Marvels

“The essential rectitude of our view of children lies in the fact that we feel them and their ways to be supernatural while, for some mysterious reason, we do not feel ourselves or our own ways to be supernatural. The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to be seen through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel as if we ourselves were enlarged to an embarrassing bigness of stature. We feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that a deity might feel if he had created something that he could not understand.”

~G.K. Chesterton: “A Defence of Baby Worship.”

A Road Out of the Self

“I thus understood that in deepest solitude there is a road right out of the self, a commerce with something which, by refusing to identify itself with any object of the senses, or anything whereof we have biological or social need, or anything imagined, or any state of our own minds, proclaims itself sheerly objective. Far more objective than bodies, for it is not, like them, clothed in our senses; the naked Other, imageless (though our imagination salutes it with a hundred images), unknown, undefined, desired.”

– CS Lewis, Surprised by Joy

The Longing

The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.

–CS Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Being Such

“Does she never try to teach them any thing, Ethel?” “She is constantly teaching them, whether she tries or not,” I answered. “If you can make any one believe that there is something somewhere to be trusted, is not that the best lesson you can give him? That can be taught only by being such that people cannot but trust you.”

George MacDonald, The Vicar’s Daughter

By All Your Actions

TO MISS GLADDING

59 Magdalen College, Oxford.

June 7th 1945

Dear Miss Gladding I am afraid I don’t know any books more elementary than my own wh. wd. help. The truth is that when a person (not herself v. bookish or philosophical) has lost faith under so v. great and bewildering a trial, no intellectual approach is likely to avail. But where people can resist and ignore arguments they may be unable to resist lives. I am afraid, my dear lady, the only hope lies in you and in any other Xtian friends she has. It is in so far as you succeed in representing Christ to her by all your actions and words that she may, even unconsciously, come to know Him. This is a terrible thing to say to you, but He will make you able to be what you need to be.

CS Lewis