'C. S. Lewis Overflow'
Kennedy's latest book is The Everything Guide to
C.S. Lewis and Narnia, due in stores in March 2008, from Adams Media, F&W
Publications. This series of articles is thinking inspired by readings in Lewis's
work that didn't fit into the book.
Click here for a list of all articles in the C.S. Lewis Overflow series.
from the Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2
Edited by Walter Hooper,
Harper SanFrancisco, 2004, Part 3
entry 1034 | January 16 2008
here for the introductory number of these notes, describing the perennial "cast
of characters," etc.
To Warnie, January
9, p 318: "a young man of undergraduate type and age who turned out to be
a student training to be a mining engineer, and who, having tackled me on politics,
the English character, propaganda, improvements in the everyman series, Hindu
theology and so forth, exclaimed 'You must be a man of very wide interests!'
and, do you know, I never realised before the naivete with which we all think
this, even if we do not say it, in such circumstances i.e. the bland inference
'By gum! His interests are as wide as mine!'"
to Harwood: "His children are now so numerous that one ceases to notice them
individually, any more than a scuffle of piglets in a field or a waddle of ducks."
p 319, "walker's anus" = the only reference on the Internet to the phrase
is to this source! (Unless, unbeknownst to me, there's a better search engine
than Google. MSN Live Search, for example, refers to Walker Texas Ranger.)
p 322: "'thanking the Giver' which, by the way, is the completion
of a pleasure/" This has a footnote referring to Lewis's 1958 book, Reflections
on the Psalms: "We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise
not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment: it is its appointed consummation."
Lewis had struggled initially in finding the theme of praising God in the Psalms,
wondering why God "needed" endless praises from His creatures.
Warnie, January 14, p 324: "I wonder does an extreme optimism result from
being a schoolmaster because you are always 'turning out' promising boys
and never living among what they actually become when it's all over."
Dom Bede Griffiths, January 17, p 327: a saint manquée = a failed
wouldbe saint; simpliciter = simply (per se)
Same, footnote, explains
Lewis's Latin phrase, Diabolus simius Dei, as a quotation from Tertullian,
"the devil is the ape of God." Lewis made the antichrist figure
antiaslan in The Last Battle an ape.
To Warnie, January 21,
pp 329-30: Describing a competition to sound like "Johnsonians." "'Sir,
you cannot have good talk without give and take. Now the wireless is all take
and no give.' That certainly would have been his basic objection it it in fact,
whether he had said it in that way or not."
Same, p 331, a reference
to "guinness" suggests that Lewis was not a fan of Ireland's leading
brand of brew.
Same, refers to "my Sunday roast" as though the
Sunday meal was mainly roast beef or pot roast.
To Alec Vidler, January
25, p 332, editor's note quotes an article by Lewis in Theology (March
1939): "culture is a storehouse of the best (sub-Christian) values. These
values are in themselves of the soul, not the spirit. But God created the soul.
Its values may be expected, therefore, to contain some reflection or antepast
of the spiritual values. They will save no man. They resemble the regenerate life
only as affection resembles charity, or honour resembles virtue, or the moon the
sun. But though 'like is not the same,' it is better than unlike. Imitation may
pass into initiation. For some it is a good beginning, for others it is not; culture
is not everyone's road into Jerusalem, and for some it is a road out."
footnote on the excerpt (p 333) says the entire article, "Christianity and
Culture," is reprinted in Christian Reflections.
January 28, p 334: "I begin to suspect that the world is divided not only
into the happy and the unhappy, but into those who like happiness and those
who, odd as it may seem, really don't."
To Warnie, February 3, p 338:
"have you ever noticed what a fine line, crossed in a split second, separates
the snugness of privacy from the vacuity of loneliness?" He quotes Milton
in Paradise Lost, having Adam say, "'How can I live without thee,
how forego Thy sweet converse and love so dearly joined To live again in these
wild woods forlorn.' Isn't that real imagination?"
