“Man will never learn. He is here but for a short time.”
“Yet the propensity to idolatry in some has, throughout history, been aggravated by the penchant for domination in a few. It is a case of finding a willing victim for a ready criminal. The attraction is almost irresistible, and is akin to a sadist finding a masochist.”
J sent me the above image earlier this month, and it reminded me of CS Lewis’ commentary on one of St Augustine’s thoughts in his book – The Confessions of Saints Augustine. The following are excerpts from his book – The Four Loves.
“In words which can still bring tears to the eyes, St Augustine describes the desolation in which the death of his friend Nebridius plunged him (Confessions IV, 10). Then he draws a moral. This is what he comes, he says, of giving one’s heart to anything but God. 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.”
“I think that this passage in the Confessions is less a part of St Augustine’s Christendom than a hangover from the high-minded pagan philosophies in which he grew up. It is closer to Stoic ‘apathy’ or neo-Platonic mysticism than to charity. We follow One who wept over Jerusalem and at the grave of Lazarus, and, loving all, yet had one disciple whom, in a special sense, he ‘loved’.”
“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 your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one…But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and 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.”
To love at all is to be vulnerable. – CS Lewis
Of course, it goes without saying that he is referring to the love of man – by man.