Skip to comments.Remarkable and Lesser Known Insights by CS Lewis on the Loss of Faith in the West
Posted on 03/10/2012 7:20:58 PM PST by marshmallow
One of the lesser known and lesser read works of CS Lewis is his correspondence with Rev. Fr. Don Giovanni Calabria. Few indeed have read them since they were written in Latin. And though an English translation was published in 1998, I know few who have ever heard of these letters. The full collection of these letter is here: The Latin Letters of CS Lewis
In these letters, there are some very important insights that CS Lewis offers for the loss of faith in Europe that was already well underway in the 1950s when the letters were exchanged. Indeed I would call his insights stunning in many ways. Lewis argues, in effect, that Europe was in a far worse state than paganism. Would that she were even pagan, for the pagans accepted natural law. But Europe, having cast off the faith, is in a state far worse than even before she ever heard of Christ.
In the quotes that follow, CS Lewis makes this case quite well and then proffers a solution that we may wish to consider in these times that are even darker for Europe and the whole of the West. Allow me to present just a few excerpts. The Latin text is italicized. The English translation (by Martin Moynihan) is just below the Latin in black bold and italic type face. My comments are in red.
Let us begin with Lewis assessment as to how and by what stages Europe lost the faith:
Neque tamen sine peccatis nostris evenit: nos enim justiam illam, curam illam pauperum quas (mendacissime) communistae praeferunt debueramus jam ante multa saecula revera effecisse. Sed longe hoc aberat: nos occidentales Christum ore praedicavimus, factis Mammoni servitium tulimus. Magis culpabiles nos quam infideles: scientibus enim voluntatem Dei et non facientibus major poena. Nunc unicum...........
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.adw.org ...
Great find. Thanks for the thread!
Bump for later
Pretty soon you’ll be calling him St. Lewis, oh wait a minute, we already have one. LOL!!!
I thought I’d read just about all of Lewis, but I missed this.
Haven’t had time to read this yet, but I suspect that he covers similar territory concerning the problems of modernism in “The Abolition of Man.”
I’ve always thought that that summary phrase, “Men without chests,” was brilliant.
Thank you Marshmallow.
“The Question of God” —a book comparing the life of two geniuses-—Freud and CS Lewis is a really wonderful book—written by a professor who taught the class for decades—which was so popular he made it into a book.
Natural Law Theory is key. It is the basis of our Constitution. It is where our Natural Rights come from—God. Marx threw out Natural Law-—as Nietzsche and the postmodernists—because they wanted to “Kill God” and the idea of Design in Man—so they could become gods and redesign man to be slaves of the State.
Ayn Rand recognized this—although she hated Christianity also, she was a firm believer in Natural Law Theory—in the idea that there was Objective Truth—Right and Wrong and you could observe those Universal Truths in nature. She considered Postmodernists as ‘irrational”—you can never use reason and logic or science to argue—they believe in lies and utopianism.
Our government and England inserted Relativism into their curricula by the 30’s (Dewey was a Fabian Socialist)-—England’s was more centralized at the time so easier to corrupt the minds of the children faster.
JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis tried to get England to reinstitute the Classical Education which taught the Nicomachean Ethics—the Cardinal Virtues which existed in Plato’s time—Justice, Wisdom, Courage, and Temperance. The pagans believed that the purpose of all schooling was to teach Virtue—Stoicism was very influential all during pagan times.
Cultural Marxists destroy Virtue in children—the easiest way to destroy culture. They now force ideas of “sodomy is good” in schools to destroy the Bible—make it hate speech and despised and hateful—and teach that masturbation is enjoyable and pleasurable and should be an activity of the young. It is intention—to destroy intellectual pursuit and destroy discipline. Sex Ed (designed by Marxists) is their MO to destroy Christianity from within—the easiest method to corrupt children is sins of the flesh and makes them despise their parents and uncontrollable.
CS Lewis stated that Tolerance became the most important “Virtue” of England—which included tolerance of evil. Conditioning of children into non-virtuous worldview so they are capable of evil and/or in looking the other way when evil is done.
The Prussian school design—is to create mass conformity—to destroy individualism and destroy “thinking outside the box”—the ideas that made America and England. Such fantastic cultures being destroyed-—where Common Law and the Magna Carta and the US Constitution were originated—the most brilliant political documents which created the freest societies in the history of the world.
What a great CS Lewis quote—might be my favorite.
I do think the Christian community bears some responsibility for this. For we have so many public Christians who, themselves, live in open sinful rebellion to God that it is no wonder many see us as hypocrites who ignore the logs in our own eyes to criticize the specks in the eyes of the unsaved.
The bill is do, and as many more liberal Catholic are finding out, the State wants to be paid. The West has fallen, and I pray that there will still be place for my children and fellows here or somewhere.
God help us.
As one of the comments following the article points out, Don Giovanni Calabria is now Saint Giovanni Calabria. He died December 4, 1954 at age 81. He was beatified on April 17, 1988 and canonized on April 18, 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
THE LATIN LETTERS OF C.S. LEWIS TO SAINT GIOVANNI CALABRIA
Will add this to my reading list and thanks for sharing that.
St. Giovanni Calabria
Stunning insight. A goal toward which we have failed miserably since his warning.
Natural Law Theory is key. It is the basis of our Constitution. It is where our Natural Rights come from
There isn’t a a single soul in my life — relative, friend, acquaintance or co-worker — who knows and understands this. Conservative friends sense it but they still miss the point and will ask me “why do we have an electoral college, why not a popular vote”, and they are wholly ignorant that the states were designed as the fundamental building block of the nation.
Then there are the leftists and Marxists who can’t even begin to listen on the subject because their defenses against our natural rights immediately kick in. All they see are rights for gays, glass ceilings for women, they see skin color, they see oppressed poor. They aren’t capable of learning about our natural rights.
Frustrating, infuriating and I don’t see a way back to a constitutional Republic when I can’t make friend or foe understand this crucial fundamental concept.
Excellent, thank you.
Can I get some reading suggestions for understanding this topic better myself and passing it on to my college students? I have windows of opportunity and want to use them wisely. Thank you.
It is frustrating and infuriating talking to useful idiots. The ex-KGB Yuri explains this (on youtube from the 70’s) how teaching children “cognitive dissonance” (lies) for 12 years, will destroy their logic and reason.
Adults can hardly ever become logical and reasonable even if the Truth hits them in their face. They can’t help it-—it is indoctrination and conditioning through schools and media and perceptions shaped by soundbites. It is hard to dislodge all the BS—almost impossible if you don’t get them when they are forming their “reality”—their worldview. Marxists are forming it now.
Their foundation is flawed—so their very basic notions have to be changed—like what is a Republic and why are democracies always end in tyranny.
Ayn Rand talked about this-—that the leftists are all “irrational”—(because Marx kicks out Natural Law Theory—(Common Sense). It is on purpose so people will believe the absurd like “up is really down”, “sodomy is really good”.
They want to create human beings where love does not exist-—like in The Brave New World==no biological connections—no meaning in a totally controlled and condition populous. Destroy the maternal and paternal instincts so the state can form the worldview of children.
Well it certainly is working. The socialists are winning IMHO.
That is what Whittaker Chambers said in “Witness” around 1954-—there is a war—Man v. God and Man is winning.