YIMC Book Club, “Mere Christianity” Week 5

This week we read Book III, Chapters 6, 7, and 8.

Its discussion time, Book Club members! This week’s readings are all from Book III, and Mr. Lewis is showing how politically incorrect Christianity is. All these new changes that many denominations are going through today? I think Jack would be dismayed, but that is my two cents only. I’ll throw my hat in the ring with G. K. Chesterton, who wrote,

The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.

Chapter 6 is on Christian Marriage. Nothing new here for practicing Catholics. Of course, that doesn’t mean that this Sacrament is an easy, slam dunk either. It is a Sacrament that is also a vocation. Jack has a lot to say, and all of it is sound and in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, if not extremely unpopular today. But he said this institution of marriage should possibly be set up as a two-fold institution, one for the Church (think Sacrament) and one outside the Church.

Jack holds forth on a concept not discussed much in terms of a marital relationship, justice, as well as on the different viewpoints between say government and the Church in terms of our ability to control our appetites and impulses. He writes,

If, as I think, it is not like all our other impulses, but is morbidly inflamed, then we should be especially careful not to let it lead us into dishonesty.

He then makes some salient points about the problem of divorce and how one party (government) sees it as just another contract, which holds about as much weight as any other contract; meanwhile, Christians (and the Church) see divorce as a train wreck to be avoided at all costs. Anyone who works in the legal field can tell you that no-fault divorce has become a major growth industry since Jack wrote these words. And as a child of divorce, I am not shocked: I agree with Jack. Who then has the audacity to say,

So much for the Christian doctrine about the permanence of marriage. Something else, even more unpopular, remains to be dealt with. Christian wives promise to obey their husbands.

And that means you agree with this too, Frank? Uh-huh. Looking forward to reading the comments!

While contemplating burning me at the stake, and cursing the name of C. S. Lewis, move on to Chapter 7, on forgiveness—and just in the nick of time! I think Jack does a really good job here of talking about forgiveness with a real-world perspective, especially with the command to love others as ourselves. Here Lewis lets the cat out of the bag on the falseness of self-love. He says, Look in the mirror and realize that if you don’t love everything about yourself, then guess what? Think of that when you are loving your neighbor.

I don’t know how many of you like his argument about soldiers fighting one another, as a “nothing personal” situation.  He uses an example based on the war that had just concluded, mentioning the Gestapo and other scary words.  Here’s Jack,
The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, “Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,” or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything-God and our friends and ourselves included-as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.
Loving an enemy doesn’t mean that punishing them is unwarranted either. As Jack says, and I’ll paraphrase, just because I love myself doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be subject to the death penalty if I commit murder. Now, before we get into a fur-ball about the death penalty and Church teaching, what Jack is saying makes sense. Think about this in terms of the posts we have been doing about the Sacrament of Confession. Think of this in terms of what a real examination of conscience is. It means taking a hard look at the part of ourselves that we don’t love, repenting for it, praying about it, and coming to the Sacrament for forgiveness and absolution in a concrete way.
After all, our souls are immortal. Jack explains the Christian perspective like so (bold is mine):
I imagine somebody will say, “Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?” All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one’s own back, must be simply killed.
Chapter 8 is on The Great Sin, which Jack identifies as Pride. Personally, I had to come to terms with this one, and when I finally did, I had no choice but to become a Catholic. I still have to fight this one and probably always will. Blaise Pascal spelled it out for me, Thomas à Kempis held forth on it, and St. Teresa of Avila too.  She pointed me to the capper in my own personal struggle with pride, Francisco de Osuna’s Third Spiritual Alphabet. Look back at this hot link and you will see where I think Jack may have gotten some of his material. Here is a chapter de Osuna writes entitled The Devil’s Army, which is mainly about pride.

Back when I was waiting for my RCIA class to get started, I had a discussion with someone about how pride was my biggest weakness. I hadn’t read Jack’s book yet, but the conversation was hauntingly similar to these passages. In the end I simply said, If you don’t believe you have a problem with pride, then you haven’t examined this issue closely enough. I knew I did and left it at that. Which is almost exactly the same way Jack sums up this chapter:

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.
And with a collective sigh of relief, I hope you read that being “proud” of your regiment, son, daughter, etc., really is not Pride. Most likely it means that you have a fond love of or for that entity. Pride is disordered love of self, and one which puts self above all others. Including above God. Ouch!
Now it’s your turn, YIMC Book Club members! How did you take these chapters? What were the passages that resonated with you. Don’t hold back!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08801584133028591211 Laura R.

