Maximillian Amadeus Banzai (banzai) wrote,
Maximillian Amadeus Banzai

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Lewis and pain

Since I finshed my pleasure reading (Shadows of the Empire) on Tuesday, I'm launching yet again into my enrichment reading. Still wading through Lewis' The Problem of Pain, and though it's work sometimes, I'm committed to finishing. Coincidentally but not accidentally, Lewis is now addressing some of the same aspects of affliction from God--a most unpopular but scripturally unavoidable idea-- Tommy brought up from Nahum yesterday.
We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved: we are, as Newman said, rebels who must lay down our arms. The first answer, then, to the question why our cure should be painful, is that to render back the will which we have so long claimed for our own, is in itself, whenever and however it is done, a grievous pain...

The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems well with it...We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities; and anyone who has watched gluttons shovelling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists on being attended to. God whispers in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world...

When our ancestors referred to pains and sorrows as God's "vengeance" upon sin they were not necessarily attributing evil passions to God; they may have been recognising the good element in the idea of retribution. Until the evil man finds evil unmistakably present in his existence, in the form of pain, he is enclosed in illusion...No doubt Pain as God's megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.
There's a ton more, so much to digest that I must push the plate away for a moment.
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