Same, p 340: "Between
ourselves, too, I have a sort of faint hope that what I can put in with such as
F.K. and old Taylor may be accepted as a kind of penance for my many sins against
the P'daitabird: the blackest chapter in my life."
Same, p 342: "I
had done just what the stupid vicar does when he upsets the faith of the congregation
by answering difficulties they have never heard of before and will never again
Same, "I one of the few people left in the world
who really admire innocence and modesty "
Same, p 342: "The
Inklings is now really v. well provided, with Fox as chaplain, you as army, Barfield
as lawyer, Havard as doctor almost all the estates! except, of course,
anyone who could actually produce a single necessity of life, a loaf, a boot,
or a hut."
To Warnie, February 11, p 346: "I have at last, if
only for once, seen a university doing what it was founded to do: teaching Wisdom.
And what a wonderful power there is in the direct appeal which disregards the
temporary climate of opinion I wonder is it the case that the man who has
the audacity to get up in any corrupt society and squarely preach justice or valour
or the like always wins? After all, the Nazis largely got into power by
simply talking the old straight stuff about heroism in a country full of cynics
Same: "Do you know, he improves steadily? I don't
mean he 'improves on acquaintance,' but that he really gets better. Christianity
does have an effect."
To Warnie, Febuary 18, p 350: "I think ...
that the world, as it is now becoming and has partly become, is simply too much
for people of the old square-rigged type like you and me. I don't understand
its economics, or its politics, or any dam' thing about it."
"a dreadful man called Karl Barth..."
Same: "Canon Raven
(whom you and Dyson and I sat under at Ely) is sharply told in a review in Theology
that 'it is high time persons of this sort learned that the enjoyment of a chair
of theology at Cambridge does not carry with it a right to criticise the Word
of God' that's the kind of rap on the knuckles which has not been delivered
for a hundred years!"
Same, Lewis says he is now persuaded "that
a real red-hot Christian revival, with iron dogma, stern discipline, and ruthless
asceticism, is very much more possible than I had supposed."
has a footnote quoting G. K. Chesterton from All Things Considered: "'Spiritualism':
'Praise [the gods]' or leave them alone; but do not look for them unless you know
they are there. Do not look for them unless you want them. It annoys them very
P 353: "One interesting bit of information was that the
Lutherans have bishops in Scandinavia, including Finland, but not in most parts
of Germany just as the existing bishops accepted Lutheranism or not at
the time of the Reformation."
Same: "Did I tell you that someone
wants to include that St. Mary's sermon of mine in a collection of (save the mark)
Famous Sermons? I am divided between gratification and a fear that I shall
be merely made a fool of by appearing in the same book as Bede, Latimer, Donne,
Taylor etc. However, let's hope that I shall be divided from them by some good
19th century duds! but I grow impious."
To Warnie, February
25, p 354, reviews a sermon he heard on the patriarch Joseph and speculates on
why Potiphar didn't execute Joseph if he had attempted to rape Potiphar's wife
as she accused. ",,,one must assume that Potiphar, though ignorant of the
lady's intention to make him a cuckold, was aware in general ... that her stories
about the servants were to be taken with a grain of salt that his real
view was 'I don't suppose for a moment that Joseph did anything of the sort, but
I foresee there'll be no peace till I get him out of the house'?"
p 357, discussing Edith Sitwell's poetic line, "the mirage of an eternal
beauty that is not" should be understood by the Christian more correctly
as "that is not here."
To Warnie, March 3, p 360 mentions that
Tolkien, "on beling told of [Charles] Williams' Milton lectures on 'the sage
and serious doctrine of virginity,' replied 'The fellow's becoming a common chastitute.'"
p 362, raises a questions about the efficacy of petitionary prayer "a problem
without an answer" that he later turned into a paper he gave at the Oxford
Clerical Society and was later published in Christian Reflections.
Warnie, March 17, p 367, mentions an article "of mine has appeared in The
Guardian, which I suppose is a milestone on ones ecclesiastical career. I'm
sure they take the Guardian at Glenmachan." This was the Anglican
Guardian, in which his Screwtape Letters were serialized, not the
leftwing Guardian UK newspaper of contemporary fame.
