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Heaven’s Occupation

26 Dec

Dance and games are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Letters to Malcolm, Mariner 2002, 29

God Stoops to Conquer

8 Nov

It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose him as an alternative to hell. Yet even this He accepts. The creature’s illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the creature’s sake, be shattered. And by trouble, or fear of trouble on earth, by crude fear of eternal flames, God shatters it, unmindful of his glory’s diminution…

I call this “divine humility,” because it’s a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us, a poor thing to come to him as a last resort, to offer up our own when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud, he would hardly have us on such terms. But He is not proud. He stoops to conquer. He would have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to him, and come to him because there is “nothing better” now to be had.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

The Problem of Pain, HarperOne, 2001, 95-6

He is Building a Palace

15 Feb

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.

CS Lewis

Mere Christianity, Fontana Books, 1952, 174

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