Tag: death

Screwtape’s Agony Is Our Reward

My students finished reading C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters this week. The final letter includes one of the most profound insights Lewis has ever offered as to what happens when a Christian dies. Even though it is described through the eyes of a demon (or perhaps because it is described in that way), one can get a glimpse of the glory that awaits those who have found the narrow path and remained faithful. Wormwood’s “patient” has died in a… Read more »

The Pilgrimage Known as Life

“If only life would get back to normal!” Have you ever said that during times of exceptional distress? If you are human, you undoubtedly have expressed that, or something similar, at times. C. S. Lewis, in an essay called “Learning in War-Time,” found in the series of essays collected under the title of The Weight of Glory, helps us to reorient our thinking on this subject. He wrote that essay, obviously, during WWII. If ever anyone might long for a… Read more »

The Only Question That Really Matters: Lewis’s Final Interview

The final interview C. S. Lewis gave was with Sherwood Wirt of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Wirt spoke with him at Cambridge University in May of 1963, just six months before Lewis died. I was re-reading that interview this morning and found it enlightening as to Lewis’s thoughts during that final stage of his life—although, of course, he didn’t realize he was in the final stage. At first, Wirt was interested in drawing out Lewis on the type of… Read more »

C. S. Lewis Loses His Joy

On this day, July 13, 1960, C. S. Lewis lost his wife, Joy, to cancer. It was a devastating loss for him; their very short marriage he considered the apex of his life. Here’s how I wrote about it in my book, America Discovers C. S. Lewis: His Profound Impact: “The blow has fallen,” Lewis informed [his friend Chad] Walsh in October 1959. News that Joy’s cancer had returned was a shock. Prior to receiving this bad news, they had… Read more »

Screwtape’s War Lesson

I’ve been teaching a Screwtape Letters class at a local church on Wednesday evenings. It’s one of the highlights of my week. Although I’ve read this wonderful C. S. Lewis book a number of times, this is the first time I’ve attempted to discuss it with a group paragraph by paragraph, and the interaction with members of the class over Lewis’s key points has been illuminating. Nearly every paragraph offers some pearl of meditation that could conceivably fill up my… Read more »

Lewis: “Up into the Real World, the Real Waking”

I’ve begun teaching a class in a local church on The Screwtape Letters every Wednesday evening. What a delight it has been thus far. I’ll probably write some about that in future weeks, but for today, I will just refer to one comment made by an attendee. I don’t recall exactly what I said to elicit the comment, but her response was something about how I was still so young. At age 66, it’s encouraging to hear someone say I’m… Read more »

Lewis: Dealing with Death

Reading C. S. Lewis’s letters to Americans while researching my book was a daily joy. I’ve always loved research, but this was especially delightful. One of Lewis’s many American correspondents was Mary Willis Shelburne. Shelburne wrote more letters to Lewis than any other American correspondent; consequently, he wrote more to her than any other, since he felt duty-bound to respond to each letter he received. It is quite clear by the tone of the correspondence that she was an increasingly… Read more »