Remember the Signs

Aslan’s instructions to Jill Pole before he sent her to Narnia on a mission:

First remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters. And now, daughter of Eve, farewell–

Stephen Mansfield on Reading

You have to read to know our chaotic world. You have to read to lead. You have to read to stay sane and peaceful in an emotionally violent time. You have to read to know God. And you have to read, as C. S. Lewis said, to know you are not alone.

Get reading. Use your technology to make it easier and more readily available. Carve out the space and build a rich inner life. Set goals, share the joys, reap the harvest of a cultivated intellect and a sophisticated soul.

Source: Stephen Mansfield, A Reading Life (Blog Entry, March 17, 2011).

Self Repair

A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can, to some extent, repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble- because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out.

That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or- if they think there is not- at least they hope to deserve approval from good men.

But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as a roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

Source: Clive Staples Lewis, Mere Christianity (Simon & Schuster, 1980) p64.