C.S. Lewis Quotes

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1. “Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

Tags : Friendship
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

2. “We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”

Tags : Expectations Experience Grief Mourning Others Personal Experience Reality Suffering
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

3. “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”

Tags : Belief Life And Death Truth
Author : C.S. Lewis

4. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

Tags : Fear Grief Sorrow
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

5. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Tags : Christianity Faith Religion Sun
Author : C.S. Lewis

6. “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”

Tags : Christianity God Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis

7. “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

Tags : God Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

8. “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning...”

Tags : Atheism Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis

9. “He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.”

Tags : God Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis

10. “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Tags : Faith God Jesus
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

11. “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”

Tags : Faith Unfathomable
Author : C.S. Lewis

12. “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

Tags : Life Meaning Universe
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

13. “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Tags : God Pain
Author : C.S. Lewis

14. “Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”

Tags : Stupid
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Magician's Nephew

15. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Tags : Freedom Morality Politics Wisdom
Author : C.S. Lewis

16. “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”

Tags : Character Development Education Ethics
Author : C.S. Lewis

17. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

Tags : Free Will Hell
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Great Divorce

18. “For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.”

Tags : Free Will God John Judas
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

19. “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they've got to be free.Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (...) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”

Tags : Evil Free Will Good
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Case for Christianity

20. “The sin both of men and of angels, was rendered possible by the fact that God gave us free will.”

Tags : Angels Free Will Men Sin
Author : C.S. Lewis

21. “And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Tags : C S Lewis God Human Inspirational Mere Christianity Religious Slavery
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

22. “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. ”

Tags : Family
Author : C.S. Lewis

23. “And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to do another and harder and better one.”

Tags : Better Cruelty Deed Demand Good Reward Unfairness
Author : C.S. Lewis

24. “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

Tags : Communication Exageration Language On Writing Power Of Words Superlatives
Author : C.S. Lewis

25. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

Tags : Books Inspirational Reading Tea
Author : C.S. Lewis

26. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

Tags : Education
Author : C.S. Lewis

27. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Tags : God World
Author : C.S. Lewis

28. “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

Tags : Christianity Forgiveness God
Author : C.S. Lewis

29. “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

Tags : God
Author : C.S. Lewis

30. “I desired dragons with a profound desire.”

Tags : Dragons
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories

31. “Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.”

Tags : Dragons
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

32. “If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.”

Tags : Animal Animal Rights Enemies Eugenics Logic
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

33. “This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, 'where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea.”

Tags : Lion Wardrobe Witch
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Chronicles of Narnia

34. “[The witch] would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

Tags : Treachery Witch
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe / The Magician's Nephew

35. “Though it was bright sunshine everyone felt suddenly cold. The only two people present who seemed to be quite at their ease were Aslan and the Witch herself. It was the oddest thing to see those two faces - the golden face and the dead-white face so close together. Not that the Witch looked Aslan exactly in his eyes; Mrs Beaver particularly noticed this.”

Tags : Lion Wardrobe Witch
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

36. “Edmund, give a special goodbye to Trumpkin for me. He's been a brick.”

Tags : Caspian Edmund Peter Prince Trumpkin
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Prince Caspian

37. “People shouldn't call for demons unless they really mean what they say.”

Tags : Demons Sincerity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Last Battle

38. “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

Tags : Books Cry Crying Decisions
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Silver Chair

39. “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”

Tags : Christianity Heaven Inspirational Narnia
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Last Battle

40. “You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for". We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.”

Tags : Heaven Literature
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

41. “Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Tags : Adult Childhood Children Maturity
Author : C.S. Lewis

42. “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.”

Tags : Forgiveness
Author : C.S. Lewis

43. “If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.”

Tags : Conceit Ego Self Worth
Author : C.S. Lewis

44. “I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”

Tags : Hurt Lewis Misery Sad Truth
Author : C.S. Lewis

45. “The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”

Tags : Action Deeds Feeling Heart
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

46. “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

Tags : Age Fairytales Growing Up
Author : C.S. Lewis

47. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Tags : Love
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

48. “How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask-half our great theological and metaphysical problems-are like that.”