To Warnie, March
21 (Lewis dates it "Maundy Thursday"), p 367. Teasing his brother about
either Warnie's or his own French, he concludes, "Got it, blockhead?"
p 368, mentioning Spanish dictator Franco, proposes his "Papist side [might
be] what Ulster Orangeism is on the Protestant side." He also says he "can
never forget Tolkein's Spanish friend who, after having several colleges pointed
out to him by name from the roof of the Radder [Radcliffe Camera, a tower of the
Bodleian Library], observed with surprise 'So this was once a Christian country?'"
pp 368-69: "Why should quiet ruminants as you and I have been born in such
a ghastly age?" He laments that many people like "the 'stir,' the 'sense
of great issues.' Lord! how I loathe great issues...."Dynamic' I think is
one of the words invented by this age which sums up what it likes and I abominate.
Could one start a Stagnation party which at General Elections would boast
that during its term of office no event of the least importance had taken
Same, p 369, referring to Mother Julian of Norwich (14th century)
whom he'd been reading: "Very odd too is her doctrine of 'the Grand Deed.'
Christ tells her again and again 'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and
all manner of thing shall be well.' She asks how it can be well, since some are
damned. He replied that all that is true, but the secret grand deed will make
even that 'very well.' 'With you this is impossible, but not with Me.'"
p 370, still referring to Mother Julian's writing: "Imagine oneself as a
flat earther questioning whether the Earth was endless or not. If you were told
'It is finite but never comes to an end,' one wd. seem to be up against nonsense.
Yet the escape (by being a sphere) is so easy once you know it. At any
rate, this book excites me." (Later, Lewis recommends Mother Julian's writings
to inquirers into the faith.}
To Mary Neylan (a former student of Lewis),
March 26, p 372, writing about obedience: "The question whether persons to
be obeyed should be democratically elected or otherwise (I personally am a democrat)
leaves where it was the truth that in any human society there will have to be
a lot of obeying."
Same: "No doubt, like every young science,
it [psychoanalysis] is full of errors, but so long as it remains a science and
doesn't set up to be a philosophy I have no quarrel with it i.e. as long
as people judge whatever it reveals by the best human logic and scheme of values
they've got and don't try to derive logic and values from it. In practice, no
doubt, as you say, the patient is always influenced by the analyst's own values."
p 374: "This doesn't mean that it wd. be wrong to try to cure a complex any
more than a stiff leg: but it does mean that if you can't, then, so far from the
game being up, life with a complex, or with a stiff leg, is precisely the game
you have been set."
Same, "Once [we] make the medical Norm our
ideal of the 'normal' and we shall never lack an excuse for throwing up the sponge."
p 375: "If you can stand serious faults of style (and if you can get them,
they are long out of print) Geo. Macdonald's 3 vols of Unspoken Sermons
go to the very heart of the matter. I think you wd. also find it most illuminating
to re-read now many things you once read in 'Eng. Lit' without knowing their real
importance Herbert, Traherne, Religio Medici."
March 29, p 377, footnote describes the "'Lewis Pew,' now designated by a
plaque" at the church he and Warnie regularly attended in Headington Quarry.
p 378: "This week I received a letter from my former pupil Mrs. Neylan (the
Dartington Hall mistress) who is trembling on the verge of Christianity....I felt
almost overwhelmed by the responsibility of my reply, and naturally the more because
the two other people whose conversion had something to do with me became Papists!"
A footnote by the editor (Walter Hooper) identifies the two as Dom Bede Griffiths
and George Sayer. (Hooper, though a Christian when he met Lewis, after being the
executor of Lewis's literary estate and an Anglican curate for many years, also
converted to Catholicism.)
To Warnie, April 11, p 390: "If one had
Grandfather Hamilton's assurance of salvation, one cd. really be hungry for the
end. I like to think there may be a moment in eternity from wh. we shall look
back on all this as you and I have often looked back on Wynyard."
