Original Title: The Four Loves
Translation: Vasia Tzanakari
Every Christian would agree that a person's spiritual health is directly proportional to his love for God. But man's love for God, by its very nature, must be primarily, and often wholly, a love of necessity. This is evident when we ask for forgiveness for our sins or support in suffering. But in the long run it is perhaps even more evident in our growing—for growing it must be—awareness that our whole existence is by its very nature an infinite need; imperfect, preparatory, empty and at the same time burdened, in desperate need of Him who can dissolve all are tangled up and settle what is pending. I am not saying that man can offer God nothing but the absolute love of need. Blessed souls show us that they reach much higher than that. However, I think they would be the first to show us that these heights would cease to be a real divine grace, would end up being Neoplatonic or ultimately diabolical illusions, as soon as someone dared to think that he could live with them and then shake off the element of necessity. "The highest," says the Mimic, "does not stand without the lowest." Only an insolent and foolish creature would stand before his creator and gloat, “I am not a beggar. I love you selflessly." Those who come nearer to the love of offering for God, immediately afterwards, perhaps at the same time, will be beaten and expose their poverty before the only one who truly offers generously. And He, God, will accept it. It appeals to our love of need: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden," or to the Old Testament, "Open your mouth, and I will fill it."