Tags : Metaphysical Metaphysics Nonsense Questioning Mind Questions Theology
Author : C.S. Lewis

49. “He's not safe, but he's good (referring to Aslan, the Lion, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)”

Tags : Fantasy God Goodness Safety Security
Author : C.S. Lewis

50. “Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old.”

Tags : Books Literary Reading Reading Habits
Author : C.S. Lewis

51. “I don't want to hold you hand!”

Tags : Hands
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Prince Caspian

52. “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

Tags : Christian Values Humility Pride
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

53. “Nothing will shake a man-or at any rate a man like me-out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.”

Tags : Belief God S Will Grief Self Awareness Torture
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

54. “I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills which he cannot help. This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know. God may call any one of us to respond to some far away problem or support those who have been so called. But we are finite and he will not call us everywhere or to support every worthy cause. And real needs are not far from us.”

Tags : Social Justice
Author : C.S. Lewis

55. “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.”

Tags : Behavior Dislike Good Turns Injury Kindness Like Love
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

56. “No one can say 'He jests at scars who never felt a wound' for I have never for one moment been in a state of mind to which even the imagination of serious pain was less than intolerable. If any man is safe from the danger of under-estimating this adversary, I am that man.”

Tags : Explains A Lot Preface
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

57. “The educated man, habitually, almost without noticing it, sees the present as something that grows out of a long perspective of centuries. In my the minds of my RAF hearers this perspective simply did not exist. It seemed to me that they did not really believe that we have any reliable knowledge of historic man. But this was often curiously combined with a conviction that we knew a great deal about Prehistoric Man: doubtless because Prehistoric Man is labelled "Science" (which is reliable) whereas Napoleon or Julius Caesar is labelled as "History" (which is not.”

Tags : History Julius Caesar Napoleon Prehistory Raf Science
Author : C.S. Lewis

58. “The claim to equality, outside of the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.”

Tags : Equality Inferiority
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

59. “Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion. "Please," she said, "you're so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I'd sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”

Tags : Aslan Eaten Fed God Submission
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Horse and His Boy

60. “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

Tags : Aspiration Pride Self Improvement
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

61. “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”

Tags : Pride
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

62. “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Tags : Adult Childishness Maturity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

63. “A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”

Tags : Christianity Temptation
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

64. “Whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out...”

Tags : Human Nature Temptation
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

65. “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”

Tags : New Beginnings
Author : C.S. Lewis

66. “An almost perfect relationship with his father was the earthly root of all his wisdom. From his own father, he said, he first learned that Fatherhood must be at the core of the universe. [speaking of George MacDonald]”

Tags : Father Fatherhood Wisdom
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Phantastes

67. “Now we cannot...discover our failure to keep God's law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going tobring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, "You must do this. I can't.”

Tags : Effort God Surrender
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

68. “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

Tags : Hearts Heaven Hell Love Pets Unloving Vulnerability Selfishness
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

69. “The two things that came out clearly were the sense of reality in the background and the mythical value: the essence of myth being that it should have no taint of allegory to the maker and yet should suggest incipient allegories to the reader.[C.S. Lewis writes to J.R.R. Tolkien on December 7, 1929]”

Tags : Allegory Lord Of The Rings Myth
Author : C.S. Lewis

70. “Nowhere in Chaucer do we find what can be called a radically allegorical poem.”

Tags : Allegory Chaucer
Author : C.S. Lewis

71. “It is well to have specifically holy places, and things, and days, for, without these focal points or reminders, the belief that all is holy and "big with God" will soon dwindle into a mere sentiment. But if these holy places, things, and days cease to remind us, if they obliterate our awareness that all ground is holy and every bush (could we but perceive it) a Burning Bush, then the hallows begin to do harm.”

Tags : Holy Days Observance Omnipresence Sanctity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

72. “If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilised morality to savage morality.”

Tags : Morality Morals
Author : C.S. Lewis

73. “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

Tags : Miracles
Author : C.S. Lewis

74. “Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.”

Tags : Appreciation Enjoyment Nature Senses Silence Solitude Talking Walking
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

75. “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,...Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

Tags : Compromise Hell Incrementalism
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

76. “Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.”