    Okay, I'm jumping into the YIMC Book Club for the first time. I've been feeling highly conflicted about it because (1) C.S. Lewis is probably the single Christian author who has most influenced and helped me in my Christian life and (2) I've never quite been able to get into his straightforward apologetics (Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, Miracles). If the title selected had been, say, That Hideous Strength or The Great Divorce or The Screwtape Letters or any of the Narnia chronicles, I would have been up late for many nights posting long comments on all sorts of minute points, having read these books so often as to have them practically memorized.So, tonight, much encouraged by Frank's summary of Chapters 6,7 and 8, I've finally pulled out my copy of Mere Christianity and been happy to find some very useful material for this Lenten season — and that may have something to do with the fact that I'm in RCIA, coming into the final stretch before reception into the Church at Easter, and finally facing the reality of first confession (by the way, the earlier posts on that subject here at YIM has been outstandingly helpful). The chapters on Forgiveness and Pride (which old Screwtape calls "the strongest and most beautiful of the vices") look especially good.It's late now so I'll try to have another look at Mere Christianity so I can join in future discussions. Meanwhile, I'm glad Frank that you have found a new friend in Jack Lewis.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Thanks Laura. I was starting to think everyone was playing hooky on this weeks chapters!This weekend is the Rite of Election. It is your official signing on to the rolls of the good ship HMS Catholic Church. Have courage and an early 'welcome aboard!'

  • http://www.livingaliturgy.blogspot.com michelle

    I'm not playing hooky this week – I just had to catch up on all the previous weeks' reads! (I've also embarked on a mission to the read the entire Bible before my baby comes, so that's been taking up a lot of time as well) :) I think it can truthfully be said that "being stirred" wasn't an expectation I had in reading this book. Yet, spiritual growth was/is something I've been craving lately, and the precise reason I joined the book club to begin with. Of course, I wanted something more "Catholic", more meaty, something to encourage that part of my learning, so was a little disappointed when Lewis was chosen. But the last chapter on Pride was a sneak attack on me! I guess God knew there was something I needed :)Lewis stated "If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed." I realized I used to pride myself on my "lack on conceit." How ironic! Now as newly married woman I find myself wanting to dress prettier or maybe wear a little make-up to be beautiful before my husband. Not because he doesn't already think I am, but because I know he takes pleasure in my wanting to please him even more. Sometimes I fear THIS is conceit, pride. How different the two are.Of course this spills into a lot of other areas of my life and has given me some meat to chew…which I think will be nice for this Lenten season, especially. Certainly an area I struggle with constantly is judging non-Christians based upon my Christian beliefs. Intellectually I KNOW that I cannot do such a thing as hold them to a standard they have no idea about, but the actual working out of that is quite lacking. And it is difficult to do. I think it that is one reason I find it hard to have non-Christian friends, because I'm always judging them. I have no qualms about being subject to my husband, I rather take comfort in that thought :) I know there will be times that aren't rosy and I will have to struggle to be subject to him, but such is what God has laid out. I'm sure there were a few more thoughts but everything is kind of muddled right now…I'll call it pregnancy brain! :) Hope to hear more from others!

  • Warren Jewell

    What with winter exhausting even debilitating me and now Lenten prayers and meditation to distract me, I am still in the reading stage. Initial thoughts have been on Matrimony, which is the Sacramental side of marriage become family. My late wife and I used to be among couples who worked in Matrimonial preparation. Because my wife specifically chose our Matrimonial Mass readings with her obedience to me in mind, I had to chuckle in reminiscence about introducing this to the two or three couples before us. My wife handled it all and like the sharply brilliant Catholic she was – well, IS now gloriously in God's throne-room. Even a Protestant minister referred to her as 'practical theologian'. Of course, as 'obey your husbands' was broached, the ladies got that miffed look, like they had been informed that they must be the sole adult to clean the toilets. Then, my wife explained the authority within marriage in terms of flaws among persons. She explained that the person who made that final decision also was the person implicitly committed to clean up any wreckage over a not-so-fortunate outcome of the decision. The ladies now took up the smiles their beloved had had – their beloved had the look of men sentenced to life without TV.Then I explained to the gents that they simply must consult with their wives about important decisions. As I reported, "when I consult Sharon and get her views, I find she improves my decisions, well, only about 98.8 per cent of the time." [This goes a long way to explaining why since her death I am one bumbling ape of a guy.]If a woman is going to submit to her husband, she can do so in trust, confidence and full love only if she believes that he loves her as much as, in any way, he loves himself. Maybe, more later. I just had to relate this, which came up reading CSL on marriage.

