Read Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis Free Online
Book Title: Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer|
The author of the book: C.S. Lewis
ISBN 13: 9781441762924
Edition: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date of issue: November 1st 2010
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 822 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.9
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This book is a collection of (fake) letters to a friend focusing on various aspects of and questions about prayer. Many of these are practical considerations, and I didn't feel like all were important or relevant to me, but I still found pieces of wisdom to keep from it, usually expressed in the most beautifully touching phrases, Lewis always transforming complex religious questions into the most simple and beautiful truths. He repeats many times that these are only his musings and should not be taken as doctrine or fact. I, however, read Lewis as I would a textbook. Here is my book report:
-on church services:
"The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.
-recited prayers vs. one's own words: "I still think the prayer without words is the best--if one can really achieve it."
-Should we kneel?
"The relevant point is that kneeling does matter, but other things matter even more."
-Can we pray for "petty" things?
"We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.
"as those who do not turn to God in petty trials will have no habit or such resort to help them when the great trials come, so those who have not learned to ask Him for childish things will have less readiness to ask Him for great ones."
-on vain repetitions:
"It would be rash to say that there is any prayer which God never grants. But the strongest candidate is the prayer we might express as the single word 'encore'."
***on hard times:
"Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ.
"We all try to accept with some sort of submission our afflictions when they actually arrive. But the prayer in Gethsemane shows that the preceding anxiety is equally God's will and equally part of our human destiny. The perfect Man experienced it. And the servant is not greater than the master."
-Do our prayers make a difference?
"if He takes our sins into account why not our petitions?"
***Why are prayers, even those made in "faith", often unanswered?
"For most of us the prayer in Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait.
"Our struggle is to achieve and retain faith on a lower level. To believe that, whether He can grant them or not, God will listen to our prayers, will taken them into account. Even to go on believing that there is a Listener at all."
-on praying for others:
"I am often I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them."
***on the fantastical
"Enlightened people want to get rid of this magical element in favour of what they would call the 'spiritual' element. But the spiritual, conceived as something thus antithetical to 'magical,' seems to become merely the psychological or ethical. And neither that by itself, nor the magical by itself, is a religion. I am not going to lay down rules as to the share--quantitatively considered--which the magical should have in anyone's religious life. Individual differences may be permissible. What I insist on is that it can never be reduced to zero. if it is, what remains is only morality, or culture, or philosophy."
"our creaturely limitation is that our fundamentally timeless reality can be experienced by us only in the mode of succession."
-Why does prayer feel like such a chore?
"If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be a delight. Some day, please God, it will be.
"I must say my prayers today whether I feel devout or not; but that is only as I must learn my grammar if I am ever to read the poets.
"In the perfect and eternal world the Law will vanish, But the results of having lived faithfully under it will not."
-on what our glorified bodies might be like (my favorite letter, the last):
"I can now communicate to you the fields of my boyhood only imperfectly, by words. Perhaps the day is coming when I can take you for a walk through them.
"The dullest of us knows how memory can transfigure; how often some momentary glimpse of beauty in boyhood is a whisper which memory will warehouse as a shout...Why should what we see at the moment be more 'real' than what we see from ten years' distance? It is indeed an illusion to believe that the blue hills on the horizon would still look blue if you went to them. But the fact that they are blue five miles away, and the fact that they are green when you are on them, are equally good facts."
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.
Lewis was married to poet Joy Davidman.
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