He also discusses that Christianity can make room for science and reason and makes some pretty good points against evolution. He is not saying at all that one should never have privacy or solitude, nor is he saying that we lose our identity when we become a member of the Body of Christ, but rather that is where we find our true identity. The following paragraph stood out to me:. God did not die for man because of some value He perceived in him. The value of each human soul considered in itself, out of relation to God, is zero.
Celebrating C. S. Lewis: “The Weight Of Glory”
Paul writes, to have died for valuable men would have been not divine but merely heroic; but God died for sinners. But he discovered that believing in forgiveness is not so easy to do and does need frequent reminding. Too often when we come to God for forgiveness, what we really want is for Him to excuse us. And he reminds us that the same forgiveness we seek from God, He commands us to show to others. I say my prayers, I read a book of devotion, I prepare for, or receive, the Sacrament. But while I do these things, there is, so to speak, a voice inside me that urges caution.
It tells me to be careful, to keep my head, not to go too far, not to burn my boats.
For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us.
When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. This is so convicting to me, because that is precisely my tendency, to keep some area of my will for my own, to fear what He might ask. Plus he so often hits the nail right on the head: in the last essay I had the feeling my innermost thoughts had been found out.
I came across a blog post a few weeks ago where the blogger, whose views I would probably generally agree with, mentioned several areas where he differed with Lewis. The only one that stood out to me in this book was that he would take some parts of the Bible as symbolic that I would take to be literal. Lewis has a way of writing that delineates the truth clearly and precisely even though his intellect is so far above my own in a manner that is easy to understand.
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The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses Summary & Study Guide
Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Love sees self-denial as containing within it an appeal to desire, since it is good to desire and hope for the enjoyment of our own good. The ethic of negating desire comes from Kant and the Stoics, whereas the ethic that appeals to the desire for our own good comes from the New Testament. The problem is not that we have too much pleasure, but that we are far too easily pleased with that which is second best. In this third category, the emerging desire itself is a kind of preliminary reward.
The Christian life in the here and now fits best into the third category. But those of us who have not yet attained this reality cannot know it in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by a continuing to obey and b finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward.
An abbreviated analysis of C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory
As our desire increases, our fear of this being a mercenary desire eventually recedes to the point of being an absurdity. What is the object of our reward? And what must be true about the connection between the desire and the reality? To talk of this desire for our own far-off country almost feels like committing an indecency.
Our experience constantly suggests it, but it is a desire for something we have never actually experienced. And our whole education is devoted to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice, seeking to convince us that the earth is our home. But despite all efforts, we remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy.
Likewise, our desire for Paradise does not prove we will enjoy it. A man may fall in love with a woman with no resulting marital union, but it would be odd if men fell in love with women in a sexless world. The Scriptural image comes to us with authority.
The answer has to do with the nature of symbols, because any concept of being with Christ has to be communicated by earthly images of things from within our experience. The variation of the promises does not mean that anything other than God will be our ultimate bliss.
Salvation, both in the New Testament and in early Christian writings, is constantly associated with things like palms, crowns, white robes, thrones, and splendor like the sun and stars. But for most of us, this kind of thing has little immediate appeal. Does God want us to be better known than other people?
Does he want us to be a kind of living light bulb? Glory as Fame. Shockingly, Christian writers and theologians speak approvingly of glory as fame—not in the sense of approval from fellow creatures, but in receiving a good report or appreciation or approval by God. No one can enter heaven except as a child; and nothing is so obvious in a good and humble child as his great and undisguised pleasure in being praised.
The humblest, most childlike, most creaturely of pleasures is pleasure of the inferior: a child before its father, a pupil before his teacher, a creature before its Creator. Obviously this lawful pleasure of praise can quickly turn into the deadly poison of self-admiration. And if that is the case, we can contemplate the redeemed soul learning that he has pleased God, free from vanity and the miserable illusion that this is his own doing.
To please God.