I have recently started reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis. If you have not read it, I definitely recommend it. It is a series of letters written from the devil Screwtape to his newphew Wormwood, in which Screwtape is coaching his nephew in how to successfully lure his ‘patients’ (mankind) away from the Enemy (God).
I am about half way through and came across a paragraph which, in a strange way, is a beautiful description of God’s love for us and our true selves in him.
‘Of course I know that the Enemy also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that he really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When he talks of their losing their selves, he only means 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.’
Screwtape is one of my favourites. I love the picture of the church that is painted in the second chapter. He says:
…I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners…”
It’s one of those things that I need to constantly remind myself of when church is disappointing or is difficult or tiring.
It’s a great book. I love it!
I re-read Screwtape a few years back and it made so much more sense as an adult.
I’m really glad this new edition came out as well because for about 5 years it was out of print in Australia. Perhaps it went out of print because all too often don’t want to talk about the work of Satan because we want to emphasise our victory in Christ. We thus delude ourselves into thinking we aren’t at war.
The ending is a cracker, I wont spoil it for you though :)