Sunday, January 15, 2012

Love is Stronger Than Death

How does love construct a self that is stronger than death? It constructs my I, not my me; my subject self, not my object self, who I am, not what I am.

What I am is determined by my heredity and environment; my without is determined from without. This is not stronger than death. But who I am is determined by my free choices to love or not to love; my within is determined from within.

This inner self, or who, is not of a given size, like the body, but is elastic. I am as much as I find my identity in, or identify with, or care about, or love. I am not a little ego imprisoned in a bag of skin; I am as big as my love. By my love I construct the self that is stronger than death.

~ Peter Kreeft, Love is Stronger Than Death (pp 42-43)

Do you agree or disagree with Kreeft?

Surely there is a difference between who we are and what we are. Does love construct the 'who' we are? If so, is it our own love, as Kreeft says, or another's love? Is it human love or divine love that gives us our identity, our strength over death?

I will post my further thoughts in the upcoming days, but I am curious to know your thoughts, dear Reader.

~ Johanna


  1. I appreciate what Kreeft is saying here, and I think I agree for the most part. It's true, certainly, that the inner landscape of our hearts is determined by the choices and responses we choose to make to external events. Two people can experience the same event and it can change them so differently.

    By the same token, it bears mentioning that God is the One who redeems the landscape of our love; we don't have the power or moral character naturally to make the right choices of forgiveness, love and contentment. The Spirit brings conviction and God does the work to changes us; after we make the conscious decision to submit ourselves to Him.

    1. Noelle,

      Eloquently said, ma'am! I happen to agree. I agreed with the quotation until he said, "I am as big as my love." This may be true, I am not certain, but I believe it is only by God's love and grace that we have selves that are stronger than death.

      We did not put our everlasting soul/spirit within ourselves. Surely it is God who does that, and God who makes us immortal - whether we choose to be immortal horrors or everlasting splendours, as Lewis said.

      It is indeed God who 'redeems the landscape' of our love, making our love have depth and 'realness' beyond anything our shadow-selves can produce (a nod to Lewis's Great Divorce).

      I think you would enjoy reading Kreeft's book if you ever have time to read. ;)

      ~ Jody

  2. If I had the foggiest what idea he was actually trying to get across, I'd comment. ^_^;