to the Catholic Church, even though his theology was far more Catholic than that of his native Church of England. As an Irishman, growing up in the "troubles," he could not bring himself to leave the church of his country. Probably his national pride, and service in both world wars, was more of a factor than precise theology. Yet many Catholic converts attribute their conversion to CSL, often with a good bit of help from GK Chesterton.
Can we please revive this group? I've read most CSL non-fiction, and would love to discuss. The 4 Loves is one of the more difficult for me, and remains only partially read, even though I keep hoping to better understand what Jesus meant by caritas, and if the Christians and Romans understood it.
Can you clarify?

Dec 5, 2016, 5:27 pm

>5 eschator83:

I have no great insights to share about the mystery of love, but if you're having trouble reading The Four Loves, I recommend the audiobook with Lewis reading it himself. It's available from itunes and probably a bunch of other places.

Edited: Dec 5, 2016, 6:35 pm

Many thanks for this suggestion--it echoes several of my good friends, but retention while listening has always seemed much more difficult for me. Yet your comment presses me to acknowledge that if I'm not reading, what retention can there be? I pray I'll soon be on my way to iTunes.
Welcome back to the group, please come back soon and often. Could you comment on your favorite Lewis books? My favorites are: Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce (why did he use this title for a book about heaven), Surprise by Joy, The Pilgrim's Regress, more.