Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And then Screwtape told Wormwood...

"Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so.  The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves.  Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills.  When they meant to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing.  When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave.  When they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven.  Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment."

Why how dare that demon Screwtape suggest that anyone's prayers are less than real on the basis of feelings!

How dare he indeed.

(Quote taken from C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, published by the Macmillan Company, 1943)


  1. Read any Psalm of David in his darkest despair and you will see, he isn't begging God for self-esteem or sunshiny feelings; he is pleading with God to deliver him from his enemies and the consequences of his sin.

    Wonder how much trouble Screwtape and Wormwood got into for allowing those letters to be seen?! I just read that Walden Films (the company doing the Narnia series) has purchased rights to make Screwtape into a movie as well.

  2. I have heard bits and pieces of the Screwtape letters but have not actually read the book. I'll definitely have to get to it.

  3. I've just begun reading "The Cross Centered Life." In the chapter I read today, CJ Mahaney discussed our tendencies to elevate our feelings over Truth. He said instead of LISTENING to ourselves, we need to TALK TO ourselves, reminding ourselves of the truth!

  4. Funny thing...ever notice that when you pray God's voice sounds an awful lot like your own?

  5. And that is precisely why I am not a fan of "praise and worship" music/time. It's all about me-me-me and my feeeelllings.

  6. This is sooooo very true...we are "too busy" as a society...everything is Instant gratifiction. Have you every heard of the acronym

    Scary, isn't it.