Quotes by C. S. Lewis

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There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, Thy will be done, and those to whom God says, All right, then, have it your way.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
Faith... is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else.
Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth, and you will get neither.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.
The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.
God whispers in our pleasures, but shouts in our pain.
Humans are amphibians -- half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.
Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.
The safest road to hell is the gradual one -- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn
The salvation of a single soul is more important than the production or preservation of all the epics and tragedies in the world.
If we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a wandering to find home, why should we not look forward to the arrival?
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.
I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
It is hard to have patience with people who say There is no death or Death doesn't matter. There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter.
If, as I can't help suspecting, the dead also feel the pains of separation (and this may be one of their purgatorial sufferings), then for both lovers, and for all pairs of lovers without exception, bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love.
There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them.
Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.
You ask whether I have ever been in love: fool as I am, I am not such a fool as that. But if one is only to talk from first-hand experience, conversation would be a very poor business. But though I have no personal experience of the things they call love, I have what is better -- the experience of Sappho, of Euripides, of Catallus, of Shakespeare, of Spenser, of Austen, of Bronte, of anyone else I have read.
The value given to the testimony of any feeling must depend on our whole philosophy, not our whole philosophy on a feeling.
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
Much of the modern resistance to chastity comes from men's belief that they own their bodies -- those vast and perilous estates, pulsating with the energy that made the worlds, in which they find themselves without their consent and from which they are ejected at the pleasure of Another!
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
The fundamental laws are in the long run merely statements that every event is itself and not some different event.
It is only when you are asked to believe in Reason coming from non-reason that you must cry Halt. Human minds. They do not come from nowhere.
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.
If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.
With my mother's death all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of Joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.
I allowed myself to be prepared for confirmation, and confirmed, and to make my first Communion, in total disbelief, acting a part, eating and drinking my own condemnation. As Johnson points out, where courage is not, no other virtue can survive except by accident. Cowardice drove me into hypocrisy and hypocrisy into blasphemy. It is true that I did not and could not then know the real nature of the thing I was doing: but I knew very well that I was acting a lie with the greatest possible solemnity.
Bereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases--like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase. . . . We were one flesh. Now that it has been cut in two, we don't want to pretend that it is whole and complete.
There is one place where her absence comes locally home to me, and it is a place I can't avoid. I mean my own body. It had such a different importance while it was the body of H.'s lover. Now it's like an empty house.
Life at a vile boarding school is in this way a good preparation for the Christian life, that it teaches one to live by hope. Even, in a sense, by faith; for at the beginning of each term, home and the holidays are so far off that it is as hard to realize them as to realize heaven. Tomorrow's geometry blots out the distant end of term as tomorrow's operation may blot out the hope of Paradise.
We are perplexed to see misfortune falling upon decent, inoffensive, worthy people--on capable, hardworking mothers of families or diligent, thrifty, little trades-people, on those who have worked so hard, and so honestly, for their modest stock of happiness and now seem to be entering on the enjoyment of it with the fullest right. . . . Let me implore the reader to try to believe, if only for the moment, that God, who made these deserving people, may really be right when He thinks that their modest prosperity and the happiness of their children are not enough to make them blessed: that all this must fall from them in the end, and that if they have not learned to know Him they will be wretched.
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.

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