Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Comes Knowledge, Then Comes Love

“Knowledge must ever precede the exercise of the affections. We feel gratitude and love, we feel indignation and dislike, when we have informations actually put before us which are to kindle those several emotions. We love our parents, as our parents, when we know them to be our parents; we must know concerning God, before we can feel love, fear, hope, or trust towards Him. …The formula, which embodies a dogma for the theologian, readily suggests an object for the worshipper. It seems a truism to say, yet it is all that I have been saying, that in religion the imagination and affections should always be under the control or reason. Theology may stand as a substantive science, though it be without the life of religion; but religion cannot maintain its ground at all without theology.”

Basically what Newman is saying here is that knowledge is ordered to love. You cannot love what you do not know! If you claim to love someone, you want to know as much as possible about them. It is for this reason that every Christian, in some sense, should be a theologian! We should desire to know as much as possible about God, so that our love for Him grows more and more. Faith and reason are not opposites. To know is to love.

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