Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to believe in a certain way, and can't really get rid of it.
When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.
Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours.
As in arithmetic-there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong; but some answers are much nearer being right than others.
The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.
If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.
You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.
Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won't last forever. We must take it or leave it.
But Pride always means enmity -- it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.
The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility...According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
If we really want to learn how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo.
You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.
Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. ... We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means-the only complete realist.
Christian literature comes from Christian novelists and dramatists - not from the bench of bishops getting together and trying to write plays and novels in their spare time.
There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. It tells you to do the straight thing and it does not seem to care how painful, or dangerous, or difficult it is to do.
If you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ's body...every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who along can help them. Cutting off a man's fingers would be a odd way of getting him to do more work.
Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse - so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years!
Christian principles are, admittedly, stricter than the others; but then we think you will get help towards obeying them which you will not get towards obeying the others.
This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there's a rumor going around the shop that some of us are someday going to come to life.
If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God. But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that. You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will.
Putting on Christ'...is not one among many jobs a Christian has to do; and it is not a sort of special exercise for the top class. It is the whole of Christianity. Christianity offers nothing else at all.
Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.
To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin
It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature.
Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured and made human again.
We do know that no person can be saved except through Christ. We do not know that only those who know Him can be saved by Him.
It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power -- it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.
The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.
More C.S. Lewis Quotations (Based on Topics)
God - Man - World - Christianity - Love - Work & Career - Life - Religions & Spirituality - Mind - Books - Time - Sense & Perception - People - Vice & Virtue - Good & Evil - Present - Jesus Christ - Place - War & Peace - View All C.S. Lewis Quotations
More C.S. Lewis Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Mere Christianity
- Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
- Screwtape Letters
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Four Loves
- The Great Divorce
- The Horse and His Boy
- The Last Battle
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Magician's Nephew
- The Screwtape Letters
- The Silver Chair
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Till We Have Faces: A Novel of Cupid and Psyche
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