Monday, September 27, 2010

Coffee with St. Paul at St. Tim’s

Tim-Hortons-china-cupMy grandfather, I’m told, used to say that he “looked forward to having some very interesting conversations with St. Paul when he got to heaven.” Two clerical gentlemen talking at ease in a [coffee shop]! It never seemed to cross his mind that an encounter with St. Paul might be rather an overwhelming experience even for an Evangelical clergyman of good family. But when Dante saw the great apostles in heaven they affected him like mountains. There’s lots to be said against devotions to saints; but at least they keep on reminding us that we are very small people compared with them. How much smaller before their Master? . . .

C.S. Lewis, “From Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer,” The Essential C.S. Lewis (New York: Touchstone, 1986) 410-411.


  1. OK, I confess, Lewis actually described his grandfather and St. Paul as "Two clerical gentlemen talking at ease in a club," but coffee shop seemed so much more appropriate to this Canadian who loves his Timmies coffee. (To those non-Canadian readers I know that last phrase will look incorrect, don't worry, it's a Canadian thing too.)

    This was quite an interesting paragraph from Lewis in that he is retrospective, insightful and critical all at the same time!

  2. I thought we are exactly the same as the apostles, here to share the good news. Maybe if we stopped calling them saints people would not be in such a big hurry to worship them. What's wrong with just plain old "Paul" or "Peter"?

  3. We all may start out exactly as the Apostles, but I think they clearly rose above the crowd. I agree with CS Lewis: it would be an overwhelming experience to approach, let alone have a conversation. I can't imagine saying "Hey Peter, want an extra large double double, eh? What were you thinking with this denial thing?" I would feel very humble indeed.