Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I recently read C.S. Lewis' book Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer and came across a paragraph that sang a symphony to me. Curiously, however, the effect was not immediate. After a short session of reading, I stopped to do some chores. It was perhaps an hour or so later, when I was engaged in my work, when the importance of what I read suddenly became resonant within me. I felt compelled to stop what I was doing and to go back to my earlier reading. After scanning through the pages of the book that I had completed, I found what had suddenly come alive to me. I read the paragraph several times through and just savored in the truth and the wonderful clarity and elegance in its deliverance. I felt that I should share this passage here with you.

"Is it still God speaking when a liar or blasphemer speaks? In one sense, almost yes. Apart from God he could not speak at all; there are no words not derived from the Word; no acts not derived from Him who is Actus purus. And indeed the only way in which I can make real to myself what theology teaches about the heinousness of sin is to remember that every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us - an energy which, if not thus distorted, would have blossomed into one of those holy acts whereof "God did it" and "I did it" are both true descriptions. We poison the wine as He decants it into us; murder a melody He would play with us as the instrument. We caricature the self-portrait He would paint. Hence all sin, whatever else it is, is sacrilege."

My full review of Letters to Malcolm will post on Friday.