Nearness of Likeness & Nearness of Approach

Thought I’d share a very helpful and intriguing quote from C.S. Lewis that I have been thinking about in relation to the stuff in my previous post. It’s on the question of being image-bearers and yet cut off from the Image of God…(my language, not Lewis’). IMG_6850Forgive me if it seems a bit out of context – short of copying the whole book up here, I couldn’t think of an easy solution. I’d highly recommend reading the whole thing, anyway!

Our loves do not make their claim to divinity until the claim becomes plausible. It does not become plausible until there is in them a real resemblance to God, to Love Himself. Let us here make no mistake. Our Gift-loves are really God-like; and among our Gift-loves those are most God-like which are most boundless and unwearied in giving. All the things the poets say about them are true. Their joy, their energy, their patience, their readiness to forgive, their desire for the good of the beloved – all this is a real and all but adorable image of the Divine life. In its presence we are right to thank God “who has given such power to men.” We may say, quite truly and in an intelligible sense, that those who love greatly are “near” to God. But of course it is “nearness by likeness”. It will not of itself produce “nearness of approach”. The likeness has been given to us. It has no necessary connection with that slow and painful approach which must be our own (though by no means our unaided) task. Meanwhile, however, the likeness is a splendour. That is why we may mistake Like for Same. We may give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe only to God. Then they become gods: then they become demons. Then they will destroy us, and also destroy themselves. For natural loves that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred.

From C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves, (1960), p.13.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Book, Quotation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s