There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demoniac it will be if it rebels. It’s not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels. The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.
From The Great Divorce
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Great Divorce. Copyright © 1946, C. S Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed 1973 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers
We also need a regular systematic study of the Scriptures. We cannot maintain our spiritual life without it any more than we can maintain our physical bodies without proper nourishment.
Traditional doctrine points to a sin against God, an act of disobedience, not a sin against the neighbour. And certainly, if we are to hold the doctrine of the Fall in any real sense, we must look for the great sin on a deeper and more timeless level than that of social morality.
This sin has been described by Saint Augustine as the result of Pride, of the movement whereby a creature (that is, an essentially dependent being whose principle of existence lies not in itself but in another) tries to set up on its own, to exist for itself. Such a sin requires no complex social conditions, no extended experience, no great intellectual development. From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it. This sin is committed daily by young children and ignorant peasants as well as by sophisticated persons, by solitaries no less than by those who live in society: it is the fall in every individual life, and in each day of each individual life, the basic sin behind all particular sins: at this very moment you and I are either committing it, or about to commit it, or repenting it.
From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
O God, please bring an end to the scourge of the sex traffickers and free these girls. Over 100 billion is being made each year by this despicable industry.
Catherine - Saint on the Streets of Siena
At age sixteen, Catherine of Siena (1347 - 1380) joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, spending her days nursing the poor—particularly lepers and victims of the plague.
The daughter of a prosperous fabric dyer, she was the third youngest of her father's twenty-five children. From the age of four she meditated and prayed, and at seven she took a vow of virginity. Against her parents' objections, she cut her long hair so as to be unattractive to the man with whom marriage had been arranged. During these years she was sustained by visionary experiences. On one occasion, during a pre- Lenten carnival, demons tempted her with the feminine and marital joys she was denying herself. While friends and family and neighbors ate and drank and danced in the streets—typical pleasures of a medieval community—she was in her dark cell. Suddenly Jesus and the Virgin and other saints appeared. Jesus put a gold ring on her finger, and Catherine became his bride.
From then on she held to strict asceticism, wearing a hair shirt and pelvic chain and residing in a secluded cell. But she gradually moved out into the streets of Siena among lepers and the plague-infected. On one occasion, as she knelt over a woman and drained pus from the woman's putrid sores, she was overcome by the sickening stench. Guilt-stricken by her revulsion, she reached for the bowl of pus, lifted it to her lips, and drank it, later insisting that it was the sweetest taste she had ever known.
While some consider Catherine mentally unstable, others were deeply moved by her selfless acts of service. Like other Catholics of her day, she was deeply troubled by the volatility of the papacy—and thus the church itself. In 1309, more than forty years before she was born, the papacy, prompted by carnage in Rome, had moved to Avignon. Opponents of the newly elected pope had threatened his life, so the French king of France kidnapped and secured him in France. His successors continued to live in Avignon for nearly seventy years—a period known as the Babylonian Captivity of the Church by those demanding that popes return to Rome. Critics rightly regard the Avignon papacy as a puppet of the increasingly powerful French regime, and not until 1377, did Pope Gregory XI return the papacy to Rome.
During this time, Catherine sought to convince the pope to depart from Avignon, the "Babylon of the West." With some twenty devoted followers, she led a march to Avignon. She was granted an audience with the pope but only after she was found by papal officials to be neither insane nor a heretic. She offered a readymade solution: launch another Crusade. Gregory IX countered that the church needed to settle its internal strife before going to war, but Catherine argued that the best way to solve the problems at home is to declare war on the enemy. That Catherine, according to one historian, "dominated Pope Gregory and to a lesser extent Urban VI" is an unwarranted conclusion. She was one among many who urged the pope to return to Rome. But her tenacity in serving the poor and challenging the hierarchy of the church solidified her fame.
Through revelations, she sought to confirm church tradition not clarified in Scripture. Medieval theologians from Anselm to Aquinas, for example, had argued that Mary was conceived sinless and remained so all her life, ever remaining a virgin. Aquinas had summed up the common belief: "As a virgin she conceived, as a virgin gave birth, and she remains a virgin forever." Through a vision, Catherine confirmed the tradition and offers an additional detail: that Mary was not perfected until three hours after her conception. But her revelation was trumped by theologian Duns Scotus, who insisted that Mary was perfected at the instant of conception.
Catherine, who died in her early thirties, was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461. More notable, however, was her elevation by Pope Paul VI in 1970 to Doctor of the Church, along with Theresa of Avila, the first women to be so named. She was recognized again in 1999 by Pope John Paul II, who named her a patron saint of Europe.
Investigating the Faith with Lee Strobel: Why do I struggle with doubts about my faith @ biblegateway
Why Do I Still Struggle with Doubts About My Faith—And What Can I Do About It?
No doubt about it: doubt scares many Christians. They stare into the dark, pestered by uncertainties and questions that make them feel anxious and vulnerable. When those times come, keep this in mind:
Step #1: Find the root of your doubt.
Is it intellectual, caused by questions in your mind? Or emotional, based on things you feel (or don’t feel)? Or does it stem from your will—choices you make that hamper your relationship with God?
Step #2: Ask God and others for help.
When we suppress our doubts, we unwittingly give them more power. But when we admit them to God and to mature Christian friends, it’s amazing how their potency dissipates. Don’t try to face them alone.
Step #3: Implement a course of treatment.
Do you wrestle with intellectual doubts? Read great books, do extra research, and talk to Christians who have grappled with the same issues. Emotional doubts? Discuss them with a pastor or Christian counselor. Doubts related to your will? Let God guide your daily decisions—really obey him—and you will experience breakthroughs.
Step #4: Take scrupulous care of your spiritual health.
A healthy faith is the best antidote for the virus of doubt. Prioritize the daily habits and relationships that will keep you spiritually strong—prayer, Scripture reading, study, worship, and fellowship.
Step #5: Hold your remaining questions in tension.
Accept the fact that there are always more questions—and rejoice in knowing we’ll have an eternity in heaven to get all the answers!
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - Jesus, in John 8:31–32