Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis
Yep, a great Proddie, this one.
Kudos to the looking spoon
I am now re-reading C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape letters” and I am truly enjoying every word again. In a sense, I had almost forgotten how witty, profound and instructive the man was.
This book is, so to speak, the non-Catholic counterpart of the great G.K.Chesterton. More rapid to get to the point than the latter probably, though perhaps not so full of surprises and paradoxes.
Most of all, C.S.Lewis is amusing. He instructs whilst he entertains. The book is even more remarkable because, though written in the midst of the Second World War, it does not have anything of the propaganda or “Gott mit uns”-Attitude you might expect in a book written in such difficult and passionate times. Written in the middle of a savage conflict, the book reminds one even more of the far more momentous conflict (because linked, each one, to an eternal result) that the battle for the soul of every one of us is. C.S. Lewis flies over the conflicts of his time and dwells over the conflicts of every time.
The man is also remarkably orthodox from a Catholic perspective and is therefore, in my eyes, rather safe reading as instruction, too.
Many of you have probably read the book already. I think the others won’t do any damage to themselves by ordering it. Books which make it a pleasure to open and re-read at regular interval are seldom wrong investments.
(There. No one will be able to say that I always shoot at Heretics now….)
Mark O’Shea has an article about the canonisation of Non-Catholics, whereby a reader asks him whether the Church should not canonise C.S. Lewis (not a Catholic but a valiant fighter for Christianity throughout).
O’Shea’s answer is basically that the Church should not canonise non-Catholics because this would – irrespectively of the good life and intention of the person in question – downplay the very important difference between those who have the Truth and those who haven’t.
In my eyes, there is another important observation which should be made: in order to canonise someone, the Church needs miracles. Unless I am mistaken, She needs two of them for a non martyr and one for a martyr. Miracles show the will of God in the matter. No miracles, no will of God, no canonisation even if one went to Paradise with the limo.
Now this should introduce an important consideration: how is it that there are no miracles attributed to obviously saintly Protestants? Please let us again remember what the Church says about miracles, that they occur so that God may give us certainty that the person in question is in Heaven. Now, it would appear that God wants to give us proof that a lot of Catholics went to Heaven, but doesn’t want to give us the same guarantee about Protestants.
If he wanted, he would inspire Christians (not necessarily Catholics) to pray for a saintly person’s intercession (some Anglicans do it; Episcopalians might do it) and then He would allow miracles linked with this person to happen. And then the Episcopalians or Anglicans would be able to boast of their own great saints, of the Anglican Padre Pios so to speak and claim that evidently one way is as good to arrive at destination as the other. This just doesn’t happen and whilst I do not doubt that the Anglicans have their own catalogue of “saints”, I doubt that anyone of them would pass the standard demanded of the Catholic ones.
This doesn’t mean that many Protestant are not in Heaven of course; but it certainly means that entrance into Paradise through the window (or the back door) is something God doesn’t want to put a great stress on.
There is only one Church. It is the one of St. Francis, of St. Dominic, of St. Teresa of Avila, of St. Catherine of Sienna, of Padre Pio, of all Her great heroes.
God has shown to us that those great man to whom inexplicable events are linked are invariably Catholic. This happens for a reason and if you ask me it is nothing to do with what the Church should or should not do, because the Church doesn’t create the process.
It has to do with what God wants.
God wants you to be a Catholic.