The Weight of Glory

I believe that one of the fundemental problems of today's society, and consequently part of the fundemental sollution, lies in the following excerpt from C.S. Lewis. This especially applies to American Catholics, who gain the spirit of Christianity from the Puritan Protestants; this is notably ironic since Puritans are called Puritans because they wished to purify themselves of anything associated with the Catholic Church. As a result, the Puritan and Jansenist attitude towards Christianity causes American Catholics to focus on the depraved state of fallen humanity more than on the Love contained in the Incarnation, and as a result, they insult and deeply sadden the very God Whom they are trying to do right by.


If you asked twenty good men what they thought the highest of virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you 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 ideal 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. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith.
~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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