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C.S. Lewis on Love

C.S. Lewis on Love
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

A reading from a wedding I'm doing this weekend. Seemed appropriate on Valentine's Day:

"If the old fairy-tale ending 'They lived happily ever after' is taken
to mean 'They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the
day before they were married,' then it says what probably never was
nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were.
Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What
would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your
friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean
ceasing to love. Love in this second sense—love as distinct from
‘being in love’—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity,
maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit;
reinforced by grace which both partners ask, and receive. They can
have this love for each other even at those moments when they do
not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like
yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if
they allowed themselves, be 'in love' with someone else. 'Being in
love' first moved them to promise fidelity: This quieter love enables
them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of
marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."