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C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

Profound Thoughts of C.S. Lewis

on the Clergy

It is your duty to to fix the lines (of doctrine) clearly in your minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession. This is your duty not specially as Christians or as priests but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defense of those opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing in your ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative Party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of the other. -- Christian Apologetics, C. S. Lewis, Easter 1945

on Prudence

No man can order his life, for it comes flowing over him from behind . . . The one secret of life and development is not to devise and plan but to fall in with the forces at work to do every moment's duty aright that being the part in the process allotted to us: and let come not what will, for there is no such thing but what the eternal thought wills for each of us, has intended in each of us from the first.


My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not; I think your answers make me what I am. Like weary waves thought follows upon thought, But still depth beneath is all your own, And there you move in paths to us unknown. Out of strange strife your peace is strangely wrought; If the lion in us pray you answer the lamb.

What God Means by "Good"

"They are good", that is, "They are what I mean."


It is by loving and not being loved that one can come nearest to the soul of another.


What springs from myself and not from God is evil: It is a perversion of something of God's. Whatever is not of faith is sin; it is a stream cut off a stream that cuts itself off from its source and thinks to run on without it.

A Glimpse of Heaven Through the Eyes of C.S. Lewis

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can't. They tell us that "beauty born of murmuring sound" will pass into human face; but it won't. Or not yet.

For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.

The Profundity of Heaven

At present we tend to think of the soul as somehow "inside" the body. But the glorified body of the resurrection as I conceive it the sensuous life raised from its death will be inside the soul. As God is not in space but space in God.

On Understanding of Pain

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. A bad man, happy, is a man without the least inkling that his actions do not "answer", that they are not in accord with the laws of the universe . . .

Until the evil man find evil unmistakable present in his existence, in the form of pain, he is enclosed in illusion . . .

No doubt Pain as God's megaphone is a terrible instrument: it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.

on Pride

A man is never so proud as when striking an attitude of humility

Why We Must Forgive Ourself

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.

C.S. Lewis in Print

Lewis, C.S., The Great Divorce: A Fantastic Bus Ride from Hell to Heaven A Round Trip for some but not for others, Macmillan, NY, pp. 128

Lewis, C. S., Mere Christianity, Macmillan, NY, pp. 190

Lewis, C. S., The Problem of Pain: How Human Suffering Raises Almost Intolerable Intellectual Problems, MacMillan, NY, pp. 160

The Screwtape Letters: How a Senior Devil Instructs a Junior Devil in the Art of Temptation, Author: C.S. Lewis, MacMillan Publishing Co., New York, pp. 172

Lewis, C. S., Miracles: How God Intervenes in Nature and Human Affairs, Macmillan, NY, pp. 186

About C.S. Lewis

Cardinal calls Lewis probably 'most successful' apologist of century, by Tracy Early, Catholic News Service