Quotes on the theme of the order of the loves
(ancient and contemporary)

Fire tends upwards, stone downwards. By their weight they are moved and seek their proper place. Oil poured over water is borne on the surface of the water, water poured over oil sinks below the oil: it is by their weight that they are moved and seek their proper place. . . . My love is my weight: wherever I go my love is what brings me there.

Do you, then, remember how earlier in the argument we reached the conclusion that the instinctive direction of the human will, manifested through a variety of pursuits, was entirely towards happiness? I remember that this was proved as well.

The love of charity tends to God as to the principle of happiness, on the fellowship of which the friendship of charity is based. Consequently there must be some order in things loved out of charity, which order is in reference to the first principle of that love, which is God.

Persistently boiling away and burning up our vicious and inordinate desires, he [the Holy Spirit] enflames our hearts with the love of God and with zealous devotion. From this effect upon us he is justly called 'fire.

We see the world of mankind to be exceedingly busy and active; and the affections ofmen are the springs of the motion. . . . 'Tis affection that engages the covetous man, and him that is greedy of worldly profits, in his pursuits; and it is by the affections that the ambitious man is put forward in his pursuit of worldly glory; and 'tis the affections also that actuate the voluptuous man, in his pursuit of pleasure and sensual delights: the world continues, from age to age, in a continual commotion and agitation, in a pursuit of these things; but take away all affection, and the spring of all this motion would be gone and the motion itself would cease.

If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.

Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.

We are all philosophers because our condition demands it. We live every moment in a universe of seemingly eternal thoughts and ideas, yet simultaneously in the constantly churning and decaying world of our bodies and their humble situations. ... The result is a nagging need to find meaning.