I was just finishing reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis this morning, when my Twitter feed lit up with the nation stumbling over itself to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Then, a lone tweet from @winstoncoolidge stood out in my timeline. “So today we hear about old people reminiscing about where they were when C.S. Lewis died.” Huh?! What? By Aslan’s mane, it’s the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, too! I literally discovered this with a C.S. Lewis book in my hand. (If that’s any indication of how much of a fan I am…)
Now I’m no soul-reader, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that the death of C.S. Lewis, just a few days shy of his 65th birthday, isn’t one to be too heavily mourned. I mean, I think we’re all fairly sure where he’s ended up.
A modern day literary saint meeting his maker isn’t something to mourn. It’s something to celebrate! So celebrate I shall.
C.S. Lewis is BY FAR one of my all time favorite authors. An intellectual and an apologist, he used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories and scholarly essays to communicate the depths of truth. What’s not to love? He’s worth reading and rereading and then reading again.
So without further ado! Here are some literary morsels to chew on in celebration of the life of C.S. Lewis. (Oh, yeah, and sorry you died too JFK…)
1. 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.
2. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
3. 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.
5. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
6. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
7. We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
8. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
9. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
10. 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.
11. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
13. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
14. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patients body. What the doctor does is stimulate Nature’s functions in the body, or to remove hinderances. In a sense, though we speak of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse.
15. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.