C. S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis
1898-1963

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Ireland, in Belfast on 29 November 1898. His mother was a devout Christian and made efforts to influence his beliefs. It would not be until later, in a moment of clear rationality that he first came to a belief in God and later became a Christian.

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

“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.”

“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.”

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.”

“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.”

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

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

“[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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”

“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. ”

“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.”

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

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

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.”

“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

“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.”

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”

“The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.”

“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.”

“Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

“[Repentance] means unlearning all the self-conceit and self -will that we have been training ourselves into… It means killing part of yourself, under-going a kind of death.”

“The stamp of the Saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.”

“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.”

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

“It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.”

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.”

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

“Die before you die, there is no chance after.”

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.”

“There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”

“To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?”

“In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that-and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison-you do not know God at all. ”

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

“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.”

“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”

“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.”

“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…”

“When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”

“Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have. So let us leave behind all these boys’ philosophies–these over simple answers. The problem is not simple and the answer is not going to be simple either.”

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

“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.”

“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?”

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

“It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.”

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

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

“Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.”

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”

“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.”

“Better to be miserable with her than happy without her. Let our hearts break provided they break together. If the voice within us does not say this it is not the voice of Eros.”

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”

“Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”

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

“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.”
? C.S. Lewis

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

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

“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?”

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

“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

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

“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.”

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