Wednesday, October 7, 2015

No love without judgment; no judgment more searing than that of love

"Only that love which pronounces judgment on all that is not love is in the deepest sense a restoring and saving love.  At the same time, no judgment pierces so deep as the judgment of love; and whatever refuses to be won by the reckless self-giving of love cannot be won at all."

     Anders Nygren, Agape and eros, trans. Philip S. Watson (Philadelphia:  The Westminster Press, 1938), 104.
     I was reminded of this by Louis Bouyer, who, despite his predictably heavy criticism of Nygren (in which I concur), agrees with him on this point:
It is the very grandeur of agape to will that love not transcend judgment except by accomplishing it.  More precisely, where love reigns (says Nygren himself, here [for once] faithful to Saint John), those who open themselves up to it are beyond all judgment, but, for those who refuse it, no further recourse is possible.  As he is not afraid to say, there is, finally, no judgment more inexorable than that of love, and if love comes to condemn us, the condemnation is total and without recourse. 
     Louis Bouyer, Religieux et clercs contre Dieu (Paris:  Aubier Montaigne, 1975), 90, translation mine.  Bouyer does not provide a citation, but p. 104 (above) seems to fit the bill.

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