Saturday, August 26, 2006

Charity

'Charity' now means simply what used to be called 'alms' - that is, giving to the poor. Originally it had a much wider meaning. (You can see how it got the modern sense. If a man as 'charity', giving to the poor is one of the most obvious things he does, and so people came to talk as if that were the whole of charity. In the same way, 'rhyme' is the most obvious thing about poetyr,and so people come to mean by 'poetry' simply rhyme and nothing more.) Charity means 'Love, in the Christian sense'. But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity


Thomas and I often have discussions with the children and each other about feelings. Feelings are overrated.

4 comments:

thomasw said...

yep, life would be much simpler if one could be a charitable 'spock' or 'data'.

Stacy said...

Yes, I agree that feelings are overrated but I think there's a real tendency to try to stop emotions as opposed to rule emotions. Emotions are definitely a beautiful aspect of humanity and we have to be careful not to completely remove them from our understanding of love because they are a part of our ontology... after all, we are not gnostics. But yes, I agree that they have fallen with the rest of humanity. Their role is powerful, but as you said, it's often very distorted, which is unfortunate because when they are submissive they are quite gorgeous!

kimberley said...

hear hear!

thomasw said...

stacy -> i think your stop/rule distinction is merely semantic. I think Ramone and I both would argue you can't 'stop' emotions, but you can be their master and 'rule' over them.

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