The “Atmosphere” of Truth

I was just re- listening to this bit from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

“Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?” (CS Lewis, Aslan speaking.)

And it struck me again – this time in the light of Lewis’s The Abolition of Man (or should I say “the dark shadow?”), that good people – princes and subjects alike, all subject themselves to the laws of what is good. For somehow they understand that goodness is the very fiber of which reality is made. Unlike other “princes” who make their thrones on high towers, and pass down rules for those who serve under them, but they don’t have to abide by them personally, Christ, True Christianity and the good God we serve all stand in the light of goodness, virtue and truth. And he who would be the greatest, must be the first to be servant of all. This to me is the spirit of Christ, and in the vein of GK Chesterton, the “atmosphere” of truth, virtue and Goodness. By this we know if we are its disciples: if as we set out, we understand that we set out firstly to follow goodness, truth and virtue, and secondly to serve others, obeying the laws of life. If we set out with a desire to discover our own selves or “greatness,” and have a desire to be served by others, then we are in that moment, children of another mother, and not children of the true spirit of God.

~ Watergirl 🌸

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Our Will to Overcome

“God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.”

-CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

Necessary Food

“How many people would like to be good, if only they might be good without taking trouble about it! They do not like goodness well enough to hunger and thirst after it, or to sell all that they have that they may buy it; they will not batter at the gate of the kingdom of Heaven; but they look with pleasure on this or that aerial castle of righteousness, and think it would be rather nice to live in it! They do not know that it is goodness all the time their very being is pining after, and that they are starving their nature of its necessary food.”

–George MacDonald

Coming to a Point

“If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family–anything like that–at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there’s going to be even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder…”

CS Lewis, That Hideous Strength

A Strange Hopefulness

Give me, take from me, as thou wilt. I learn—

Slowly and stubbornly I learn to yield

With a strange hopefulness. As from the field

Of hard-fought battle won, the victor chief

Turns thankfully, although his heart do yearn,

So from my old things to thy new I turn,

With sad, thee-trusting heart, and not in grief.

–George MacDonald

I Must Be Pure

Keep me from wrath, let it seem ever so right:

My wrath will never work thy righteousness.

Up, up the hill, to the whiter than snow-shine,

Help me to climb, and dwell in pardon’s light.

I must be pure as thou, or ever less

Than thy design of me—therefore incline

My heart to take men’s wrongs as thou tak’st mine.

Lord, in thy spirit’s hurricane, I pray,

Strip my soul naked—dress it then thy way.

Change for me all my rags to cloth of gold.

Who would not poverty for riches yield?

A hovel sell to buy a treasure-field?

Who would a mess of porridge careful hold

Against the universe’s birthright old?

Excerpt From

A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-book-of-strife-in-the-form-of-the-diary-of-an-old-soul/id499797732?mt=11

Better Things

Better to smell a violet,

Than sip the careless wine;

Better to list one music tone,

Than watch the jewels’ shine.

Better to have the love of one,

Than smiles like morning dew;

Better to have a living seed

Than flowers of every hue.

Better to feel a love within,

Than be lovely to the sight;

Better a homely tenderness

Than beauty’s wild delight.

Better to love than be beloved.

Though lonely all the day;

Better the fountain in the heart,

Than the fountain by the way.

Better a feeble love to God,

Than for woman’s love to pine;

Better to have the making God

Than the woman made divine.

Better be fed by mother’s hand,

Than eat alone at will;

Better to trust in God, than say:

My goods my storehouse fill.

Better to be a little wise

Than learned overmuch;

Better than high are lowly thoughts,

For truthful thoughts are such.

Better than thrill a listening crowd,

Sit at a wise man’s feet;

But better teach a child, than toil

To make thyself complete.

Better to walk the realm unseen,

Than watch the hour’s event;

Better the smile of God alway,

Than the voice of men’s consent.

Better to have a quiet grief

Than a tumultuous joy;

Better than manhood, age’s face,

If the heart be of a boy.

Better the thanks of one dear heart,

Than a nation’s voice of praise;

Better the twilight ere the dawn,

Than yesterday’s mid-blaze.

Better a death when work is done,

Than earth’s most favoured birth;

Better a child in God’s great house

Than the king of all the earth.

–George MacDonald