Settled Happiness vs. Joy, Pleasure and Merriment

The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we always have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

— C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Cutting off the Branch

There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source.

When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The Power to Translate

You must translate every bit of your Theology into the vernacular. This is very troublesome, and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also the greatest service to your own thoughts. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts are confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one’s own meaning. 
—⏤ C.S. Lewis

Sliding, Slipping, Falling

We try when we wake, to lay the new day at God’s feet; before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God’s share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of ‘our own’ pocket, a deduction from the time which ought, we feel, to be ‘our own’… Thus all day long, and all the days of our life, we are sliding, slipping, falling away—as if God were, to our present consciousness, a smooth inclined plane on which there is no resting. And indeed, we are now of such a nature that we slip off, and the sin, because it is unavoidable, may be venial. But God cannot have made us so. The gravitation away from God, ‘the journey homeward to habitual self,’ must, we think, be a product of the Fall.

 — C.S. Lewis

These Golden Moments

And the joke, or tragedy, of it all is that these golden moments in the past, which are so tormenting if we erect them to a norm, are entirely nourishing, wholesome, and enchanting if we are content to accept them for what they are, for memories. Properly bedded down in a past which we do not miserably try to conjure back, it will send up exquisite growths. Leave the bulbs alone, and the new flowers will come up. Grub them up and hope, by fondling and sniffing, to get last year’s blooms, and you will get nothing.
—CS Lewis