‘It’s a lie. A wicked, cruel lie. How could anyone love their son more than I did? Haven’t I lived only for his memory all these years?’‘That was rather a mistake, Pam. In your heart of hearts you know it was.’‘What was a mistake?’‘All that ten years’ ritual of grief. Keeping his room exactly as he’d left it; keeping anniversaries; refusing to leave that house though Dick and Muriel were both wretched there.’‘Of course they didn’t care. I know that. I soon learned to expect no real sympathy from them.’‘You’re wrong. No man ever felt his son’s death more than Dick. Not many girls loved their brothers better than Muriel. It wasn’t against Michael they revolted: it was against you—against having their whole life dominated by the tyranny of the past: and not really even Michael’s past, but your past.’‘You are heartless. Everyone is heartless. The past was all I had.’‘It was all you chose to have. It was the wrong way to deal with a sorrow. It was Egyptian—like embalming a dead body.’‘Oh, of course. I’m wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.’‘But of course!’ said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. ‘That’s what we all find when we reach this country. We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke. There’s no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.’
I don’t know how he does it. His seemingly casual analogies and metaphors just cause a page to explode, driving home the import of whatever he’s talking about.
To shrink back from all that can be called Nature into negative spirituality is as if we ran away from horses instead of learning to ride. There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room (more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, ‘Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with the wealth that perishes?’ Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot control even an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may some day be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world- shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else— since He has retained His own charger—should we accompany Him?” – from Miracles
You’re probably thinking, “C.S Lewis on fake news?! Uhhh… wasn’t he dead long before this whole fake news trend started?” Well… yes and no. Yes, in the sense that it wasn’t called fake news in his day. But, no, in the sense that misrepresentations of current events in order to shape or alter public discourse/opinion (e.g. yellow journalism, etc.) has been going on for a good long while. Only our chronological snobbery (also a CS Lewis-ism) would allow us to think that fake news is a postmodern American problem. So I commend this reading (and illustration!) of Lewis’s take on how we can be done with wicked journalists. An added bonus in this video is this: Lewis shares some very clear-headed thinking on a subject that many in our knee-jerk culture struggle to grasp, namely that it is possible to make a moral judgment on someone’s actions or words without necessarily falling prey to the charge of “self-righteous”.