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Sin made Hell, divine love made Purgatory.

— Peter Kreeft  <link>

Boredom and Sloth

Habitual boredom, boredom not just with a specific task like chopping wood for ten hours a day but boredom that is like the sky spread over everything, not only leads to sin, but it is in itself a sin. The medievals called it sloth (acedia or akedia), one of the seven deadly sins.

Sloth is not simply laziness. In fact, it does not necessarily imply any physical laziness at all. It means the passivity and inactivity of the will and the passions even in the presence of the true good. In other word, it is the soul’s refusal to eat its food. As violence is spiritual junk food, boredom is spiritual anorexia.

— Peter Kreeft, “Shocking Beauty”  <link>

Withness—that is the word of love.

— Peter Kreeft, Making Sense Out of Suffering (excerpt)  <link>

Angels tremble to gaze at things we yawn at.

— Peter Kreeft, Making Sense Out of Suffering (excerpt)  <link>

God Must Have Foreseen

So God must have foreseen all my sins and rebellions against Him, all the trouble I would cause Him, including the hell of Calvary. Yet He chose to create me. (The word foreseen is not perfect in this context, for it seems to put God into time. But it helps to get across the point.)

God knew that I would be like Adam and Peter and Pilate, and even Judas. He knew that my sin would necessitate His crucifixion if His love was to be successful in winning my soul. In the act of creation He saw the Cross. Yet, knowing the infinite price to Himself, He still chose to create me. He loved me despite the nails I put into His own body. He prayed for me from the Cross and said, “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:24) even as I crucified Him. What crazy love is this? It is love itself. It is love of the Author who chose to create a story with His own hellish agony in it, so that He could create a story with my heavenly joy in it.

— Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You  <link>

In every sin we choose to believe the devil’s lie rather than God’s truth.

— Peter Kreeft  <link>

The Premise of Love

If you have ever loved truly someone in an unselfish way, then your heart has developed an eye that perceives the intrinsic value of the beloved. Most of the time people are just objects of use or respect or admiration. They give us pleasure and their absence would give us pain, but we are not outraged by their death because it does not affect us that deeply. And we take death for granted.

But when someone close to us dies, we are outraged and we have often an argument with God. “God, how could you do this?” “Well, it’s just like everybody else…” “Yeah but…” It looks different. Why? Because your identity is so invested in that person that is as if God killed you and not them. So, if you have that agape love and if that eye in the heart awakes, then you perceive the intrinsic value of the beloved. And then you can use that premise as an argument for immortality.

The kind of thing that a human being is isn’t the kind of thing that could conceivably be just treated like dirty diapers. That is a very weak argument logically. If don’t experience that deep premise through deep love, you’re not going to be moved by that argument at all. But if you do, you are.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on “Desire” (The innate hunger for total joy)  <link>

We Don’t Know What It Is That We Want

It is very strange that we don’t know what it is that we want. Then why do we think there is anything we want? Because we want it. Why do we think we want it? Because we are unhappy.

Oh, you say that is only because we are poor or stupid or oppressed. No. It is preciously when we are rich and smart and free that we feel this desire the most. It is preciously these peak experiences, those highest moments in your life that you feel most clearly and poignantly the desire for something more. This lovers’ quarrel with the world. This happens not among the poor but among the rich, not among the uneducated but among the educated, not among the insensitive but among the sensitive.

When you see the most remarkable natural beauty or find the most complete human love or reconciliation, it is then when it looks most like a pointing finger, a prophet, an icon from heaven, a suggestion that there is something more. The perfume that you thought was its own end, when you get close to it, seems like the perfume from a beautiful woman who is unattainable, a goddess.

Maybe it is much clearer if you put it negatively. Nothing in this world is totally satisfactory. We are discontent the more self-aware we are.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on “Desire” (The innate hunger for total joy)  <link>

Just Enough Light

Pascal says, “God gives us just enough light so that those who really want to find him can, but not so much light that those who don’t really want to find him don’t have to.” So what decides your salvation is not how smart you are, but your heart, your love. Lovers will see, others won’t.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on C.S. Lewis’s “Till We Have Faces”  <link>

Deism or Pantheism or Both?

If you focus on God the Father only, you tend towards, this is wrong, you don’t have to get there, but the danger is deism. He is so transcendent and perfect and remote that the distance is infinite. If you focus on the Holy Spirit only, the danger is pantheism. He is so intimate, He is so much you that He is almost you. So to start with Christ is to get both. Both the distance and the intimacy because he is the Son of the Father and he is the center of the Spirit.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on C.S. Lewis’s “Till We Have Faces”  <link>

Love is a flower

Love is a flower, and hope is its stem. Salvation is the whole plant. God’s grace, God’s own life, comes into us by faith, like water through a tree’s roots. It rises in us by hope, like sap through the trunk. And it flowers from our branches, fruit for our neighbor’s use.

— Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith  <link>

Grace is to life as light is to color. It brings out the color, makes it more alive.

— Peter Kreeft  <link>