C. S. Lewis quotes

  • Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. ... We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Strong #Mean #Fighting

  • If tribulation is a necessary element in redemption, we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Elements #Redemption #World

  • Love may, indeed, love the beloved when her beauty is lost: but not because it is lost. Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal. Love is more sensitive than hatred itself to every blemish in the beloved… Of all powers he forgives most, but he condones least: he is pleased with little, but demands all.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Lost Love #Love Is #Hatred

  • It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Heart #Religion #Safe

  • The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Madness #Kind

  • God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Order #Religion #Lessons

  • Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Magic #Citing #Witch

  • He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if He really was God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Party #Love Is #Law

  • Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing--rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mother #Father #Men

  • When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Faith #Godly #Men

  • Good and evil both increase at compound interest.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Evil #Increase #Interest

  • While we are actually subjected to them, the 'moods' and 'spirits' of nature point no morals. Overwhelming gaiety, insupportable grandeur, sombre desolation are flung at you. Make what you can of them, if you must make at all. The only imperative that nature utters is, 'Look. Listen. Attend.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Nature #Looks #Spirit

  • When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Maturity #Men #Secret

  • What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Wisdom #Prayer #Mean

  • Badness is only spoiled goodness.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Evil #Spoiled #Goodness

  • The cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning!
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Monday #Morning #Crowns

  • When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mean #Self #Giving

  • Satan always sends error into the world in pairs that are opposites. His great hope is that you will get so upset about one of his errors, that you'll react into the opposite one, and he's got you.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Errors #Opposites #Upset

  • God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger - according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Fun #Thinking #Safety

  • In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble--because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out." - Mere Christianity
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Christian #Men #Degrees

  • Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Humble #Humility #Pride

  • Friendship, then, like the other natural loves, is unable to save itself. In reality, because it is spiritual and therefore faces a subtler enemy, it must, even more wholeheartedly than they, invoke the divine protection if it hopes to remain sweet. For consider how narrow its true path is. Is must not become what the people call a "mutual admiration society"; yet if it is not full of mutual admiration, of Appreciative love, it is not Friendship at all.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Spiritual #Sweet #Reality

  • One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons--marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Christian #Giving Up #Taken

  • Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Wisdom #Men #World

  • Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Writing #Mean #People

  • There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #People #Ordinary #Ordinary People

  • Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Thinking #Talking #Water

  • And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to do another and harder and better one.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Demand #Deeds #Rewards

  • The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Wise #Wisdom #Circles

  • The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Delight #Worship #Psalms

  • What do people mean when they say, 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never even been to a dentist?
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mean #People #Dentist

  • The knight is a man of blood and iron, a man familiar with the sight of smashed faces and the ragged stumps of lopped-off limbs; he is also a demure, almost a maidenlike, guest in hall, a gentle, modest, unobtrusive man. He is not a compromise or happy mean between ferocity and meekness; he is fierce to the nth and meek to the nth.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mean #Men #Iron

  • It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Honesty #Suffering

  • Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, 'sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Sacrifice #Men #Thinking

  • The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility...According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Christian #Teacher #Inspiration

  • In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Thinking #People #Wish

  • My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Grief #Grieving #Ideas

  • I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Believe #Luxury #Giving

  • Tea should be taken in solitude.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Taken #Solitude #Tea

  • Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Inspirational #Life #Father

  • You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Long #Mind #Trying

  • Do not by any means destroy yourself, for if you live you may yet have good fortune, but all the dead are dead like.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mean #May #Fortune

  • If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man's outward actions – if he continues to be just a snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before – then I think we must suspect that his 'conversion' was largely imaginary.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Men #Thinking #Ambitious

  • Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Men #People #Slavery

  • If you love deeply, you're going to get hurt badly. But it's still worth it.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Hurt #Stills #Worth It

  • Those who cannot conceive of Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Facts #Disguise #Betray

