Monday, August 30, 2010

A Powerfully Potent Paragraph

The first paragraph of C.S. Lewis' excellent book, The Weight of Glory, is quite possibly one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful paragraph that I have ever read (apart from Scripture).

That said, I'm only going to post the first portion of that paragraph to highlight what I've been thinking about for a week or two now;

"If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point."

A few paraphrases from my recent meditations on this paragraph:

Love does not merely sacrifice self for the sake of an other, but love does so while sincerely pursuing the happiness of the other.

Love is not the delight one takes in an other, rather it is the delight one takes in delighting the other.

The happiness of an other is the end that love is the means to.

1 comment:

Steve Spray said...

Wow, good quote. And it makes sense how we've progressed unfortunatly.