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Favorite C.S. Lewis Quotes on 50th Anniversary

November 22, 2013

C.S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963. In honor of his life I’ve collect a small handful of quotes by him. These are not necessarily my favorites, but a few selections from quotes I’ve shared over the last year. The first however is an exception. It is a longer quote about death from his book Miracles. Also I’ve included a quote below from his brother, Warnie that is available in the memoir section of  Letters of C.S. Lewis.

“Friday, the 22nd of November 1963, began much as other days: there was breakfast, then letters and the crossword puzzle. After lunch he fell asleep in his chair: I suggested that he would be more comfortable in bed, and he went there. At four I took in his tea and found him drowsy but comfortable. Our few words then were the last: at five-thirty I heard a crash and ran in, to find him lying unconscious at the foot of his bed. He ceased to breathe some three or four minutes later.”

From: Letters of C.S. Lewis – Edited, with a Memoir by W.H. Lewis (1966)

“On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call “ambivalent.” It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.”

Miracles, chap. 14

“No good work is done anywhere without aid from the Father of Lights.”

(from Reflections on the Psalms)

“The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.”

The Abolition of Man

“If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God.”

(The Rival Conceptions of God; BBC talk 1/11/1942)

“Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad mando very bad things.” (

from the essay The Inner Ring

“Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well..”

The Efficacy of Prayer

“You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness.”

The Weight of Glory

“The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary colour in the spectrum.”

The Poison of Subjectivism in Christian Reflections

“Those that hate goodness are sometimes nearer than those that know nothing at all about it and think they have it already.”

Great Divorce 13th Installment 2/2/13

‘Those who read poetry to improve their minds will never improve their minds by reading poetry.”

from Lilies That Fester (World’s Last Night)

“There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite…Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.”

SL & Screwtape Toast BOOK 1961

“The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘LORD I believe, help Thou my unbelief.’”

a letter to Genia Goelz, March 18, 1952

“Friendship is unnecessary…it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

(The Four Loves)

“The voice of God indeed daily calls to us; calls to the world to abandon sins and seek the Kingdom of God wholeheartedly. O that we may all hear the call of the Father and, sometime, at last be converted to the Lord.”

from a letter to Don Giovanni Calabria, April 17, 1949

“The Christian must wage endless war against the clamour of the ego as ego: but he loves and approves selves as such, though not their sins.”

Two Ways with the Self

“The function of allegory is not to hide but to reveal, and it is properly used only for that which cannot be said, or so well said, in literal speech.”

The Allegory of Love

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2013 2:07 am

    Excellent selection of quotes! I must find and read “The Letter to Don Giovanni Calabria” – It is my favorite opera. Thank you.

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