“…For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues – ‘kindness’ or mercy – that most of us do not feel anything expect kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad.”
When C.S. Lewis wrote these words in 1940, “Kindness,” ruled the day, but now over 70 years later, “Love,” rules. Starting somewhere - in the 1960’s I’d assume – love became the new pet virtue.
What we’ve seen is that our definition and understanding of love, that is what we’ve been conditioned to recognize as love, is nothing more than the obtaining of sex. And, therefore, the denial of sex is pure hatred. We’ve been had. We have been lied to.
The lie is that sex is the true meaning of love. Whether this happened by some terrible accident of marketing, “Sex sells,” or it was some grand scheme of the devil (who needs no congratulations if it was) I don’t know. But what I do know is that the conditioning we’ve been conditioned to know as reality is truly a fiction.
A reconditioning not just of our knowledge but also of our feelings is what is required. We can know all we want about the facts of what Christian (and by that I mean true) love is, but that ought to influence our hearts – our emotions. Our conditioned understanding of love as sex must be reoriented to the true meaning of love, God.
But still more we must understand all virtues in this manner. This is the heart side of the matter of belief. In faith our emotions are impacted in a biblical way. So things that are truly unjust are seen and felt as such; things that are kind are seen as kind; and love is seen as Love.
Yet we live in – as Lewis called them – pockets and in these pockets we have convinced ourselves of our own goodness, our virtuousness. But as we look from our 21st Century pocket to the pocket of the Middle Ages we call them cruel and mean while they would see themselves as courageous and chivalrous and us as cowardly and apathetic.
Indeed we ought to really be a horror to God and ourselves. Our pet virtue of love is really no virtue at all just a selfish desire of sexual satisfaction and our understanding of our own time’s, “goodness,” is simply because no one has yet interfered with us to the point of physical violence with them (while mental violence has already accosted them).
We must relearn what it is to be truly human and that by the blood of the cross.