Friday, November 22, 2013

Ordinary people

Today, on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, his influence is evident from the many who have chosen to write about him. I've been reading posts and articles all morning, about his critical work, his poetry, the fiction, and the apologetics. Just now, Brett McCracken on "Things I've Learned From C.S. Lewis" with particular attention to Lewis's 1941 sermon, "The Weight of Glory," from which this:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners – no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.