Rev. Thomas Robert Hamilton was the Lewis brothers' maternal grandfather. Wynyard,
their first prep school, was at the least a "vale of tears."
Dom Bede Griffiths, April 16, p 391: "the great serious irreligious art
art of art's sake is all balderdash: and, incidentally, never exists when
art is really flourishing. In fact one can say of Art as an author I recently
read says of Love (sensual love, I mean) 'It ceases to be a devil when it ceases
to be a god.'"
Same, "Surely one of the things we get from history
is that God never allows a human conflict to become unambiguously one between
simple good and simple evil?"
Same, "You and I are not, at bottom,
so different from those ghastly creatures."
Same, p 392, "I have
been reading Lady Julian of Norwich. What do you make of her? A dangerous book,
clearly, and I'm glad I didn't read it much earlier."
To Mary Neylan,
April 18, p 392: "The modern tradition is that the proper reason for marrying
is the state described as 'being in love.' Now I have nothing to say against 'being
in love': but the idea that this is or ought to be the exclusive reason or that
it can ever be by itself an adequate basis seems to me simply moonshine."
p 393: "because when that emotion dies down they conclude that their marriage
is a 'failure,' tho' in fact they have just reached the point at wh. real marriage
begins. Fourthly, it wd. be undesirable, even if it were possible, for people
to be 'in love' all their lives. What a world it wd. be if most of the people
we met were perpetually in this trance!"
Same, p 394: "if there
is an eternal world and if our world is its manifestation, then you would expect
bits of it to 'stick through' into ours. We are like children pulling the levers
of a vast machine of which most is concealed. We see a few little wheels that
buzz round on this side when we start it up but what glorious or frightful
processes we are initiating in there, we don't know. That's why it is so important
to do what we're told (cf. what does the Holy Communion imply about the
real significance of eating?)
P 395: "Notice that in I Cor XI
just after the bit about the man being the Head, St. Paul goes on to add the baffling
reservation (v. II) that the sexes 'in the Lord' don't have any separate existence.
I have no idea what this means: but I take it it must imply that the existence
of a man or woman is not exhausted by the fact of being male or female, but that
they exist in many other modes. I mean, you may be a citizen, a musician, a teacher
etc. as well as a woman, and you needn't transfer to all these personalities everything
that is said about you as wife qua wife."
P 396: "Thank
you for taking my mind off the war for an hour or so!"
To Warnie, April
21, p 398: Christopher Dawson "distinguished between the ideal of 'Freedom'
and the ideal of 'Democracy.' He points out that strict Democracy as envisaged
by Rousseau and to some extent embodied in the French republic, is the assertion
of the 'general will' or the community life against all individual aberrations:
the ideal of Freedom, in the English sense, asserts individual conscience, honour
and idiosyncrasy against the claims of the community, and its real parents are
English Nonconformity and English Aristocracy. He draws the conclusion that modern
Democracy in the strict sense and modern Dictatorship are the twin children of
the Revolution both asserting the community. It all seems to fit in quite
well, doesn't it? That's why there is no exemption for conscientious objectors
or even priests in France, while there is in England."
(making the world safe for humorists!)"
To Warnie, April 28, p 403
"offal" = waste byproducts; discarded organs removed in butchering
pp 404-5: "Even without being as apocalyptic as Barth one cd. imagine the
enemy being allowed to win for the ultimate good of Europe I mean a German
revolution following a German victory and the net result a united Europe.
Not much fun for us in the meantime!"
To Warnie, May 4, "Your
other question about loving our enemies has been very much in my mind lately,
and it must be faced, every time we say the Lord's Prayer. No exemption seems
to be allowed...."
In this letter Lewis "anticipates much of what
became the subject of his The Four Loves (1960)." Footnote 251.
p 409: "it has nothing in the world to do with trying to pretend that the
enemy is 'not so bad after all' or that his sins 'don't matter,' or that he is
really lovable. Not a bit. It's the old business about 'loving the sinner and
hating the sin' wh. becomes alive to me when I realise that this is what I do
to myself all the time."
