08 January 2013

"The Screwtape Letters" Quotes by CS Lewis

Here are selected quotes from The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It is one of the best Christian books I have ever read.

- "Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office." (16)

- "He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them." (28)

- "Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion therefore be somehow ridiculous." (12)

- "What he says, even on his own knees, about his own sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believe he has run up a very favorable credit balance in the Enemy's ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he's showing great humility and condescension in going to church with these "smug", commonplace neighbors at all." (14)

- "And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contended worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe that he is going to live forever." (27)

- "You begin to see the point? Thanks to processes which we set at work in them centuries ago, they find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes. Keep pressing home on him the ordinariness of things." (10)

- "In civilized life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face... Your patient must demand that all of his utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on their actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother's utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context of the suspected intention." (17-18)

- "He may be persuaded to aim at something entirely spontaneous, inward, informal, and unregularized; and what this will actually mean to be a beginner will be an effort to produce in himself a vaguely devotional mood in which real concentration of will and intelligence have no part." (20)

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