Love and Reason

“Charity, as we have seen, is the soul’s natural light, and was created by the Author of Nature for seeing God. There are two eyes to this spiritual vision, forever straining to see the light which is God, and their names are Love and Reason….And when I say that these two help each other, I mean that reason instructs love, and love enlightens reason. Reason merges into the affectivity of love, and love consents to be limited by reason. Then it is that they can achieve great things.”
-William of St Thierry (emphasis mine)


5 thoughts on “Love and Reason

  1. So I have gone over it again and again (I even drew a complex diagram). “Charity?” I am a bit restless with this definition. From whence is this passage taken? Perhaps context would be helpful to me.

    Love without reason, and reason without love can butcher the soul. Quite the difficult, and vital balance (affectivity and reason's limitation).

    I have heard many people advise others not to “go with” or “rely on,” their emotions. I pose this question; If our emotions are so unreliable, then what are they good for? Is it merely to balance?

  2. I think, friend, that only people like you and I in this culture we live in would ask that question. The ancients would never have tried to find where the one begins and the other ends – but rather see they are inextricably tied. You cannot have emotion which is not physical or reasonable and you cannot have physicality or reason without emotion. I would say that emotions can be “relied on” because they are part of the diving nature from whence we derive our being, but just as in the Divine, they are not separate from the mind (and actions) of God.


  3. Wise statement. It seems that my philosophy has been malformed by our culture. It looks to be a deeper wound than I had thought. Praise God for His Church, and the sharpening of one another.

  4. You and I both. I know that we will never see the extent of our culture-warped worldview so I join you in thanksgiving for saints that have gone before and those that now surround us (that means you too!).

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