C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters Quotes


Do you have any favorite C.S. Lewis quotes from The Screwtape Letters?

Clive Staples Lewis was a writer and theologian who wrote many books on multiple topics of faith, love, life and so much more. One of my favorite books by C.S. Lewis is The Screwtape Letters which is basically a Christian novel that Lewis dedicated to his long time friend J. R. R. Tolkien.

The Screwtape Letters addresses many critical theological issues of the Christian faith. Temptation is one of the key issues addresses inside The Screwtape Letters quotes and many readers within or outside the Christian faith have found it to be an eye opener to issues of spirituality.

The book was originally published in 1942 and it contains 160 pages of valuable information on the Christian faith. Here are some of the best C.S. Lewis quotes from The Screwtape Letters:

C.S. Lewis Quotes From The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis Quotes From The Screwtape Letters

1. “Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”

2. “Suspicion often creates what it suspects.”

3. “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.”

4. “No man who says, ‘I’m as good as you,’ believes it. He would not say it if he did.”

5. “Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”

6. “She’s the sort of woman who lives for others – you can tell the others by their hunted expression.”

7. “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”

8. “The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”

9. “The Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most temporal part of time–for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”

10. “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”

11. “The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them for eternity.”

12. “A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.”

13. “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.”

14. “When they have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors.”

15. “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

16. “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

17. “Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that “suits” him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”

18. “We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.”

19. “Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

20. “Nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust and ambition look ahead.”

21. “It is always the novice who exaggerates.”

22. “Humor is…the all-consoling and…the all-excusing, grace of life.”

23. “All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. This is elementary.”

24. “The claim to equality, outside of the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.”

25. “It is in some ways more troublesome to track and swat an evasive wasp than to shoot, at close range, a wild elephant. But the elephant is more troublesome if you miss.”

26. “You die and you die and then you are beyond death.”

27. I do not expect old heads on young shoulders.

28. “The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.”

29. “Devils are depicted with bats’ wings and good angels with birds’ wings, not because anyone holds that moral deterioration would be likely to turn feathers into membrane, but because most men like birds better than bats.”

31. “The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forewarmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack.”

32. “We laugh at honor, and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

33. “The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy.”

34. “To decide what the best use of it is, you must ask what use the Enemy wants to make of it, and then do the opposite.”

35. “My symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”

36. “The man can neither man, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels.”

37. “He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.”

38. “Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied.”

39. “The master demon Screwtape identifies elitist humanity’s tendency toward “an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow men.”

40. “The truth is that wherever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.”

41. “Courtship is the time for sowing those seeds which grow up ten years later into domestic hatred.”

42. “To be in time means to change.”

43. “Only by our incessant efforts is the demand for infinite, or unrhythmical, change kept up.”

44. “I sometimes wonder whether you think you have been sent into the world for your own amusement.”

45. “The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the laws of diminishing returns.”

46. “The duty of planning tomorrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.”

47. “The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality.”

48. “Even of his sins the Enemy does not want him to think too much: once they are repented, the sooner the man turns his attention outward, the better the Enemy is pleased.”

49. “In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face.”

50. “We want the Church to be small not only that fewer men may 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.”

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