Remembering C.S. Lewis

C.s.lewis3While much of the U.S. is commemorating the death of John F. Kennedy, which happened 50 years ago today, the same date is also the death of noted Christian writer C.S. Lewis.

Born November 29, 1898, Clive Staples Lewis wrote many influential books including Mere Christianity, The Narnia stories (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), his space trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, et al), A Grief Observed…I could go on — Lewis wrote 30 books over his career. Lewis’s writings have been influential in my life, particularly Mere Christianity, which I have re-read annually for nearly 30 years.

The University Libraries has both circulating collections and many special collections items related to CS Lewis. The Hugh and Hazel Darling Library currently has a special exhibit on Lewis in the rotunda, with first editions of a number of his books.

Here are a few favorite quotations from his books:

“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.”

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” Mere Christianity

Photograph of CS Lewis from
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One Response to Remembering C.S. Lewis

  1. Thank you for these quotes, Liz. I especially love the house analogy, though I wonder what a true carpenter would say to fixing the drain pipes before throwing out new wings…Anyway, I also was deeply helped by Lewis’s writings. Read Mere Christianity in high school and have reread it often ever since–not 30 times though.

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