Saturday, January 24, 2015

#566


On Monday, January 26th we will begin discussing The Problem of Pain - 6:15pm in the Conference Room at the Library.  It is never too late to join us.  Send an email to me for the discussion guide.  Also, see the Lewis Letter posted on this blog (a separate page accessible by clicking the option to the right) for another resource on this topic.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#565


Continuing the theme of Christian Unity, in 1950 Lewis wrote a separate Preface for The Problem of Pain for a French edition:

"I was asked to write a few words of introduction to this book for French readers, who might at first find something ambiguous in my position.  Who, one might ask, is this Anglican layman, translated and introduced by Catholics, who, on the frontispiece of The Screwtape Letters, brings together a quotation from Sir Thomas More and one from Martin Luther?  Is he unaware of the differences between Christians, or does he consider them unimportant?  By no means.  As a Christian, I am very much aware that our divisions grieve the Holy Spirit and hold back the work of Christ; as a logician I realize that when two churches affirm opposing positions, these cannot be reconciled.
   But because I was an unbeliever for a long time, I perceived something which perhaps those brought up in the Church do not see.  Even when I feared and detested Christianity, I was struck by its essential unity, which, in spite of its divisions, it has never lost.  I trembled on recognizing the same unmistakable aroma coming from the writings of Dante and Bunyan, Thomas Aquinas and William Law.
   Since my conversion, it has seemed my particular task to tell the outside world what all Christians believe.  Controversy I leave to others: that is the business of theologians.  I think that you and I, the laity, simple soldiers of the Faith, will best serve the cause of reconciliation not so much by contributing to such debates, but by our prayers, and by sharing all that can already be shared of Christian life..."

This information was found in Walter Hooper's C.S. Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life and Works

Monday, January 19, 2015

#564


I do not always pay attention to the things going on around me and this means I learn new things everyday.  Today I found out that this week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  It does happen that Lewis wrote about Christian unity in numerous places.  Below is a letter from Lewis to Father Don Giovanni Calabria dated September 6, 1947:

"Thank you for your letter, full of love and goodwill.  Be assured that for me too the schism in the Body of Christ is both a source of grief and a matter of prayers . . ."

The complete letter is worth posting on this blog, but it is late and I am tired.  This letter can be found in The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis or Volume II of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis.  Besides this particular letter Lewis had very good things to say about Christian unity and reunion and worth the time to look up.  Off the top of my head see Mere Christianity, especially in the Preface.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#563


John Piper has a new book about C.S. Lewis out.  A collection of pieces from Desiring God Ministries' Conference over a year ago.  See the website for details, including a free PDF download option for the book.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#562


This is the last "movie review" with a movie dealing with the problem of evil/pain/suffering.  Calvary is a new release, available at the library and I believe I have seen it in the Redbox kiosks in my area.  Brendan Gleeson (pictured above) stars as a parish priest, Father James, in modern day Ireland.  The movie opens in the confessional with an individual informing the priest that he is going to kill him in one week.  The individual on the other side of the confessional screen was sexually abused by a priest as a child and wants revenge.  Unable to get revenge on the actual priest who committed the abuse due to his death at some time in the past, the abused man thinks it would be a real statement, a satisfying way to get his revenge, by killing a Good Priest.  Father James is a good priest and we follow his life for a week as he deals with the threat.  Evil, pain, and suffering are everywhere in the movie, but presented as the daily life of a priest as he deals with his parishioners and community.  Ultimately, there is no philosophical answer to the problem of evil, but to respond with forgiveness.  The movie is dark and troubling in places, not a movie for the children to watch, but a good movie worth your time if it fits your sensibilities.



A video review from Father Barron, he does tell you how the movie ends, so this is your spoiler alert.  I found out about the movie by watching this review and still enjoyed the movie, even though I knew how it would end.  I think a good movie is a good movie.  If knowing the ending is such an issue why do I keep watching Star Wars again and again?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

#561

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
I have an urge to tell the world that Lewis is alive and well whenever I see signs of him.  Yesterday, I was in DC and went to the Basilica for Mass.  In the bookstore I found a whole shelf of C.S. Lewis books.  I do not know if he is selling since the bookshelf was completely full.  Then again, all the other shelves were completely full - either nothing is selling or they try and keep the shelves full.  I was going to take a picture, but if you go to post #200, March 2011, I did just that.  I was not going to post this until I left the Basilica and was walking through the campus of Catholic University and passed a young student carrying his books.  The only visible book had C.S. Lewis in big letters on the cover. My update: Lewis is alive and well at the Basilica in DC and on the campus as well.