Tags : Compromise
Author : C.S. Lewis

77. “Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”

Tags : Astronomy Experience God Sunlight Woods
Author : C.S. Lewis

78. “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

Tags : Blessings
Author : C.S. Lewis

79. “But one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.”

Tags : Motivation Slavery
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Horse and His Boy

80. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

Tags : Humility
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

81. “and a charge of lying against someone whom you have always found truthful is a very serious thing; a very serious thing indeed.”

Tags : Action Charge Judgement Lying Truthful
Author : C.S. Lewis

82. “Easy in but not easily out, as the lobster said in the lobster pot!”

Tags : Humor Truthful
Author : C.S. Lewis

83. “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

Tags : Progress
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

84. “Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war. If it is held that the instinct for preserving the species should always be obeyed at the expense of other instincts, whence do we derive this rule of precedence? To listen to that instinct speaking in its own case and deciding in its own favour would be rather simple minded. Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of all the rest. By the very act of listening to one rather than to others we have already prejudged the case. If we did not bring to the examination of our instincts a knowledge of their comparative dignity we could never learn it from them. And that knowledge cannot itself be instinctive: the judge cannot be one of the parties judged: or, if he is, the decision is worthless and there is no ground for placing preservation of the species above self-preservation or sexual appetite.”

Tags : Instinct Morality Self Preservation Values
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

85. “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”

Tags : Curiosity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Out of the Silent Planet

86. “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

Tags : God Justice
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

87. “The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or…ideologies…all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they posses.”

Tags : Natural Law Tao
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

88. “The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed...But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren't. Either way, we're for it.”

Tags : Inspirational Religious
Author : C.S. Lewis

89. “The castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them; before them were the sands, with rocks and little pools of salt water, and seaweed, and the smell of the sea and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking for ever and ever on the beach. And oh, the cry of the seagulls! Have you ever heard it? Can you remember?”

Tags : Magical Narnia Place Sea
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

90. “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”

Tags : Depression Pain
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

91. “I was not born to be free---I was born to adore and obey.”

Tags : Adore Free Obey
Author : C.S. Lewis

92. “The death of a beloved is an amputation.”

Tags : Bereavement Death
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

93. “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”

Tags : Behavior Charity Consequences Willpower
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

94. “Gott ist, wenn ich das sagen darf, sehr skrupellos.”

Tags : Faith God Inspirational
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

95. “My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.”

Tags : Death Faith Grief Grieving Loss Stillbirth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

96. “[God] will not be used as a convenience. Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of heaven as a shortcut to the nearest chemist's shop.”

Tags : Faith God Society
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

97. “For in grief nothing "stays put." One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?How often -- will it be for always? -- how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, "I never realized my loss till this moment"? The same leg is cut off time after time.”

Tags : Death Faith Grief Grieving Loss Stillbirth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

98. “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.”

Tags : Faith Reason
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

99. “You can't know, you can only believe - or not.”

Tags : Faith Knowledge
Author : C.S. Lewis

100. “[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”

Tags : Benevolence Christianity Faith Obedience
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

101. “No man can be an exile if he remembers that all the world is one city.”

Tags : Brotherhood Of Man Inspirational Profound
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Till We Have Faces

102. “How wicked it would be, if we could, to call the dead back! She said not to me but to the chaplain, 'I am at peace with God.' She smiled, but not at me. Poi si torno all' eterna fontana.”

Tags : Death Heaven Loved Ones
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

103. “What began the change was the very writing itself. Let no one lightly set about such a work. Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant.”

Tags : Writing
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Till We Have Faces

104. “Because, as we know, almost anything can be read into any book if you are determined enough. This will be especially impressed on anyone who has written fantastic fiction. He will find reviewers, both favourable and hostile, reading into his stories all manner of allegorical meanings which he never intended. (Some of the allegories thus imposed on my own books have been so ingenious and interesting that I often wish I had thought of them myself.)”

Tags : Writing
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Reflections on the Psalms

105. “You can make anything by writing.”

Tags : Writing
Author : C.S. Lewis

106. “Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.”

