CS Lewis quotes

CS Lewis is best remembered today for his works of fiction such as the Chronicles of Narnia, and for his religious books such as Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy.

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He was also a poet, essayist, literary critic and a leading academic at Oxford University.

Lewis was born in Belfast on 29 November, 1898. He moved to England to attend school in 1908 and found it hard at first to settle in. He later wrote in his book, Surprised by Joy: “The strange English accents with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But what was worst was the English landscape … I have made up the quarrel since; but at that moment I conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal.”

Despite his childhood misgivings, he spent the rest of his life in England and became one of its leading literary figures.

His religious beliefs were a dominant influence on his life and permeated much of his writing. There are even religious overtones in his best known work, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which has been turned into a film and TV series several times.

CS Lewis quote. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

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Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

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CS Lewis quote. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

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It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

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CS Lewis quote. Thirty was so strange for me. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

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There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’

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God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

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CS Lewis quote. We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

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Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

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CS Lewis quote. I have seen landscapes that make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

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Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

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CS Lewis quote. Humility is not thinking less of yourself it's thinking of yourself less. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

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Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.

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Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.

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Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

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CS Lewis quote. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. Image copyright Ireland Calling
Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

CS Lewis was a major writer of international standing but his death in 1963 attracted hardly any coverage in the media. That was because he died on 22 November, the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated. The assassination dominated the media across the world for several days so that Lewis’ death went almost unnoticed.

Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All images copyright Ireland Calling

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