1. Jerome

    Erotic. Another thing that many Christians avoid is the concept of Eros. I’ve heard numerous times about the other kinds: Agape, Philia and Storges, but almost every time Eros is left out of the list. Eros is the love of desire, it is not at all the same as lust, and is in fact directly opposed to it (as is all love). Lust is desiring to reduce a person to an object for sexual pleasure – it is dehumanizing. Whereas Eros desires the person in themselves. It desires the entirety of the person. I can’t emphasize that enough: it is desire for the person, and not just for one aspect of their person.

    As one holy priest I know said: “God’s love for us is not like married love. Married love is an image of God’s love” …within the Trinity, as well as for us. That is an important distinction. As Fr. Benedict Groeshel said: “God’s love for us is Eros.” God desires to take humanity to himself with all of his being. It is right and holy then that married couples long for each other and come “springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills”. God in his boundless desire for humanity does all he can to win our hearts.

    As a side note, the image “O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff…” is one of my favorite images in all of scripture, but I’m not sure what I find so enchanting about it.

    • Well said, as always, Jerome. I’ve never thought about God’s love for us being Eros, but you are totally right. God is all sides of love. I always feel awkward with the concept of Eros, I even hesitated a bit before including the word “erotic” in my blog post. I think, today in our modern age, the concept of erotic love has become synonymous with lust. We have made erotic love dirty when it isn’t at all. I think perhaps the word “erotic” has been used for lustful situations because many people in our world today cannot differentiate between lust and real love. I’ve so often heard that you can “lust for someone and love them at the same time,” which is simply untrue. Lust is not sexual desire–it is perverted sexual desire that objectifies its subject. But most people assume that sexual desire automatically equates with lust…and that’s a problem.

      As a side note, I find that phrase enchanting as well. That’s part of what I love about Song of Songs. Such beautiful imagery. 🙂

    • Brian Rebar

      Great points Jerome. I love that you used the word “dehumanizing”. You always hear “objectifying” which is true and all but we get used to it and don’t take it seriously. I feel like dehumanizing really hits home more and really paints the picture of what is actually going on. Lower another person to a level that is subhuman. No longer even human or on the same level as ourselves. Stripping them of their humanity so that we may justify our actions, thoughts, and feelings. That sort of imagery really does it for me.

  2. Brian Rebar

    I think that you and I should read the song of songs together! Bit by bit, day by day. I think if we do that, we’ll be able to understand more deeply how God loves us and we’ll be able to get a better idea of how we should love each other as a married couple. What do you think my dear? Wanna it read it together? 🙂

    • Good idea! Let’s do that! Have you read it before?

      Also, it’s a really short book. We could probably read it in one sitting, easy. Unless you want to draw it out so we can dig a little more.

      • Brian Rebar

        I’d like to draw it out and dig a little more. I feel like we can do a lot with it and gain a lot from it if we take some time. I think I’ve read bits and pieces here and there.

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