Choose a topic from Part 2A:

26. Love

1. Love is the simple appetite or appetency for good. There are three types of appetite and therefore there are three kinds of love,
(a) First, there is the natural appetite implanted in all creatures by their Creator. This is the tendency of things to maintain their existence, their being, their connatural activities. By this appetite or tendency, things are said to have a natural love of themselves. Natural appetite and natural love involve no knowledge, no awareness, in the beings that have it.
(b) In sentient creatures (men and animals) there is, in addition to natural appetency, an appetite for things which sense knowledge presents as desirable; that is, as good, as things to be gone after. By sentient appetency, for example, a dog tends to come at his master\'s call, to go after food which is known pleasingly by the sense of smell, and so on. Now, the quest of good is the expression of love of good; sentient appetency means sentient love.
(c) In man alone among earthly creatures there is a spiritual, an intellectual appetency. It is the tendency to follow and obtain what the intellect - the mind, the understanding - presents as good, as desirable. And this intellectual appetency is called the will. Man, to be sure, has natural appetency and sentient appetency; he has, in consequence, natural love of himself, and he is stirred by the sentient love which is a concupiscible passion. But man\'s spiritual and intellectual appetency is, as we have seen, in control of the sentient appetency; yet this is no despotic control, and the sentient appetites with their resultant passions are always trying, so to speak, to swing the will their way. The sentient passions are frequently permitted by the will to enter and influence the intellective soul-faculties; when so permitted, they become truly passions of the soul. The fundamental passion of the soul is sentient love which is permitted to rise into the intellective order and influence mind and will.
To sum up: the three types of love are: natural love, sentient love, intellectual or rational love. Love is a simple appetency and passion; it involves in itself no element of difficulty or of freedom from difficulty in attaining its end; it is a concupiscible appetite in the sentient order; in the will, as we have seen, there is no distinction of concupiscible and irascible tendencies.

2. Love as a passion is the undergoing, the kick-back, of the movement of appetite to good.

3. The words love, dilection, charity, and friendship are not completely synonymous, but they have a common core of meaning; dilection, charity, and friendship, are types or phases of love.

4. Love as a tendency to have or possess good is called love of desire (the ancient name is love of concupiscence); love as a tendency to do good is love of benevolence or love of well-wishing, and sometimes this is love offriendship.

"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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