Tags : C S Lewis Children Grown Ups Narnia Silliness
Author : C.S. Lewis

107. “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”

Tags : Books Children S Books Reading
Author : C.S. Lewis

108. “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth 'thrown in': aim at Earth and you will get neither.”

Tags : Christ Christianity Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Joyful Christian

109. “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.”

Tags : Atheism Reading Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

110. “Oh, Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!”

Tags : Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Magician's Nephew

111. “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

Tags : Christ Neighbor Ordinary People Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Weight of Glory

112. “It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.”

Tags : God Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis

113. “You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.”

Tags : Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Silver Chair

114. “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.”

Tags : Inspirational Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis

115. “I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.”

Tags : Hell Love Safe
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Silver Chair

116. “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

Tags : Age Books Re Reading Reading
Author : C.S. Lewis

117. “The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church - read on - and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is - in her own mere nature - least lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears.”

Tags : Christ Church Eros Husband Love Marriage Wife
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

118. “If you love deeply, you're going to get hurt badly. But it's still worth it.”

Tags : Change Life Lessons Love Pain
Author : C.S. Lewis

119. “We do not want merely to see beauty... 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.”

Tags : Beauty Elves Gods Nature Nymphs
Author : C.S. Lewis

120. “Every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will 'turn the necessity to glorious gain.”

Tags : Adversity Providence Trials
Author : C.S. Lewis

121. “We were talking of DRAGONS, Tolkien and I In a Berkshire bar. The big workman Who had sat silent and sucked his pipe All the evening, from his empty mug With gleaming eye glanced towards us: "I seen 'em myself!" he said fiercely.”

Tags : Myth Spirituality
Author : C.S. Lewis

122. “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

Tags : Art Books
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

123. “I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been - if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you - you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

Tags : Goodbye Sadness
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

124. “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

Tags : Perception
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Magician's Nephew

125. “In those days a boy on the classical side officially did almost nothing but classics. I think this was wise; the greatest service we can to education today is to teach few subjects. No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty, and when we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.”

Tags : Concentration Distractions Education Focus
Author : C.S. Lewis

126. “The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”

Tags : Christian Living Christianity Hope
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

127. “A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.”

Tags : Christian Living Problem Solving Right Living
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Great Divorce

128. “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.”

Tags : Christian Living Christianity Morality
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

129. “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

Tags : Christianity
Author : C.S. Lewis

130. “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Tags : Christianity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

131. “Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”

Tags : Fear Future Gratitude Love Past Present
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

132. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”

Tags : Afraid Fear Grief Loneliness Restlessness
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

133. “Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ”

Tags : Anxiety Christianity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

134. “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Tags : Friendship Inspirational
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

135. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

Tags : First Sentence
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

136. “I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

Tags : Devotion Study Theology
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : On the Incarnation

137. “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Tags : Humanity Observation
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

138. “Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.”

Tags : Always Elect King Narnia Queen
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

139. “Welcome, Prince,' said Aslan. 'Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?'I - I don't think I do, Sir,' said Caspian. 'I am only a kid.'Good,' said Aslan. 'If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

Tags : King
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Prince Caspian

140. “It is always the novice who exaggerates.”

Tags : Exaggeration
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

141. “By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.”

Tags : Education Ethics Religion Students
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

142. “You cannot go on 'explaining away' for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on 'seeing through' things for ever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.”

Tags : Knowledge Theory
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

143. “A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others...thus, while the woman thinks of doing good offices and the man of respecting other people’s rights, each sex, without any obvious unreason, can and does regard the other as radically selfish.”

Tags : Human Nature Men Women
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

144. “I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."[From the Preface]”

Tags : Administration Big Business Bureaucracy Corporations Corporatocracy Dictatorship Efficiency Evil Hell Management Police State
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

