at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Quotes from My Favorite Author: C.S. Lewis

a few books from my collection
Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis is my all time favorite author.  I have read the majority of his books--many of them several times over.  Though his writing style often makes for a more challenging read, I really enjoy his wit and his intellect.  He has written across many genres, but is probably best known for his works in Christian apologetics and his one and only children's series: The Chronicles of NarniaIf you've never read C.S. Lewis, I'd highly recommend to anybody Mere Christianity (non-fiction) or The Screwtape Letters (very unique fictional book that portrays some strong truths about spiritual warfare). I've written down some of my favorite quotes from some of the books I have read, and decided to share them here, along with some brief commentary.

Some deeper insights & humor from "childrens" books - from the Chronicles of Narnia:
"For what you hear and see depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are."--C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."--C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

Why it's not a good idea to try to visualize God... When I was young my mom told me that God could do anything.  Looking at her putting on her big 80s earrings, I asked if God could turn himself into an earring.  She said "yes" and I pictured God as a giant earring for some years.  This quote reminds me of that and makes me laugh:

"A girl I knew was brought up by 'higher thinking' parents to regard God as a perfect 'substance'; in later life she realised that this had actually led her to think of Him as something like a vast tapioca pudding.  (To make matters worse, she disliked tapioca)." --C.S. Lewis, Miracles 

On the argument of faith vs. deeds.  Obviously both are required, but I particularly like this argument:
'The other set were accused of saying: "Faith is all that matters. Consequently, if you have faith, it doesn't matter what you do. Sin away, my lad, and have a good time and Christ will see that it makes no difference in the end." The answer to that nonsense is that, if what you call your "faith" in Christ does not involve taking the slightest notice of what He says, then it is not Faith at all -- not faith or trust in Him, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory about Him.' -- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Why believing in Jesus as solely a "good man" doesn't make sense:

'There was a man born among these Jews who claimed to be, or to be the son of, or to be 'one with' the Something which is at once the haunter of nature and the giver of the natural law. The claim is so shocking-a paradox, and even a horror, which we may easily be lulled into taking lightly-that only two views of this man are possible. Either he was a raving lunatic of an unusually abominable type, or else He was, and is, precisely what He said. There is no middle way. If the records make the first hypothesis unacceptable, you must submit to the second.' --C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

I also appreciate Lewis' frankness and sarcasm; it keeps things entertaining: 
“There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of 'Heaven' ridiculous by saying they do not want 'to spend eternity playing harps.' The answer to such people is if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course merely a symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible... People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Some great points and observations made in various books:

"Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable?  Quite certainly, I should think.  All nonsense questions are unanswerable.  How many hours in a mile?  Is yellow square or round?  Probably half the questions we ask--half our great theological and metaphysical problems are like that." --C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."--C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

"Death is, in fact, what some modern people call 'ambivalent'.  It is Satan's great weapon and also God's great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered."--C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly 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. – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“…love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion.  It is a state not of feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“Every joy is beyond all others.  The fruit we are eating is always the best fruit of all.”
 – C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

And, finally - a passage from a "book" that was actual Lewis' personal journal that he kept after his wife of three years died of cancer.  Being as such, he records his struggles openly and honestly.  I don't know anybody who writes so eloquently in a journal...but I just love this passage as it really expresses a breakthrough in the grieving process and a fuller understanding of some of the struggles we have when we lose a loved one:

"Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks. For one thing, I suppose I am recovering physically from a good deal of mere exhaustion. 

... And suddenly, at the very moment when, so far, I mourned H. least, I remembered her best. Indeed, it was something (almost) better than memory; an instantaneous, unanswerable impression. To say it was like a meeting would be going too far. Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words. It was as if the lifting of the sorrow removed a barrier. 

Why has no one told me these things? How easily I might have misjudged another man in the same situation? I might have said, 'He's got over it. He's forgotten his wife,' when the truth was, 'He remembers her better because he has partly got over it.' 

Such was the fact. And I believe I can make sense of it. You can't see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. You can't, in most things, get what you want if you want it too desperately: anyway, you can't get the best out of it. 'Now! Let's have a real good talk' reduces everyone to silence. 'I must get a good sleep tonight' ushers in hours of wakefulness. Delicious drinks are wasted on a really ravenous thirst. Is it similarly the very intensity of the longing that draws the iron curtain, that makes us feel we are staring into a vacuum when we think about our dead? 'Them as asks' (at any rate 'as asks too importunately') don't get. Perhaps can't. 

And so, perhaps, with God. I have gradually come to feel that the door is no longer shut and bolted. Was it my own frantic need that slammed it in my face? The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can't give it: you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear." – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!