Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Screwtape, Master-Tempter, on the “Defeat” of a Young Man’s Selfless Death

 

What, then, of this final stripping, this complete cleansing? The more one thinks about it, the worse it becomes. He got through so easily! No gradual misgivings, no doctor’s sentence, no nursing home, no operating theatre, no false hopes of life; sheer, instantaneous liberation. One moment it seemed to be all our world; the scream of bombs, the fall of houses, the stink and taste of high explosive on the lips and in the lungs, the feet burning with weariness, the heart cold with horrors, the brain reeling, the legs aching; next moment all this was gone, gone like a bad dream, never again to be of any account…. How all his doubts became, in the twinkling of an eye, ridiculous? I know what the creature was saying to itself!

“Yes. Of course. It always was like this. All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and worse and forcing you into a kind of bottle-neck till, at the very moment when you thought you must be crushed, behold! you were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well. The extraction hurt more and more and then the tooth was out. The dream became a nightmare and then you woke. You die and die and then you are beyond death. How could I ever have doubted it?”

— C. S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters, 1941, (pp. 172-173). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

For the Boys of Pointe du Hoc, on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day and the Teufelhunde (Devil Dogs) of Belleau Wood on the 99th anniversary: We Will Not Forget. Semper Fidelis, brothers.

There are 12 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member

    D-Day quote. Thank you, Nanda.

    This is part of the Quote of the Day Series, and we still have plenty of openings in June. Sign up here.

    • #1
    • June 5, 2017, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Liz Member
    Liz

    Excellent quote, and a wonderful reminder.

    • #2
    • June 5, 2017, at 8:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. RightAngles Member

    Liz (View Comment):
    Excellent quote, and a wonderful reminder.

    Ditto!

    • #3
    • June 5, 2017, at 8:35 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Retreat, hell! We just got here.

    — Capt. Lloyd W. Williams, USMC, Belleau Wood

    • #4
    • June 5, 2017, at 10:08 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent, thanks. I was just thinking about this general idea… how some, but not all, souls are afforded a particularly dramatic singular opportunity to at last demonstrate their worth in an act of heroism. Most of us must rely on more mundane expressions of charity, plodding on from day to day in stale but important routines of self-sacrifice.

    A nun in Austria named Maria Simma claimed to receive visitations from the souls of Purgatory. One soul was that of a young man who said he had wasted most of his life in decadent indulgences before there was a fire in the village and he died trying to save someone from it. In the eager and merciful love of a doting Father, God provided to this wayward soul the extraordinary opportunity he needed to exhibit righteous love despite a cacophony of sin clouding his life.

    God isn’t an impartial judge, aloof from His creations. He wants us to be saved. There is a sin called presumption which involves assuming one can continue sinning with impunity because we will ultimately be forgiven. God’s no fool, so He can’t be suckered by some lawyer’s game. But He is eager and merciful like any loving parent… only moreso because His love is perfect.

    • #5
    • June 5, 2017, at 10:17 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  6. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A+

    • #6
    • June 6, 2017, at 3:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive
    Nanda Panjandrum

    tabula rasa (View Comment):
    A+

    High praise, indeed, TR! Did you see this? Would love to hear what you think!

    • #7
    • June 6, 2017, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Excellent, thanks. I was just thinking about this general idea… how some, but not all, souls are afforded a particularly dramatic singular opportunity to at last demonstrate their worth in an act of heroism. Most of us must rely on more mundane expressions of charity, plodding on from day to day in stale but important routines of self-sacrifice.

    A nun in Austria named Maria Simma claimed to receive visitations from the souls of Purgatory. One soul was that of a young man who said he had wasted most of his life in decadent indulgences before there was a fire in the village and he died trying to save someone from it. In the eager and merciful love of a doting Father, God provided to this wayward soul the extraordinary opportunity he needed to exhibit righteous love despite a cacophony of sin clouding his life.

    God isn’t an impartial judge, aloof from His creations. He wants us to be saved. There is a sin called presumption which involves assuming one can continue sinning with impunity because we will ultimately be forgiven. God’s no fool, so He can’t be suckered by some lawyer’s game. But He is eager and merciful like any loving parent… only moreso because His love is perfect.

    I’ve never heard that story. For anyone who has never read Screwtape, it’s a small but powerful book. We had some powerful writers during the World Wars, and tremendous courage. Yet Screwtape is timeless in its wisdom, even for a time such as this…….

    • #8
    • June 6, 2017, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. GrannyDude Member

    The young police officer who was injured last week, en route to try to save a drowning woman’s life, has died. I think the paragraph applies very much to him, Nanda. Thank you.

    • #9
    • June 7, 2017, at 4:11 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. ST Inactive
    ST

    Nanda dear, you are on a roll. Stay in the fight!

    • #10
    • June 7, 2017, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive
    Nanda Panjandrum

    ST (View Comment):
    Nanda dear, you are on a roll. Stay in the fight!

    Roger that…On it!

    • #11
    • June 7, 2017, at 9:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive
    Nanda Panjandrum

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    The young police officer who was injured last week, en route to try to save a drowning woman’s life, has died. I think the paragraph applies very much to him, Nanda. Thank you.

    Prayers for his peaceful repose; for consolation and healing for those family, friends, and colleagues who mourn! Glad you’re there, dear Kate!

    • #12
    • June 7, 2017, at 9:08 AM PDT
    • 3 likes

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