145. “When I was a youngster, all the progressive people were saying, “Why all this prudery? Let us treat sex just as we treat all our other impulses.” I was simple-minded enough to believe they meant what they said. I have since discovered that they meant exactly the opposite. They meant that sex was to be treated as no other impulse in our nature has ever been treated by civilized people. All the others, we admit, have to be bridled. Absolute obedience to your instinct for self-preservation is what we call cowardice; to your acquisitive impulse, avarice. Even sleep must be resisted if you’re a sentry. But every unkindness and breach of faith seems to be condoned provided that the object aimed at is “four bare legs in a bed.”It is like having a morality in which stealing fruit is considered wrong—unless you steal nectarines.And if you protest against this view you are usually met with chatter about the legitimacy and beauty and sanctity of “sex” and accused of harboring some Puritan prejudice against it as something disreputable or shameful. I deny the charge. Foam-born Venus … golden Aphrodite … Our Lady of Cyprus… I never breathed a word against you. If I object to boys who steal my nectarines, must I be supposed to disapprove of nectarines in general? Or even of boys in general? It might, you know, be stealing that I disapproved of.”

Tags : Commentary Cs Lewis Morality
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

146. “A society in which conjugal infidelity is tolerated must always be in the long run a society adverse to women. Women, whatever a few male songs and satires may say to the contrary, are more naturally monogamous than men; it is a biological necessity. Where promiscuity prevails, they will therefore always be more often the victims than the culprits. Also, domestic happiness is more necessary to them than to us. And the quality by which they most easily hold a man, their beauty, decreases every year after they have come to maturity, but this does not happen to those qualities of personality —women don’t really care two cents about our looks—by which we hold women. Thus in the ruthless war of promiscuity women are at a double disadvantage. They play for higher stakes and are also more likely to lose. I have no sympathy with moralists who frown at the increasing crudity of female provocativeness. These signs of desperate competition fill me with pity.”

Tags : Commentary Cs Lewis Society
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

147. “That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended - civilizations are built up - excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and the cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin.”

Tags : Christianity History Repeating Itself
Author : C.S. Lewis

148. “The Moral Law isn't any one instinct or any set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts. (...) The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There's not one of them which won't make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it isn't. If you leave out justice you'll find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials 'for the sake of humanity,' and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man.”

Tags : Impulses Instincts Moral Law
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Case for Christianity

149. “If there was a controlling power outside the universe, it could not show itself to us as one of the facts inside the universe -no more than the architect of a house could actually be a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house. The only way in which we could expect it to show itself would be inside us as an influence or a command trying to get us to behave in a certain way. And that's just what we do find inside us.”

Tags : God Moral Law
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Case for Christianity

150. “In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble--because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out." - Mere Christianity”

Tags : C S Lewis Mere Christianity Theology
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

151. “Love may, indeed, love the beloved when her beauty is lost: but not because it is lost. Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal. Love is more sensitive than hatred itself to every blemish in the beloved… Of all powers he forgives most, but he condones least: he is pleased with little, but demands all.”

Tags : Theology
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

152. “For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

Tags : Devotion Doctrine Theology Wisdom
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

153. “At present we are on the outside… 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 pleasures we see. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get “in”… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.We do not want to merely “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.”

Tags : Faith God Inclusion Jesus Membership
Author : C.S. Lewis

154. “The grave and the image are equally links with the irrecoverable and symbols for the unimaginable.”

Tags : Death Grave Symbolism
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

155. “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”

Tags : Christianity Friendship Privacy Solitude
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Weight of Glory

156. “Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extraordinary destiny.”

Tags : Misattributed Wisdom
Author : C.S. Lewis

157. “Don't say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers Please will you do the job for me.”

Tags : Words Writing Advice
Author : C.S. Lewis

158. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Tags :
Author : C.S. Lewis

159. “In writing. Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, "Please will you do my job for me."[Letter to Joan Lancaster, 26 June 1956]”

Tags : Adjectives Creative Process Description Show Dont Tell Writing
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Letters to Children

160. “If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter, He has created a new situation at that point. Immediately all nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born.”

Tags : Christmas Jesus Laws Of Nature Miracles Pregnancy Sperm
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Miracles

161. “Many reviews are useless because, while purporting to condemn the book, they only reveal the reviewer's dislike of the kind to which it belongs. Let bad tragedies be censured by those who love tragedy, and bad detective stories by those who love the detective story. Then we shall learn their real faults. Otherwise we shall find epics blamed for not being novels, farces for not being high comedies, novels by James for lacking the swift action of Smollett. Who wants to hear a particular claret abused by a fanatical teetotaller, or a particular woman by a confirmed misogynist?”

