Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

C.S. Lewis’ ‘Four Loves’ Defines The Ultimate Love

By CHRISTINE SMOLYNSKY, Special Contributor | Published March 4, 2004

We all long to love and be loved. We’re made for it. But do we know what we ask, when we ask for love? We toss around, stretch, beat and mold the word “love” into so many different square pegs which we then attempt to cram into the round holes of our hearts—that we’re not sure what this love, which we so desire, is anymore. To find what we seek we must know what we are seeking.

C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves” paints a vivid picture of the love for which we all long. He sketches the outlines of natural and supernatural love. Distinguishing between the general forms of “need,” “gift” and “appreciative” love, he also solidly establishes the distinctions, motivations, and dangers of the particular natural loves, “affection,” “friendship,” and “eros.” He leads the reader to recognize the transforming power the supernatural love of caritas (Christian charity) has over the natural loves. We then more clearly understand, and so are more likely to find, accept, and practice, the love we seek.

Lewis claims the greatest gift of all, far beyond the immortalization of our natural loves, is the gift of a supernatural, appreciative-love of God. With this love, we are lost in awe and gaze in adoration of the God who created us, delighting in the fulfillment of his everlasting and most tender embrace.

‘Holy Grounds’ Lenten Coffeehaus Series

To learn more about “The Four Loves” and many other interesting spiritual topics, come to “Holy Grounds,” a unique Lenten Coffeehaus Series for young adults. The series will be held on five consecutive Wednesdays during Lent, March 3-31. The first four weeks will be held at two locations simultaneously: Bear Rock Cafe, 2355 Peachtree Road in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center, Buckhead, and the Atlanta Bread Company, 1056 North Point Circle in North Point Mall, Alpharetta. Gathering is at 7 p.m. and the program, featuring a talk, small group discussions and Q & A, starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Alpharetta location and 8 p.m. at the Buckhead location. Paul Voss, Ph.D., a professor of English literature at Georgia State University, will be one of the featured speakers. His talk, based on CS Lewis’s book, is entitled, “The Four Loves: A Guide to Catholic Living.” The series will culminate on March 31 with everyone coming together at St. Andrew’s Family Life Center, 675 Riverside Rd, Roswell, for a talk by Msgr. David Tally on “It is Finished: John 19:30” followed by praise and worship music and eucharistic adoration. There will be coffee and desserts served afterward. For a complete list of speakers and topics, visit For more information, contact Ann Blasick at or (404) 885-7222. Registration is not required.