C.S. Lewis Quotes
- Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.
2. Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
3. Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.
4. We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
5. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
6. You can’t know, you can only believe – or not.
7. The world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.
8. It is not your business to succeed, but to do right. When you have done so the rest lies with god.
9. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
10. I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.
11. You can begin as if nothing had ever gone wrong. White as snow.
12. If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.
13. Joy is the serious business of heaven.
14. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.
15. No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.
16. It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.
17. Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.
18. A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.
19. Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.
20. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.
21. People who bore one another should meet seldom; people who interest one another, often.
22. Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.
23. To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity.
24. You can make anything by writing.
25. Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
26. This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there’s a rumor going around the shop that some of us are someday going to come to life.
27. We meet no ordinary people in our lives.
28. All get what they want; they do not always like it.
29. What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.
30. Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.
31. If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.
32. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
33. Readers are advised to remember the devil is a liar.
34. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.
35. Every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will ‘turn the necessity to glorious gain.
36. God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.
37. When things go wrong, you’ll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better.
38. Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.
39. Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.
40. Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone.
41. A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
42. No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
43. Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.
44. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.
45. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.
46. You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.
47. Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.
48. Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.
49. We read to know we are not alone.
50. And so for a time it looked as if all the adventures were coming to an end; but that was not to be.
51. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
52. Shut your mouth; open your eyes and ears.
53. The death of a beloved is an amputation.
54. Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .
55. One always feel better when one has made up one’s mind.
56. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
57. Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.
58. In Science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find the poem itself.
59. No people find each other more absurd than lovers.
60. If you think of this world as a place simply intended for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for training and correction and it’s not so bad.
61. We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.
62. Let’s pray that the human race never escapes Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.
63. You’ve no idea how good an old joke sounds when you take it out again after a rest of five or six hundred years.
64. 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.
65. Pooh! Grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations.
66. I desired dragons with a profound desire.
67. The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one!
68. Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.
69. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
70. The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.
71. A woman’s heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her.
72. Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead.
73. Suspicion often creates what it suspects.
74. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
75. What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.
76. If you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again.
77. No man can be an exile if he remembers that all the world is one city.
78. Things never happen the same way twice.
79. But one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.
80. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you’re making.
81. Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.
82. Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.
83. There might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death.
84. A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.
85. What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.
86. Nothing is yet in its true form.
87. When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.
88. My own eyes are not enough for me; I will see through those of others.
89. One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts.
90. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
91. We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.
92. Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality.
93. The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.
94. When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.
95. In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself.
96. This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.
97. Do not dare not to dare.
98. We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
99. Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
100. You know me better than you think, you know, and you shall know me better yet.
101. Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.
102. Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it.
103. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
104. Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
105. We can never know what might have been but what is to come is another matter entirely
106. Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
107. Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.
108. The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.
109. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.
110. There is no other day. All days are present now. This moment contains all moments.
111. Adventures are never fun while you’re having them.
112. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
113. There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.
114. It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.
115. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.
116. Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.
117. He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.
118. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
119. Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…
120. All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
121. Love, in its own nature, demands the perfecting of the beloved.
122. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
123. Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.
124. I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.
125. All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.
126. The rule of the universe is that others can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and one can paddle every canoe except one’s own.
127. God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
128. If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.
129. Music. A meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience.
130. If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.
131. You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God.
132. Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.
133. You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.
134. The heart never takes the place of the head: but it can, and should, obey it.
135. Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy.
136. There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes.
137. Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extraordinary destiny.
138. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
139. The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.
140. Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.
141. The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.
142. We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.
143. As for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream.
144. If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.
145. There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
146. The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.
147. Clearly one must read every good book at least once every ten years.
148. Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.
149. It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
150. I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.
151. No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.
152. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.
153. The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.
154. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
155. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
156. The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
157. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
158. I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.
159. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
160. Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us.
161. Die before you die, there is no chance after.
162. I was with book, as a woman is with child.
163. There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there’s never more than one.
164. We are what we believe we are!
165. Things always work according to their nature.
166. You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.
167. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.
168. The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.
169. Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers Please will you do the job for me.
170. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.
171. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.
172. We need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.
173. I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself.
174. Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.
175. The harder you tried not to think, the more you thought.
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