Later he says we are not required to love
the damned, but adds, "But we are not allowed to assume that this has taken
place in any man still alive." Cf. Philip Pullman's critique of Lewis as
consigning Susan (in The Last Battle) to be among the damned.
Arthur, May 9, p 413, he concludes, "Why doesn't the world end?"
Warnie, May 18, p 417: he describes something he found ludicrous in the vicar's
announcements at church and then, "(Damn it now that I've written
it down, I see that it's not so absurd as I thought. In fact I think I've been
committing a P'daytism.)"
To Owen Barfield, June 2, p 419: "The
real difficulty is, isn't it, to adapt ones steady beliefs about tribulation to
this particular tribulation; for the particular, when it arrives, always seems
so peculiarly intolerable."
Same, "Do you get sudden lucid intervals?
islands of profound peace? I do, and though they don't last, I think one brings
something away from them."
Same, "Macdonald observes somewhere
that 'the approach of any fate is usually also the preparation for it.'"
Owen Barfield, July, pp 420-21, a letter "exonerating" his three Anthroposophist
friends, Barfield, and Cecil and Daphne Harwood. Editor Walter Hooper speculates
that this may have been meant as a "ceasefire" in the "great war"
between them about Steiner's religious philosophy, which began before Lewis's
conversion to Christianity.
To Warnie, July 12, p 422: "The odd thing
is that when I turn to Moffatt for the explanation of something unintelligible
I find his version more poetical than the Prayer Book."
To Dom Bede
Griffiths, July 16, "what an admirable thing it is in the Divine economy
that the sacred literature of the world shd. have been entrusted to a people whose
poetry, depending largely on parallelism, shd. remain poetry in any language you
translate it into."
To Warnie, July 20, p 424: "'poetry' with
the Eliots and Audens has become such a horror that the real thing now mainly
survives in verse not intended to be fully serious e.g. there is more real
poetry in Punch now than in the high brow periodicals."
p 426: "Before the service was over one cd. wish these things came
more seasonably I was struck by an idea for a book wh. I think might be
both useful and entertaining. It wd. be called As one Devil to Another
and would consist of letters from an elderly retired devil to a young devil who
has just started work on his first 'patient.'"
Thus was born The Screwtape
Letters, Lewis's first widely popular work.
Same, p 428: "Fifth
Columnist" = "a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger
group to which it is expected to be loyal, such as a nation," originated
by a general in the Spanish civil war of the 1930s.
To Warnie, August 3,
p 430: "One can't write a letter telling them sharply to keep their dog [on]
their side of the hedge, for the excellent reason that we are quite unable to
keep Bruce on our side."
To Warnie, August 11, p 432: "dogs are
not much more reliable than dictators when it comes to treaty obligations."
Warnie, August 17, p 434: "I actually have a uniform now and say 'as I look
in the glass, it's one to a million that any civilian will look such an absolute
Same, p 436: "at whatever hour you go out you always pass
at least one mysterious and solitary person about every three minutes."
page has a footnote referencing a book published by Thomas Nelson, London.
p 437: "all the beastliest traits of our intelligentsia have come to them
To Eliza Marian Butler (a professor at Cambridge), August
18, this letter is a treatise on allegory and fantasy in literature.
a footnote, p 438, he equates "symbolism" and "sacramentalism."
p 439: "I probably don't make it v. clear, because I am far from clear myself
on the whole subject."
To Eliza Marian Butler, September 12, p. 443:
"One must in the long run, mustn't one, decide what one really believes."
Eliza Marian Butler, September 25, p 444: "I also am an Ireishman and a congenital
Same, "most of those who call themselves agnostics
have not really got rid of religion but merely exchanged civilized religion for
barbarous religion worship of sex, or the State, or the elan vital,
or the dead, or Mystery as such."
Same, p 445: "You pays your
money and you takes your choice."
