Rereading Mere Christianity – Yet Another Update

As I make my way through the fourth book of C.S. Lewis’ epic Mere Christianity, I find yet another great analogy-filled quote worth sharing (although the entire book is a quote worth sharing).

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection, if you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?

Rereading Mere Christianity – Another Update

As I have now declared to the universe, I am rereading Mere Christianity. While the entire book is quotable, I came across another one I thought worth sharing from today:

“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.”

-C.S. Lewis

Rereading Mere Christianity – An Update

As I reread (well, via Audible) Mere Christianity, I am overwhelmed by quotable material. I’d quote the whole thing but then that’d just be the book. I must take this brief moment now to strongly suggest you read (or reread) this book immediately.

Below is a quote I thought particularly good and is something good for EVERY Catholic to keep in mind…especially ones who feel complacent (or even prideful) in their faith.

“The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.”

-C.S. LEWIS

Reading Mere Christianity Again

So I’ve finally convinced a loved one to crack open C.S. Lewis’ magnum opus, Mere Christianity (Deo gratias!). Well, not crack it open, but, rather, listen to it on Audible. Since we now have it available in audio form, I thought I’d dive in too, just because it had been years since I read it and it would make it easier to discuss with him.

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I must say I am entirely moved by the text, it’s better than I remember it. I first read it as I embarked on my journey back to the Church. I was new to the concept of natural law or, really, any argument for Christianity which was intellectually stimulating or thoughtful. I don’t think I absorbed as much as I am now by going back through it. Lewis’s clear way of describing the ‘mere’ tenets of Christianity is astounding. He had such a gift for explaining difficult, immaterial concepts well…and humorously. Mere Christianity, I contend, is a text which should be read by every adult Christian, non-Christian, or atheist if for the mere reason to better know what they wish to argue against.

Anyhow, as I listen, I hear line after line which seems more quotable than the last. I especially liked the one saying that a huge problem is that most people have been explained a six-year old’s understanding of Christianity, so of course many people see Christianity as childish or needless (and that was in the 40’s/50’s!). ☩

CS Lewis: Holiness isn’t Dull, it’s Irresistible

If Christianity feels like a chore to you, dig deeper. Once it clicks, it’s like the Wizard of Oz; life goes from black & white to color. Every person, art, and (upright) activity you love…you love more deeply. Beauty is found in places you never expected. As Saint John Paul II stated: “life with Christ is a wonderful adventure”.

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If you don’t believe seeking holiness is joyful, exciting, and irresistible, keep digging, keep reading, keep praying, and seek out beautiful liturgies to surround your reception of the Eucharist.

Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls’ but they are the walls of a playground.

-GK Chesterton