Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Screwtape Pipes Up

Here is a site, goodreads, with some of the memorable quotes from Under Secretary Screwtape in C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters.

The kids and I listened to the book on our road trip this summer to Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. (Nothing like a captive audience. But they enjoyed it more than they thought they would.)

To begin with a little humor:

-- "She's the sort of woman who lives for others - you can tell the others by their hunted expression.” 

And moving on to the more serious:

-- “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” 

-- "...thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the the impossible.” 

-- "Whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out...” 

-- “[M]an has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false," but as "academic" or "practical," "outworn" or "contemporary," "conventional" or "ruthless." Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about.” 

-- "When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” 

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