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Archive for the ‘Favorite Poetry: Various Authors’ Category

File:Amy Carmichael with children.jpg

I am currently reading an abbreviated biography of Amy Carmichael. Inspired…a word that does little to capture the impression her living sacrifice (life) has made on me. I am eager to read more, more about her. I am already smitten with her poems, anecdotes and short devotions. A few of these rubies are included below:

“One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.”

 “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which He creates.”  

“O Lamb of God, deliver me…

From subtle love of softening things,

From easy choices, weakenings,

(Not thus are spirits fortified,

Not this way went the Crucified)

From all that dims Thy Calvary

O Lamb of God, deliver me.”

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.”

 

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I remember attempting to read “The Screwtape Letters” in my early tween years. I didn’t “get it” at the time and never finished reading. I have loved C.S. Lewis since I was very young, though, and have read some of his books multiple times, but never returned to this one. Recently I had the opportunity to watch a dramatization of “The Screwtape Letters” at the Orpheum in Memphis. Screwtape was played by Max McLean who was mindblowing as the demon giving  advice to his nephew on how to steer his “Patient” away from  “attending to the Enemy Himself. ” The “Patient” is a newly converted Christian and “The Enemy” refers to God, while the demons pledge allegiance to their “Father Below.” The play was satirical and poked fun at the devil, and the human errors that we often allow to draw us away from our relationship with God. I was deeply impacted by this play. I have been a follower of God for most of my life, but watching this re-kindled a lot of aspects of my faith. Many of the adressed topics were refreshers for me, but a lot of them were new and oh so beneficial to learn. I don’t know that I have ever thought of the Christian’s walk from the devil’s point of veiw! At any rate, I would strongly encourage anyone, Christian, or non, to watch this play. You could not help but be changed for the better by it.

Below are some of my favorite “Screwtape” quotes:

  • “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

 

  • There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.

 

  • (Probably my favorite quote) Of course a war is entertaining. The immediate fear and suffering of the humans is a legitimate and pleasing refreshment for our myriads of toiling workers. But what permanent good does it do us unless we make use of it for bringing souls to Our Father Below? When I see the temporal suffering of humans who finally escape us, I feel as if I had been allowed to taste the first course of a rich banquet and then denied all the rest. It is worse than not to have tasted it at all. The Enemy, true to His barbarous methods of warfare, allows us to see the short misery of His favourites only to tantalize and torment us — to mock the incessant hunger, which, during this present phase of great conflict, His blockade is admittedly imposing.
  • Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.

 

  • The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them for eternity

 

  • We want the Church to be small not only that fewer men know the Enemy but also that those who do may acquire the uneasy intensity and the defensive self-righteousness of a secret society or a clique.

 

  • For as things are, your man has now discovered the dangerous truth that these attacks don’t last forever; consequently you cannot use again what is, after all, our best weapon — the belief of ignorant humans that there is no hope of getting rid of us except by yielding

 

  • We must first make (Jesus) solely a teacher, and then conceal the very substantial agreement between his teachings and those of all other great moral teachers. For humans must not be allowed to notice that all great moralists are sent by the Enemy, not to inform men, but to remind them, to restate the primeval moral platitudes against our continual concealment of them.

 

  • Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of really being at home on Earth, which is just what we want. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old

 

  • Whatever men expect, they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on our part, be turned into a sense of injury.

 

 A link to a website where the entire text of the book can be read: http://members.fortunecity.com/phantom1/books2/c._s._lewis_-_the_screwtape_letters.htm

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdBNimP7eaw (watch a clip of the play here)

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Morbid, I know, but I would love this excerpt from the poem as an epitaph. I think there is so much truth in it.

“He prayeth best who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.” -Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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