Saturday, August 27, 2016

#823



A highlight from Will Vaus' C.S. Lewis Summer Tour.

Friday, August 26, 2016

#822


   "Our temptation is to look eagerly for the minimum that will be accepted. We are in fact very like honest but reluctant taxpayers. We approve of an income tax in principle. We make our returns truthfully. But we dread a rise in the tax. We are very careful to pay no more than is necessary. And we hope—we very ardently hope—that after we have paid it there will still be enough left to live on.  And notice that those cautions which the tempter whispers in our ears are all plausible. Indeed, I don’t think he often tries to deceive us (after early youth) with a direct lie. The plausibility is this. It is really possible to be carried away by religious emotion—enthusiasm as our ancestors called it—into resolutions and attitudes which we shall, not sinfully but rationally, not when we are more worldly but when we are wiser, have cause to regret. We can become scrupulous or fanatical; we can, in what seems zeal but is really presumption, embrace tasks never intended for us. That is the truth in the temptation. The lie consists in the suggestion that our best protection is a prudent regard for the safety of our pocket, our habitual indulgences, and our ambitions. But that is quite false. Our real protection is to be sought elsewhere: in common Christian usage, in moral theology, in steady rational thinking, in the advice of good friends and good books, and (if need be) in a skilled spiritual director. Swimming lessons are better than a lifeline to the shore. 
 For of course that lifeline is really a death line. There is no parallel to paying taxes and living on the remainder. For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.”He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing “of our own”left over to live on, no “ordinary”life. I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include much leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian they would be as much part of his “religion,”his “service,”as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts. What cannot be admitted—what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy—is the idea of something that is “our own,”some area in which we are to be “out of school,”on which God has no claim. 
 For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him."

From a "A Slip of the Tongue" as found in The Weight of Glory

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#821


"God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."

Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 3

Friday, August 12, 2016

#820

Picture found HERE
Last night I stayed up to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower.  Between 1am and 2am I probably saw 20 streaks of light across the night sky.  I was out with my dog and I attempted to show her the cause for my late night activity.  When I pointed, of course, she simply looked at my finger.  This reminded me of a Lewis quote from the essay "Dogma and the Universe":

“We are inveterate poets.  When a quantity is very great, we cease to regard it as mere quantity.  Our imaginations awake. Instead of mere quantity, we now have a quality – the sublime. Unless this were so, the merely arithmetical greatness of the galaxy would be no more impressive than the figures in a telephone directory. It is thus, in a sense, from ourselves that the material universe derives its power to over-awe us. To a mind which did not share our emotions, and lacked our imaginative energies, the argument from size would be sheerly meaningless. Men look on the starry heavens with reverence: monkeys do not. The silence of the eternal spaces terrified Pascal, but it was the greatness of Pascal that enabled them to do so. When we are frightened by the greatness of the universe, we are (almost literally) frightened by our own shadows: for these light years and billions of centuries are mere arithmetic until the shadow of man, the poet, the maker of myth, falls upon them. I do not say we are wrong to tremble at his shadow; it is a shadow of an image of God. But if ever the vastness of matter threatens to overcross our spirits, one must remember that it is matter spiritualized which does so. To puny man, the great nebula in Andromeda owes in a sense its greatness.”

The entire essay is worth the read and can most readily be found in God in the Dock.  The one line hit me last night, that my dog is like a monkey and all other animals who do not "look on the starry heavens with reverence."





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

#819

Dust Jacket from 1st Edition
Speaking of Narnia, my little corner of the internet was alive this morning with news that there is movement on bringing The Silver Chair to the Silver Screen.  We shall wait and see, and hope, for more good news.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

#818


Lucy, Lucy and Lucy Barfield is a play opening at the Edinburgh Festival - NOW.  It seems this is completely new (I find no reviews) so I have no idea if this is something worth seeing, though I would give it a shot if I happened to be in Edinburgh.  I was searching for something to post and came across this at The Guardian.

Friday, July 29, 2016

#817

Buy this book HERE

Another THIS DATE IN HISTORY blog post:

July 29, 1954, Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring is published.

A year and a half prior to publication Lewis wrote Tolkien the letter below, dated November 13, 1952:

     Mr dear Tollers

     Just a note to tell you with what agreeable warmth and weight your yesterday's good news lies on my mind - with an inward chuckle of deep content.  Foremost of course is the sheer pleasure of looking forward to having the book to read and re-read.  But a lot of other things come in.  So much of your whole life, so much of our joint life, so much of the war, so much that seemed slipping away quite spurlos into the past, is now, in a sort made permanent.
     And I am of course very glad on your account too.  I think the very prolonged pregnancy has drained a little vitality from you:  there'll be a new ripeness and freedom when the book's out.  And how pleased Priscilla and Mrs. Farrer will be.  God bless you.

     J.