  • If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Inspirational #Life #Desire

  • The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Inspirational #Morning #Jobs

  • I am in love and out of it I will not go.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Marriage

  • We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Beautiful #Forgiveness #Practice

  • From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #God #Self #Alternatives

  • Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Religious #Men #Religion

  • It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Truth #Matter

  • We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Worship #Presence Of God #Behave

  • A clever arrangement of bad eggs will never make a good omelet.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Clever #Eggs #Vision

  • Don't think of God in terms of forms, because forms are limited and God is unlimited.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Thinking #Spirituality #Form

  • Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Pride #Men #Next

  • Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Christian #Atheist #Looks

  • One of the things that distinguishes man from the other animals is that he wants to know things, wants to find out what reality is like, simply for the sake of knowing. When that desire is completely quenched in anyone, I think he has become something less than human.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Life #Animal #Reality

  • You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #God #Night #Feelings

  • If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes. It cuts its own throat.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Atheist #Cutting #Would Be

  • Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Atheist #Lying #Waiting

  • I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Atheist #Night #England

  • A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers-including even his power to revolt...It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Atheist #Flower #Trying

  • In worship, God imparts himself to us.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Prayer #Worship #Worship God

  • Many things, such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly - are done worst when we try hardest to do them.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Sleep #Insomnia #Trying

  • We read to know we are not alone.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Reading #Not Alone

  • We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Guilt #Facts #Doe

  • Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #War #Love You #Waste

  • I have discovered that the people who believe most strongly in the next life do the most good in the present one.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Life #Believe #People

  • Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Life #Christian #Men

  • We may think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Life #Wisdom #Thinking

  • Our prayers for others flow more easily than those for ourselves. This shows we are made to live by charity.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Prayer #Helping Others #Charity

  • God whispers in our pleasures, but shouts in our pain.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Pain #Pleasure

  • Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks. ... And suddenly, at the very moment when, so far, I mourned H. least, I remembered her best. Indeed it was something (almost) better than memory; an instantaneous, unanswerable impression. To say it was like a meeting would be going too far. Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words. It was as though the lifting of the sorrow removed a barrier.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Morning #Memories #Heart

  • To love at all is to be vulnerable.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Inspirational Love #Vulnerable

  • Consciousness is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Consciousness #Illusion #Revelations

  • True friends... face in the same direction, toward common projects, interests, goals.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #True Friend #Goal #Faces

  • It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort. It's not the sort of comfort they supply there.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Doors #Heaven #Comfort

  • The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words 'true' or 'false'.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Brain #Religion #Atheism

  • Unsatisfied desire is in itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Love And Friendship #Desire #Satisfaction

  • If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Uplifting #Walks

  • A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world-and might be even more difficult to save.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Nice #People #Would Be

  • Love is unselfishly choosing for another's highest good.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Love #True Love #Good Love

  • The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Keys #Law #Play

  • If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means that you are very conceited indeed.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Mean #Humility #Conceited

  • Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Growth #Synthesis #Continuity

  • The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Joy #Common #Nonsense

  • If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Self #Sake

  • God has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Compliment #Tragic

  • The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is the hand over your whole self--all your wishes and precautions--to Christ.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Self #Hands #Over You

  • You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act—that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food?
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Girl #Country #Thinking

  • Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Lust #Desire #Energy

  • Theology offers you a working arrangement, which leaves the scientist free to continue his experiments and the Christian to continue his prayers.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Christian #Prayer #Miracle

  • A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn't be a great moral teacher. He'd be either a lunatic on a level with a man who says he's a poached egg or else he'd be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Teacher #Jesus #Son

  • Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Reality #Complicated #Odd

  • I am a product [...of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them.... I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Father #Book #Men

  • God gives His gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Giving #Empty #Enough

  • It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Strong #Desire #Lord

  • By repenting, one acknowledges them as sins-therefore not to be repeated.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Sin #Repent #Acknowledge