Tags : Criticism Reviews Sci Fi Science Fiction Scifi
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories

162. “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward towards success.”

Tags : Achievement Fail Failure Repetition Success
Author : C.S. Lewis

163. “We are what we believe we are!”

Tags : Amazing Bright Inspirational Truth
Author : C.S. Lewis

164. “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, hoever, turns out to be not a state but a process.”

Tags : Grief Process Sorrow
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

165. “I felt ashamed.""But of what? Psyche, they hadn't stripped you naked or anything?""No, no, Maia. Ashamed of looking like a mortal -- of being a mortal.""But how could you help that?""Don't you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can't help?”

Tags : Gods Shame
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Till We Have Faces

166. “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

Tags : Aslan Inspirational Prophecy
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

167. “Even I never dreamed of Magic like this!”

Tags : Wonderful
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Chronicles of Narnia

168. “Even if there were pains in Heaven, all who understand would desire them.”

Tags : God Goodness Heaven Pain Suffering Theodicy
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

169. “Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing--rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other.”

Tags : Ancestry
Author : C.S. Lewis

170. “Christianity does NOT replace the technical. When he tells you to feed the hungry and doesn't give you lessons in cookery. If you want to learn THAT, you must go to a cook rather than a Christian.”

Tags : Excellence Expertise Professionalism
Author : C.S. Lewis

171. “Here the whole world (stars, water, air,And field, and forest, as they wereReflected in a single mind)Like cast off clothes was left behindIn ashes, yet with hopes that she,Re-born from holy poverty,In lenten lands, hereafter mayResume them on her Easter Day."(Epitaph for Joy Davidman)”

Tags : Death Epitaph Hope Loss Love Mind Rebirth Resurrection
Author : C.S. Lewis

172. “When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of 'No answer.' It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace, child; you don't understand.”

Tags : Answers God God S Love Love Peace Prayer Questions
Author : C.S. Lewis

173. “There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one.”

Tags : Answer Truth View
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : That Hideous Strength

174. “He had no faintest conception till that very hour of how they would look, and even doubted their existence. But when he saw them he knew that he had always known them and realized what part each one of them had played at many an hour in his life when he had supposed himself alone, so that now he could say to them, one by one, not ‘Who are you?’ but ‘So it was you all the time.’ All that they were and said at this meeting woke memories. The dim consciousness of friends about him which had haunted his solitudes from infancy was now at last explained; that central music in every pure experience which had always just evaded memory was now at last recovered...He saw not only Them; he saw Him. This animal, this thing begotten in a bed, could look on Him. What is blinding, suffocating fire to you is now cool light to him, is clarity itself, and wears the form of a man.”

Tags : Angels Eternity God
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

175. “Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have though much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else -something it never entered your head to conceive- comes crasing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”

Tags : End Of The World Time To Choose
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Case for Christianity

176. “An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy. If a man's mind is open on these things, let his mouth at least be shut. He can say nothing to the purpose. Outside the Tao there is no ground for criticizing either the Tao or anything else.”

Tags : Analysis Culture Education Ethics Foundations Justice Logic Mind Morality Open Mindedness Post Modernism Right And Wrong Thought Truth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

177. “If my duty to my parents is a superstition, then so is my duty to posterity. If justice is a superstition, then so is my duty to my country or my race. If the pursuit of scientific knowledge is a real value, then so is conjugal fidelity. The rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is a rebellion of the branches against the tree: if the rebels could succeed they would find that they had destroyed themselves.”

Tags : Advancement Culture Education Modern Society Post Modernism Society
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Abolition of Man

178. “I thought ... that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. I feel as if I were living in that roofless world of [Earth] where men walk undefended beneath naked heaven. It is a delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands. How has He made me so separate from Himself? How did it enter His mind to conceive such a thing? The world is so much larger than I thought. I thought we went along paths--but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.”

