C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

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Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

Friendship is unnecessary like philosophy like art... It has no survival value, rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.

The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.

We are what we believe we are.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Joy is the serious business of heaven.

All get what they want; they do not always like it.

The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.

Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.

Forgiveness does not mean excusing.

A pleasure is not full grown until it is remembered.

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides, and in this respect it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

Reason is the natural order of truth, but imagination is the organ of meaning.

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour whatever he does, whoever he is.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

Thirty was so strange for me. I've really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.

If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles criminals enemies or capitalists for the same reasons.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.

Of all the bad men, religious bad men are the worst.

It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.

Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.

You may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.

Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.

The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.

Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different...

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.

Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.

There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.

Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.

We are mirrors whose brightness is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us.

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.

I sometimes wonder 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.

There is hidden or flaunted a sword between the sexes, till an entire marriage reconciles them.

This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.

If the whole universe has no meaning we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

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.

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."

A man who is eating or lying with his wife, or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is by Christian standards in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.

Long before history began we men have got together apart from the women and done things. We had time.

What we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.

With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.

How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete.

Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith, but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

I gave in and admitted that God was God.

Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war... Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest.

If you look for truth you may find comfort in the end, if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin and in the end despair.

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very", otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

The long dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil.

Education without values, as useful as it is seems, rather to make man a more clever devil.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

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.

The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.

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.

Eros will have naked bodies, Friendship naked personalities.

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.

Even in literature and art no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will nine times out of ten become original without ever having noticed it.

Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.