We all long to love and be loved. We’re made for it. But do we know what we ask, when we ask for love? We toss around, stretch, beat and mold the word “love” into so many different square pegs which we then attempt to cram into the round holes of our hea...
The first distinction I made was therefore between what I called Gift-love and Need-love. The typical example of Gift-love would be that love which moves a man to work and plan and save for the future well-being of his family which he will die without sharing or seeing; of the second, that which sends a lonely or frightened child to its mother's arms. 我首先將愛劃分為給予之愛與需求之愛。給予之...
The first distinction I made was therefore between what I called Gift-love and Need-love. The typical example of Gift-love would be that love which moves a man to work and plan and save for the future well-being of his family which he will die without sharing or seeing; of the second, that which sends a lonely or frightened child to its mother's arms.
But man's love for God, from the very nature of the case, must always be very largely, and must often be entirely, a Need-love. This is obvious when we implore forgiveness for our sins or support in our tribu- lations. But in the long run it is perhaps even moreapparent in our growing for it ought to be grow- ing awareness that our whole being by its very nature is one vast need; incomplete, preparatory, empty yet cluttered, crying out for Him wlio can untie things that are now knotted together and tie up things that are still dangling loose. I do not say that man can never bring to God anything at all but sheer Need-love. Exalted souls may tell us of a reach beyond that. But they would also, I think, be the first to tell us that those heights would cease to be true Graces, would become Neo-Platonic or finally diabolical illusions, the moment a man dared to think that he could live on them and henceforth drop out the element of need. "The highest," says the Imitation, "does not stand without the lowest." It would be a bold and silly crea- ture that came before its Creator with the boast "I'm no beggar. I love you disinterestedly." Those who come nearest to a Gift-love for God will next moment,even at the very same moment, be beating their breasts with the publican and laying their indigence before the only real Giver. And God will have it so. He addresses our Need-love: "Come unto me all ye that travail and are heavy-laden," or, in the Old Testament, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it."
人對上帝的愛就其本質而言，必定在很大程度上始終是需求之愛，往往還純粹是需求之愛。這點在我們祈求罪得赦免、患難中祈求幫助時顯得尤為明顯。從長遠來看，隨著意識的不斷成熟，我們也許會更清楚地發現：我們整個的存在本質上就是一個巨大的需求；我們的存在不完整，尚處初始階段，空虛而混沌；我們向上帝呼求，唯有他能夠解開糾結、拾綴鬆散之物。我並不是說，除純粹的需求之愛外，人不能帶給上帝什麼。高尚之人也許會告訴我們，他們已經超越了需求之愛。但是我想，他們也會第一個告訴我們，一旦一個人膽敢認為自己能永遠處於那樣的境界，從此拋開需求的成分，那樣的境界便不復是真正的恩典，將成為新柏拉圖主義的幻想，甚至最終淪為邪惡的幻想。《效法基督》中說到，「沒有最低者，最高者便站立不住（The highest cannot stand without thelowest）。」一個在造物主面前誇口說「我不是乞丐，我無私地愛你」的受造物，是一個愚蠢狂妄的受造物。那些對上帝的愛最接近給予之愛的人，很快、甚至當即就會與那個稅吏一起捶胸，將自己的貧乏敞露在唯一真正的給予者面前。上帝會讓我們這樣。針對我們的需求之愛，他說：「凡勞苦擔重擔的人，可以到我這裡來。」在舊約中，他也說：「你要大大張口，我就給你充滿。」
Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divine authority. Its voice tends to sound as if it were the will of God Himself. It tells us not to count the cost, it demands of us a total commitment, it at- tempts to over-ride all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done "for love's sake" is thereby lawful and even meritorious. That erotic love and love of one's country may thus attempt to "become gods" is generally recognised. But family affection may do the same. So, in a different way, may friendship.