  • http://www.mp3unsigned.com/MelindaMohn.ASP Melinda

    I'm old – on dialysis every day and walk with great difficulty because of arthritis pain in legs and hip – and sometimes my hands hurt so much in the mornings that I cry out in pain upon waking- and yet I still have pride – pride that puts off prayer to do something more distracting – pride feeds all the other sins – like sloth – in fact they go together like hand in glove – once you put off God for some meaningless distraction then you can easily slide into doing whatever that is for hours – its as if I have two souls – one that is on fire for God and the other that is tepid as standing dishwater – I have turned to Mary and Padre Pio for help (Padre Pio was a butt kicking saint on the issues of prayer) – and now I'll pull out my dogged eared copy of Mere Christianity as well – when I pray it is to give this paltry pain over for the conversion of sinners but the old man is always fighting for the upper hand….sigh:)

  • EPG

    Frank — not playing hooky, but incredibly busy. However, a case in which I had a trial looming has resolved, and so I have a little more time. In addition, I was thinking about Lewis's thoughts on marriage, and struggling with them, or how to articulate my thoughts about them. Warren (not surprisingly) broke the ice, and so, in response to his wise remarks, I offer the following:Lewis's reminder of the husband's role as head of the household is difficult, even scandalous, for many of us. It offends our notions of equality. I graduated from high school in the late 1970s, and from college in the early 1980s, in the immediate wake and full flower of mid-twentieth century North American feminism. I was expected to, and aspired to be, a "sensitive New Age guy." Yet the predominant model of feminism of that era ignored real differences between men and women, and spawned all sorts of problems. Over the many years I have been married, I have found my wife deferring to me in unexpected ways, in perhaps an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that, whether I like it or not, whether I even admit it or not, I am the head of the household.Of course, as Warren carefully points out, headship in this context means something entirely different than how it has been practiced far too often. Headship is stewardship, not dictatorship, not tyranny. A steward is a servant, and, as a husband and father, I need to keep that in mind. And, as Warren observed in his practice, any husband who doesn't carefully consult with his wife on all large issues (and many small) is a poor steward, and a fool. Besides, my experience is, if we talk candidly and fairly, my wife and I will be able to come to an agreement on at least 99.8% (another good practice — if one of us delegates a decision to the other, it's delegated, and the delegator needs to back off).Here's a thought experiment I'm going to try this afternoon — read Lewis's thoughts on the husband as head of household, and insert the word "steward" wherever the word "head" or a similarly authoritarian word appears.

  • Warren Jewell

    The fool signed above doth say unto michelle, et al . . .I have long been so very proud of how humble I am. Not 'very humble' – no, the 'very' is reserved for the pride. I find as I get older, too, I have confused 'humble' with 'humiliated'. The good Lord makes sure everyone has some gracious chances at being humble by arranging things to get humiliation, His call to save us from pride, in the picture.Attacks on pride are always sneak attacks because even with God we have these hackles rise up and challenge "How dare HE!" But, of the Lord, He dares because He loves, and it makes every difference in why with others we so often find ourselves wrapped in pride. Pride can be such a defense against 'the slings and arrows', if you will.God calls us to humility that we seek refuge in Him, the Rock and the Fortress. We grasp at pride to act as if our own rock; and, most silly refuge, at that.I have had numerous humiliations, and yet pride holds ground so much. It is no exaggeration to call myself 'fool'. I have one problem with pride in that it is a sin that is difficult to confess. I can't say that "I have committed pride three times since my last confession." No – one has to know and understand how his pride comes out as serious sin. Hence, remembering those sinful events becomes necessary to minimize failure to confess. Confession, you see, is the first Godly Refuge away from pride and on toward humility. I am struggling to make myself get all the way into His Refuge that my pride simply begins to fall away from me. It has been a terribly long and stupid struggle.Jesus said to be like Him: meek and humble of heart. (Matthew 11:29) If He's waiting for me to get like Him, I'm going to have a long, LONG old age.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Hey guys, don't worry about being tardy. Read the de Osuna passages (from the early 1500's AD) and you'll get extra credit LOL. The three battalions forming the Devil's army are no doubt strong. #1: Luxury, who isn't tempted and seduced by this?. If you escape this, then the battalion of Pride rushes in. And if you evade these two forces, then #3: distracting thoughts arrives on the scene. See Ephesians 6:10-12 for St. Paul's antidote.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Melinda: Thanks for your comment and for your example. I like the music at your link! May the Lord be with you always!

