I recently reviewed, A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (click here). Now I’d like to share some quotes. I particularly like the fourth one about the dentist. We don’t hesitate to take ourselves or our children to the dentist, even though we know it will be painful.

“Meanwhile where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be – or so It feels – welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence” (page 7).

“Bridge-players tell me that there must be some money on the game ‘or else people won’t take it seriously’. Apparently it’s like that. Your bid – for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity – will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high; until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world. Nothing less will shake a man – or at any rate a man like me – out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself” (page 33).

“The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t” (page 38).

“What do people mean when they say, ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good?’ Have they never even been to a dentist?” (page 38).

“I have gradually been coming to feel that the door is no longer shut and bolted. Was it my own frantic need that slammed it in my face? … you are like a drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear … you must have the capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give. Perhaps your own passion temporarily destroys the capacity” (page 40).