Tags : Delight
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Perelandra

179. “I never heard weeping like that before or after; not from a child, nor a man wounded in the palm, nor a tortured man, nor a girl dragged off to slavery from a taken city. If you heard the woman you most hate in the world weep so, you would go to comfort her. You would fight your way through fire and spears to reach her. And I knew who wept, and what had been done to her, and who had done it.”

Tags : Love Pain Tears Weeping
Author : C.S. Lewis

180. “The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first - wanting to be the centre - wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake...what Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they 'could be like Gods' - could set up on their own as if they had created themselves - be their own masters - invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come...the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Tags : Christ Human Nature
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Mere Christianity

181. “God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing - or should we say "seeing"? there are no tenses in God - the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath's sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is a "host" who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and "take advantage of" Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.”

Tags : Charity Christ Cross God Love
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Four Loves

182. “The human heart is not unchanging (nay, changes almost out of recognition in the twinkling of an eye)...”

Tags : Heart Life
Author : C.S. Lewis

183. “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.”

Tags : Heart Repentance
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

184. “But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.”

Tags : Caspian Prince
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : Prince Caspian

185. “If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.”

Tags : Babyloss Death Grief Grieving Loss Miscarriage Perinatal Death Sids Stillbirth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

186. “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.But no, that is not quite accurate. There is one place where her absence comes locally home to me, and it is a place I can't avoid. I mean my own body. It had such a different importance while it was the body of H.'s lover. Now it's like an empty house.”

Tags : Babyloss Death Faith Grief Grieving Loss Stillbirth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

187. “Oh God, God, why did you take such trouble to force this creature out of its shell if it is now doomed to crawl back -- to be sucked back -- into it?”

Tags : Death Grief Grieving Loss Stillbirth
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

188. “The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”

Tags : Happiness Pain
Author : C.S. Lewis

189. “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. 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.”

Tags : Humility Pain
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain

190. “Let's pray that the human race never escapes Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.”

Tags : Accurate Hilarious
Author : C.S. Lewis

191. “Our prayers for others flow more easily than those for ourselves. This shows we are made to live by charity.”

Tags : Charity Flow Live Others Ourselves Prayers
Author : C.S. Lewis

192. “We are a little land. And little lands on the borders of a great empire were always hateful to the lords of the great empire. He longs to blot them out, gobble them up.”

Tags : Conquest Empire Freedom
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Horse and His Boy

193. “The true reader reads every work seriously in the sense that he reads it whole-heartedly, makes himself as receptive as he can. But for that very reason he cannot possibly read every work solemly or gravely. For he will read 'in the same spirit that the author writ.'... He will never commit the error of trying to munch whipped cream as if it were venison.”

Tags : Academics Books Criticism Humor Interpretation Literature Readers Reading Reading Books
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : An Experiment in Criticism

194. “And there’s also ‘To him that hath shall be given.’ After all, you must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give. Perhaps your own passion temporarily destroys the capacity.”

Tags : Bereavement Gift Grief Loss Love Passion Receiving Refusal Self Sabotage
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : A Grief Observed

195. “His education had been neither scientific nor classical—merely “Modern.” The severities both of abstraction and of high human tradition had passed him by: and he had neither peasant shrewdness nor aristocratic honour to help him. He was a man of straw, a glib examinee in subjects that require no exact knowledge (he had always done well on Essays and General Papers) and the first hint of a real threat to his bodily life knocked him sprawling.”

Tags : Education Modernity
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : That Hideous Strength

196. “If you were subjects of Maleldil you would have peace.”

Tags : Peace Subjects
Author : C.S. Lewis

197. “I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows. That I believe to be the true ground of democracy. I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen...patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality. The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us. Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.”

Tags : Democracy Government Monarchy Religion
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Weight of Glory

198. “Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is took weak and fuddled to shake off.”

Tags : Demon Humanity Nothing Screwtape Soul
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Screwtape Letters

199. “We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”

Tags : Distraction Education Inspiration Knowledge Life Work
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Weight of Glory

200. “Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of--something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possesed your soul have been but hints of it--tantalizing glimspes, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest--if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself--you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.' We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the things we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.”

Tags : Friendship Heaven Hobbies
Author : C.S. Lewis
Source : The Problem of Pain