“Our temptation is constantly to project on to the things and persons around us expectations they are unable to fulfill, and so to shrink both them and ourselves. We reduce the fathomless meaning of the other (fathomless because of its opening out to God) to the dimensions of our own need; we enslave ourselves to objects of desire that pretend to a finality and all-embracingness they cannot have. If we try to love human beings independently of loving God, we ignore what they are; we do indeed ‘use’ them, in the contemporary sense of the word, we make them serve our purposes, and in so doing make ourselves their servants in a sense quite opposed to the mutual serving of the members of Christ’s body.”
~ Rowan Williams, On Augustine
“God is calling us to so greatly love others that we do not desire for them anything that might separate them from God. Holy sexuality is a love so big that it treasures the purity of another, exonerating that person’s status as an image bearer or a daughter or son of the king and not dehumanizing him or her through manipulating lust.”
~ Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, Openness Unhindered
When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some “disinterested,” because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the “lord of terrible aspect,” is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, not the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable , exacting as love between the sexes.
– C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain 46-47
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true Love consists not; love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat
In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale
By which to heav’nly Love thou maist ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the Beasts no Mate for thee was found.
~ Milton, Paradise Lost. Book 8 (588-594).