  • Warren Jewell

    Meditating on pride (shudder!) has inspired me to Bible lesson time – Lord, how I love Your Bible. I dedicate this lesson to Melinda, who has likely found and will find in Psalms prayers to ease every pain, and sustenance for the heart and spirit to lift one above all weakness. By the way, do note that Catholicism in its three-year reading cycle of reading Scriptures aloud at Masses touches upon 90+% of the Bible’s riches. This does include daily Masses. No Protestant (Jewish, etc.) body can make that claim, as a matter of formal organization of reading Scripture.‘In the pride of his countenance the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, "There is no God."’ (Psalm 10:4) Psalm 10 reflects that the proud man can be most dangerous in his haughtiness. Pride not merely leads him into sinfulness, but crowns his sinfulness with contemptuous arrogance where he blasphemes God before going on to stupidly and self-destructively think that he is his own god.“For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies which they utter, consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more, that men may know that God rules over Jacob . . . Each evening they come back, howling like dogs . . . and prowling about the city. They roam about for food, and growl if they do not get their fill. But I will sing of Thy might; I will sing aloud of Thy steadfast love in the morning. For Thou hast been to me a Fortress and a Refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to Thee, for Thou, O God, art my Fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” (Psalm 59:12-17) Psalm 59 has the victor over the pride of his enemies verily shielded from his own pride by the humility to know that God is the real Victor; that even as victor before God, he must shelter in God, ‘Fortress and Refuge’, from the proud in their ravenous avarice.Proverbs has a number of verses that warn no good comes of pride. He gives us a few unpleasant views of pride in us. For instance, here the author puts wisdom in the court with humility. (No wonder I can’t get a grasp on wisdom, eh?) “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) There is the one frequently quoted verse that tips us off that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) Then, we have the chilling thought that one who is proud is already scoff-law of Love: “‘Scoffer’ is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.” (Proverbs 21:24) Plus there is the precursor to Christ telling us to take the lowest place at the celebratory banquet table (embrace humility; don’t ‘exalt yourself’ in your pride; Luke 14:8-11) that He may bring us up nearer to Himself, a guest of honor: “A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)(see next page . . .)

  • Warren Jewell

    (Onward and upward, children of God . . .)Isaiah is a good one for pointing out our flaws. In his 2nd chapter, he already categorizes all manner of sin that he may swing at pride twice (verses 11 & 17). “Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of His majesty. The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high . . . And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:10-12,17) Why do I have this feeling that I will be the footstool the Lord stands on in exaltation? Our Lord, Jesus Christ, mentioned pride directly sort of like Isaiah, in cataloging our sins. He pegged pride as just one more headstrong ‘mouthful’ of sin; and notice how He gets my pride right next to my foolishness. ‘And [Jesus] said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."’ (Mark 7:20-23) Though Saint Paul – that Apostle to us Gentiles, preacher-bishop (in the fashion via Saint Paul’s journeys imitated by Fulton Sheen via TV, pulpit, etc.), prophet, theologian, letter writer, pastor (not to mention nifty tent maker, warmly genuine friend, fiery compatriot and all-around HUMBLE guy) – would go on to assail pride the more, Christ of course knew how He had used His prophets to author the Torah and Talmud, He knew that there were plenty of forbidding cautions against pride.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Warren: Thanks for your thoughts as always. I fondly remember the Marriage Encounter weekend that my wife and I had to attend prior to being married in the Church (over 20 years ago now). Sadly, premarital counseling is not a requirement for many marriages outside the Church today.EPG: When I graduated from high school, I wanted to slay dragons and rescue damsels in distress. I was told that chivalry was "dead", but I didn't get the memo. Or more accurately, I chose to ignore it. What does this have to do with Marriage? I don't know, except this. Think of two perfect circles. Now overlay them on each other so there is a nice zone of indifference. Like this: Venn Diagram and what we have is "the two" become "one". Stuff that must be discussed, debated, agreed upon, etc. definitely lies within this zone! But erase the overlap lines and you also have this single entity that shares the borders of the number 8 or turned sideways, infinity. Even if one of the circles is a bit larger than the other, as in the Christian Marriage model (and the number eight come to think of it), you still have a large zone that overlaps: Venn #2. Math and the Sacrament of Marriage…Blaise Pascal is chuckling now!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Warren, here is a command for you: Fire for Effect! (and nice shooting btw.) :^)

