The Four Loves: Eros

cupid-in-the-landscape

I now have finished my reading of the next chapter in Lewis’ The Four Loves,  a chapter on Eros. Eros is romantic or erotic relationship–but we need to think of this in its highest form. It is “being in love,” it is loving a Beloved for the Beloved’s sake. Lewis compares this love (Eros) to the highest form of love (Agape), the love that Christ has for man:

The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive wall of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and and planted the interests of another in the centre of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that. Simply to relapse from it, merely to “fall out of” love again, is–if I may coin the ugly word–a sort of disredemption. Eros is driven to promise what Eros of himself cannot perform. (p. 310)

Eros, not being itself perfect love, points toward that love which Christ has on the cross. It is the nearest imitation of Charity–of this relationship between Christ and His church (yet Eros has possibly the greatest danger of becoming an idol). This is an image of the love that we experience in Christ–a foretaste of the love to come in The Consummation.

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