Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from Letter #3

My dear Wormwood,

I am very pleased by what you tell me about this man’s relations with his mother. But you must press your advantage. The Enemy will be working from the centre outwards, gradually bringing more and more of the patient’s conduct under the new standard, and may reach his behaviour to the old lady at any moment. You want to get in first.... The following methods are useful.
  1. Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind—or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious.  You must bring him to a conditionhomer-simpson-prays in which he can practise 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....

Your affection uncle,

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 11-12.


  1. I'm thrilled to have discovered this blog! C.S. Lewis is my hero, and a daily jolt from Jack is just what I need. Heck, it's what everybody needs! Thanks for doing this.

  2. Thanks very much, Margaret. I'm glad you like it. Keep coming back and tell all your friends! There's still so much we can learn from Lewis -- there's just no one like him today in the church. Thanks again,

  3. You are very welcome, Ken. This is a real ministry you're engaged in. I'll pass this link along to like-minded friends... and maybe even try with some who AREN'T. I owe my life to C.S. Lewis. He's the reason I'm no longer an atheist. Again, many thanks!

  4. Hi Ken. Really liked the Screwtape Letters. I heard they are in the process of making a movie based on CS Lewis's book. Good to see the comments from Margaret. Gary