Jun 22, 2010

The Screwtape Letters revisited (Part I )

I am just now catching up on my classical Christian reading by delving into C.S Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters".

The Lord must be trying to tell me something, because it is just like Screwtape and Woodworm are my own personal demons, trying to make me stumble and fall by the demon handbook.

I was hoping to make this a small summary (in my own words), but has I only got through the first few letters, I realized that to do it justice, this will have to be an on-going thesis's of sorts.

Let's see what lessons we can learn to try and out maneuver the enemy;

1) "They find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes. Keep pressing home on him the ordinariness of things."

I call this "lost in life", ..we tend to get so caught up in "real life" that we forget there is a spiritual side of life...the most important thing in our life. If you are an unbeliever or agnostic and a Godly thought pops into your head, you better pursue it, your soul may depend on it.

2) "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself."

Satan opens up our eyes to the "sins" of our fellow man. He tries to get us to look around the pews and make judgements upon our fellow church-goers and then become despondent when we may see hypocrisy or know of others sinfulness. He blinds us to the point in which our own spiritual journey is detoured by the sins of those in the pews around us. We tend to forget that Jesus said " I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." (Mark 2;17)

3) The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether.

Satan is terrified of devotional prayers, but any prayer is an opportunity for God to speak to us and give us strength against the tempter. We must be sure though, that we don't just ramble off prayer that has no substance. We must pray with all our heart, mind, body and soul, keeping in mind that God is our focal point of our prayer.

4) It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.

I don't know about you but my memory doesn't work so well any more. Some of the problem is with my past; things I have seen, heard and done ....the unpleasantries of my life, will resurface in my mind at the oddest moments. I can listen to the greatest homily ever preached one moment, and then WHAM!, the spiritual ecstasy is gone, forgotten, taken by the evil one.

I take my eyes off the Lord, and gaze upon myself. Satan can and will put bad things in our minds and try to keep out the good things, and we will fully cooperate if we are not well formed in our faith, in our minds.

5) "..And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless."

I've heard a saying that goes "there are no atheist in foxholes", referring to the very real feeling of knowing you could be dead at any moment. The contemplation of death, or a near death experience or even being on your death bed at the end of a long life can open your eyes to the Truth.....what happens next?
We can get so caught up in living life, that we forget the other part of life...death. Death has a way of making you face God or at least think about if there actually is a God.
Never be content on knowing all about what life has to offer....learn about what death can teach you about life.

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