To Br. George Every SSM, October
12, p 447: "I don't feel happy about 'leaving the moral implications to speak
for themselves' unless the critic is a v. great and good man; for surely
that is just the method by which every little anti-clerical guttersnipe in the
New Statesman manages to insinuate into the mind of the readers (without
their knowledge) all sorts of positions wh. he wd. be quite incapable of defending
if he were forced to come out into the open."
To Eliza Marian Butler,
October 14, p 449: "I embraced the excitement of polytheism or demonology
when I happened to want it, but became a materialist if some old nursery fears,
in darkness and solitude, threatened to make that sort of stuff a little more
exciting than I wanted. I was nearly religious when that mood offered comfort,
and sternly sceptical if it threatened to impose any obligation."
To Sister Penelope, October 24, footnote on p 451 (presumably by Hooper, not Lewis):
"Origin reacted strongly against the literal interpretation of the Scriptures,
and according to his theory of Apocatastasis the punishments of the damned come
to an end and they are saved. It was condemned by the Church in AD 543."
p 452: "I am going to make my first confession next week, wh. will seem odd
to you, but I wasn't brought up to that kind of thing. It's an odd experience.
The decision to do so was one of the hardest I have ever made...."
Sister Penelope, November 4: "Isn't Phantastes good? It did a lot
for me years before I became a Christian, when I had no idea what was behind it.
This has always made it easier for me to understand how the better elements in
mythology can be a real praeparatio evangelica for people who do not yet
know whither they are being led."
To Canon Oliver
Chase Quick, January 18, p 461: "praise without criticism is rather like
an egg without salt."
Same, p 464, post script: "the Christian
view that all the Affections have to be re-directed from the egocentric to the
theo-centric, from Stoicism or Buddhism in wh. they have to be annihilated."
He quotes a John Donne prayer that our affections not kill us, but that they not
To Brother George Every SSM, February 4, p 469: "I've
read The Zeal of Thy House. It is pretty bad." It was a play be Dorothy
To Dr. James W. Welch (a producer at the BBC), February 10, p 470:
"It seems to me that the N.T., by preaching repentance and forgiveness, always
assumes an audience who already believe in the Law of Nature and know they have
disobeyed it. In modern England we cannot at present assume this, and therefore
most apologetic begins a stage too far on. The first step is to create, or recover,
the sense of guilt."
To Douglas Bush, at the BBC, March 28, p 475:
"the magician and the scientist both stand together, and in contrast to the
Christian, the Stoic, or the Humanist, in so far as both make Power their aim,
believe Power to be attainable by a technique, and in the practice of that technique
are ready to defy ordinary morality."
Same, in a footnote, the editor
quotes Lewis's definition of the Renaissance: "now 'the renaissance' can
hardly be defined except as 'an imaginary entity responsible for everything the
speaker likes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.'"
In the following
page (476) he refutes the feeling of some that the "Copernican revolution"
was anything comparable to the upheaval brought about through Darwin or Freud.
A footnote quotes another Lewis source: "Ecclesiastical authority gave pagan
writings a place in education which the modern liberal would never dream of giving
to religious works; and it was mainly churchmen who copied and preserved the ancient
authors for often ungrateful men of the Renaissance to 'discover.'"
Mary Neylan, April 30, p 482: "Every human being, still more every Christian,
has an absolute claim on me for any service I can tender them without neglecting
Same, referring to his confessor, Fr. Walter Frederick
Adams, "If I have ever met a holy man, he is one."
p 483: "I'm afraid for a few years I just took the line of being as nasty
as I could and saying everything that cd. hurt. God forgive me."
note, p 483, gives details of Lewis's charitable giving of the proceeds for his
articles and books, tax problems resulting from his failure to realize the royalties
were taxable, and his working out of a charitable trust with Owen Barfield to
disburse future income from his works.
To Mary Neylan, May 9, p 484: "I'm
sure you're doing right and that God is leading you and bringing you in pretty
fast too. I shall never forget your reply 'It looks like it' when I suggested
jealousy as one of the troubles I never hope to see the human ship take
a big wave in better style!
