Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you will get neither.
And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.
Beauty is not democratic; she reveals herself more to the few than to the many.
Courage is the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity of honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions.
Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment.
Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him.
Experience is the mother of illusion.
Experience, the most brutal of teachers; but you learn, my God do you learn.
God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial he makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.
[H]ere was an old weather-beaten man, one who might have been a shepherd -- such a man as tourists think simple because he is honest and neighbors think "deep" for the same reason.
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
If war is ever lawful, then peace is sometimes sinful.
I was questioning him on the subject [of his journey to Perelandra] -- which he doesn't often allow -- and had incautiously said, "Of course I realise it's all rather too vague for you to put into words," when he took me up rather sharply, for such a patient man, by saying, "On the contrary, it is words that are vague. The reason why the thing can't be expressed is that it's too definite for language."
Joy is not a substitute for sex, sex is very often a substitute for joy.
Many things -- such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly -- are done worst when we try hardest to do them.
My father's people were true Welshmen, sentimental, passionate, and rhetorical, easily moved both to anger and to tenderness; men who laughed and cried a great deal and who had not much of the talent for happiness.
[N]o natural feelings are high or low, holy or unholy, in themselves. They are all holy when God's hand is on the rein, and all go bad when they set up on their own and make themselves into false gods.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say "We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven," and the Lost, "We were always in Hell." And both will speak truly.
The Incarnation...illuminates and orders all other phenomena, explains both our laughter and our logic, our fear of the dead and our knowledge that it is somehow good to die, and which at one stroke covers what multitudes of separate theories will hardly cover for us if this is rejected.
The moment good taste knows itself, some of its goodness is lost.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says in the end, "Thy will be done."
There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself...there have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.
The rescue of drowning men is ... a duty worth dying for, but not worth living for. It seems to me that all political duties (among which I include military duties) are of this kind. A man may have to die for our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country.
There seems no plan because it is all plan.
The safest road to Hell is the gradual one -- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.
[T]hose who can't tell one tune from another will crowd to hear a harp if a man plays it with his toes.
We have discovered that the scheme of 'outlawing war' has made war more like an outlaw without making it less frequent and that to banish the knight does not alleviate the suffering of the peasant.
We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate, and bid the geldings be fruitful.
[We must] reject with detestation that covert propaganda for cruelty which tries to drive mercy out of the world by calling it names such as "Humanitarianism" and "Sentimentality".
When you have found your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall.