The Four Loves
Chapter 2: Affection (storgé)
Storgé–“affection, especially of parents to offspring” (31) II.
Maternal love is gift-love, but also need-love: it needs to be needed. (32) Was it Maternal Affection or a more sublime love that kept the Blessed Virgin at her crucified Son’s side? III.
Affection attaches itself to what is familiar, even if it lacks attractive qualities. (33, 32) A.
Is often mixed with the other loves, e.g., friendship, erotic love, and seals their gaps. (34–35) Cf.: 1.
“Sentiment” and “affection” (LR 110, 113)
“Tenderness” (LR 204)
“Affection opens our eyes to goodness we could not have seen, or should not have appreciated with it.” (37) How is Affection different from fondness? 1.
“The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet each day.” (Mother Teresa?) 2.
“it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who ‘happen to be there.’” (37) 3.
Cf. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince (ch.21): the fox on “Taming”. C.
It is not the same as charity, because it easily becomes jealous of God. D.
It “is responsible for nine tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.” (53) IV.
Affection’s dark side; in itself, it is ambivalent and can work for good or ill. (38) A.
Distortions of need-love
We have a reasonable expectation of affection, but no “right” to expect it of anyone, e.g., Mr. Pontifex in The Way of All Flesh, King Lear. One could be unlovable; “If you would be loved, be lovable”—Ovid, Ars Amoris. (40, 41) 2.
Affection may take liberties, but is not a license to be egoistical, or to be uncivil. “The root principle for both [public and domestic courtesy] is the same: ‘that no one give any kind of preference to himself.’… Affection at its best practices a courtesy that is incomparably more subtle,...
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