Some of you may have noticed the frequency with which I have been quoting from C.S. Lewis these past months. It is overflow from a goal in my reading this year. Namely, to get through a number of works by this amazing writer over the course of 2012.
I will continue to share gleanings and things I’m learning from Lewis each Thursday here at Growing in Grace. This week’s installment comes from The Screwtape Letters, a book where Lewis uncovers the secret communication between demons as they work on us, their “patients.”
Screwtape (a demon, writing to his nephew, Wormwood) reveals the Enemy’s intentions (the Enemy of demons, of course, being God) ::
Now it may surprise you to learn that in His [the Enemy’s] efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.
The reason is this. To us a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself – creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His.
We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.