"Continue to pray for me. I need it all:
and may [I] say in general that if I were to tell you as much about myself as
you have told me (wh I shan't!) the record wd. be much blacker than your own."
Arthur, May 25, p 487: "So far our mutual positions are exactly the reverse
of those we occupied in the last war: you are seeing it, and I am in a back area.
While it lasts, Oxford is really nicer than ever at present. I am feasted on friendship
and good talk (ranging from religion to bawdy) and kindness and cherriness all
day long." Belfast was being bombed by Germany because of its vital shipbuilding
P 490: A footnote mentions a "valuable work" that consists
of an interview with Lewis by Ashley Sampson, "Lewis's discoverer."
Sampson was Lewis's publisher on behalf of Geoffrey Bles Ltd., which put out The
Problem of Pain and other works.
To Mary Neylan, October 2, p 492: "(a
map of my 'missionary journies' wd. be as complicated as those maps of St. Paul's
wh haunted our childhood)...."
Same: "Cold Virtue has to assimilate
the hot dragon...."
Same, p 493, referring to his Broadcast Talks which
became Mere Christianity: "they contain nothing you don't know already."
Sister Penelope, October 9, p 493: quotes Milton's line from Comus, "That
power/Which erring men call chance."
P 494: "canter" = no
contextual definition has been found, all sources insisting the word refers only
to a horse trot. Lewis may have meant "cantor," as a figure of speech
for "chanting" or "lecturing" the theme or crux of a book
before its publication.
To Sister Penelope, November 9, p 494: footnote
103 reports that Sister Penelope sent Lewis a picture of the head of the Shroud
of Turin and that he "had it framed, and it hung on his bedroom wall for
the rest of his life."
Same, p 495: thanks the nun for the picture
from the shroud, that "It has grown upon me wonderfully," adding: "I
don't commit myself to the genuineness."
Same, p 496: "Dogs don't
relapse. Cats do, and go wild. I'm a cat."
Same, "Have you room
for an extra prayer? Pray for Jane if you have. She is the old lady I call my
mother and live with (she is really the mother of a friend) an unbeliever,
ill, old, frightened, full of charity in the sense of alms, but full of uncharity
in several other senses. And I can do so little for her."
Penelope, November 19, p 497: "there's really nothing I so much dislike
as religion that it's all against the grain and I wonder if I can really
stand it! Have you ever had this? Does one outgrow it? Of course there's no intellectual
difficulty. If our faith is true then that is just what it ought to feel like,
until the new man is full-grown. But it's a considerable bore."
Joseph Dowell, November 30, p 498: "orthodox Methodism." (This is the
only reference I've seen in Lewis's work to this movement in which his paternal
great-grandfather had been a minister.)
To Patricia Thomson (editor and
teacher), December 8, p 500: "Fear isn't repentance but it's alright
as a beginning much better at that stage than not being afraid."
Patricia Thomson, December 11, p 500: "Christianity is true or false. Remember,
if you think it false you needn't bother about all the things in it that seem
terrible. If you decide it is true, you needn't worry about not having faith,
for apparently you have!"
To Dom Bede Griffiths, December 21, p 501:
referring to his friend Charles Williams, "He is an ugly man with rather
a cockney voice. But no one ever thinks of this for five minutes after he has
begun speaking. His face becomes almost angelic. Both in public and private he
is of nearly all the men I have met the one whose address most overflows with
love. It is simply irresistible. Those young men and women were lapping
up what he said about Chastity before the end of the hour. It's a big thing to
Same: "Williams, Dyson of Reading, and my brother
(Anglicans) and Toklien and my doctor, Havard (your Church) are the 'Inklings'
to whom my Problem of Pain was dedicated. We meet on Friday evenings in
my rooms: theoretically to talk about literature, but in fact nearly always to
talk about something better. What I owe to them all is incalculable. Dyson and
Tolkien were the immediate human causes of my own conversion. Is any pleasure
on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?"
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