The Rev. Jack King, a new Writer for the Center for Theology, provides the church with a personal reflection on C. S. Lewis’ explanation of rightly ordered desire, explained in the book “The Four Loves.” Take some time to read Jack’s excellent piece in the Spring edition of the Center for Theology.
Jack relates Lewis’ understanding of rightly ordered passion to the Anglican tradition of lex orandi, lex credendi–the law of prayer is the law of belief. The Anglican tradition emphasizes that our beliefs should be shaped by our prayer and common worship, which molds our hearts and minds to become authentic believers. Rather than allowing our hearts or authentic feelings to govern the themes of our prayers and worship, Anglicans submit themselves to a tradition of prayers, confessions, creeds, and worship so that our minds, hearts, and feelings are ordered rightly unto God.
Jack shows how the proper ordering of our hearts, loves, and passions is vital to fulfilling our callings as Christians. While our creative energies, talents, and gifts come from God, they cannot realize their potential unless they are continually submitted to Christ’s authority and open to the refining work of the Holy Spirit. The submission to a right ordering of our desire does not stifle our affections or relationships; rather, submission to God increases our love, desire, and affections so that our lives are actually improved and our loves intensified. As Jack says:
Not only is God the supreme love above all other loves, He orders the affections of our hearts. Without the ordering of our loves and affections, anyone may become a rival for our supreme love of God—our spouse, our child, our dearest friend. More than once in the Gospels do we hear Jesus requiring total allegiance of one’s heart above any other human relationship. Yet the mystery we discover through the sanctification of the Spirit is that our relationships are not lessened when they are ordered in Christ—they are enriched and fulfilled.
Please take some time today to read Jack’s thoughtful piece.