  • Webster Bull

    I have been on a bit of a Lenten blogging sabbatical. Meanwhile, thanks to Frank for keeping the fires stoked. I want to weigh in late on this week's reading, and a chapter at a time. I read the chapter on marriage silently to myself before dinner tonight and, by the time I was two pages from the end, I was so moved by it that I stopped and told Katie I wanted to read it aloud to her. So without reading the last two pages, I started aloud from the beginning, and she agreed that, especially for a couple that is rounding into its second 25 years of marriage, there's a beautiful messgage here: The "love" that sparks the engine does not last; if the engine is going to run forever, it must run on a higher love. As elements of our first 25 years have fallen away, most notably our two daughters, grown and moved away, we've learned just how that works. And most recently we've observed how true it is that new interests and new loves can emerge if you allow the old interests and loves to die. Yes, I have taken up gardening.A really beautiful section by an unmarried man, I thought. And then I came to the last two pages. I continued reading: "So much for the Christian doctrine about the permanence of marriage. Something else, even more unpopular, remains to be dealt with. Christian . . . ""Honey, I said, I'll continue later." That was fine with Katie. The next words, of course, were " . . . promise to obey their husbands."LOL???

  • Allison Salerno

    Chiming in here – not in the book club, not reading the book, but had to share this somewhat non sequitur, given that you all are talking about PRIDE.Our 13-year-old, who has inherited his father's dry sense of humor, loves to say:"being humble is my greatest achievement."

  • http://www.mp3unsigned.com/MelindaMohn.ASP Melinda

    Thank you, Frank, for the encouragement – it means a great deal to know we're all in this thing together – !! And yes, The Psalms are a tremendous place to go when the going gets tough and I've also been using Saint Bonadventure's Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary….Thank you for listening to the music – God Bless you and keep you -Melinda

  • EPG

    Yes, Webster, LOL.Frank — yes, they told us that chivalry was dead, and we believed it. Our loss. And worse, a loss to the women around us. I think I'll try to persuade my daughters to expect (insist) on a little chivalry.

  • Anonymous

    Frank,Here's another neat mathematical diagram I just came across:Consider marriage to be an isosceles triangle with God at the top and each spouse at opposite bottoms. As husband and wife get closer to God, they get closer to each other. And sadly, the opposite holds true as well.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Anon@7:21,I can see it. And thats the cue for St. Augustine too, although not as modern Christian marriage courses teach. Another reason YIM Catholic: to get back to my roots. See this preview,Marriage in the Western Church

  • Webster Bull

    Wedged between "Christian Marriage" and "Pride" in this week's reading is a slender little chapter called "Forgiveness." I find it interesting that no one but Frank, so far, has commented on this chapter. Of course, the bookend chapters on either side of it concern huge and sticky issues. But as CSL notes, referring to the Lord's Prayer, forgiveness is central:"I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there right in the middle of it, I find 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.' There is not the slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms."Think of that: Wanna get to heaven? You'd better start forgiving. And is there anything harder? Father Barnes gave me a wonderful piece of counsel one time. I confessed a powerful grudge, call it hatred, toward someone for something done to me. FB spoke of the Lord's Prayer, and how one sails along through it when, suddenly one hits the reef, "Forgive us our trespasses as we…" And one goes aground. Forgiveness is so difficult. FB suggested that when I pray the LP, I allow myself to think, "Lord, I really cannot forgive the whole thing right now, I am not able. But I will give up 10 percent of my grudge, my hatred."CSL says that forgiveness is something we have to work on, hard, with close thought about the other, his self, his qualities, and his actions. In the end (of the chapter), we come to the realization that none of our own qualities or actions amount to much, and that all we really have, all we really love about ourselves is just that, our selves:"Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that this is how [God] loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco…."A final note: I am shocked that no one (except Frank again) picked up on CSL's Christian defense of the death penalty in this chapter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Here is a book suggestion, and though not by a Catholic author, so what? If my parish priest can quote to us from Max Lucado if it works, then who am I to be so discriminatory?It its Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge. Mr Eldrege has a website (should come as no shock) too. And there are plenty of references within from the Early Church Fathers as well as from the Communion of Saints. Take a look.

  • Webster Bull

    And last comes "Pride," or the chapter on it. In his homily this morning, Father Barnes talked about the Gospel reading of Christ's being tempted by the devil after 40 days in the wilderness. He said that St. John Vianney had a saying that went roughly like this: It is when you think you are not tempted, that you should be most concerned, because the devil probably already has his hooks in you. Lewis says much the same thing: "Luckily, we have a test. Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good–above all, that we are better than someone else–I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil."