Discover more from The Inward Odyssey
C.S. Lewis: Three Anchors of Christian Spirituality
What do we do when we feel ourselves at a standstill or in adversity?
C.S. Lewis1 and Mary began their correspondence in 1950 when his Narnia chronicles were gaining popularity. Mary, a widow slightly older than Lewis, had encountered financial difficulties after being self-reliant throughout her life. Mary frequently sent Lewis her poems for critique and extensive reviews of his books (though we only have access to Lewis' side of the conversation). Over the course of more than a decade, their correspondence evolved into a friendship, with Lewis assuming the role of a spiritual mentor during challenging times in Mary's life. What I find especially helpful in his brief letter, is that he expresses three essential components to a healthy Christian spirituality: the Sacraments, Prayer, and a Rule of Life. When we feel ourselves at a standstill or facing some particular adversity, these three cornerstones serve as anchors. And to top it all off, he recommends delving into the work of St. Francis de Sales, a Spiritual Director whom I hold dear.
Thanks for yours of the 3rd and very kind review.
Kind, but not quite accurate when you say I met "joy" in the "whimsical creations of my boyish imagination." Surely the book tells you very explicitly that I never met it there? But no matter. You give the core of it very well and with great economy and clarity: a good bit of work.
How it bucks one up to get a poem accepted! the children we are. I look forward to your article.
I agree: the only thing one can usually change in one's situation is oneself. And yet one can't change that either — only ask Our Lord to do so, keeping on meanwhile with one's sacraments, prayers, and ordinary rule of life. One mustn't fuss too much about one's state. Do you read St. Francis de Sales? He has good things to say on this subject. All good wishes.
Thanks for reading The Inward Odyssey by Jonathan R. Bailey! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
More Letters from C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis, also known as Jack, was a British writer born in Belfast, Ireland, back in 1898. He's famous for his imaginative and enchanting stories, particularly "The Chronicles of Narnia," which captured the hearts of both children and adults alike. Lewis had a knack for weaving together elements of fantasy, Christianity, and philosophy in his works. Besides being a talented author, he was also a respected scholar, teaching at Oxford University and specializing in literature and medieval studies. With his charming wit and insightful perspectives, Lewis left a lasting legacy in the world of literature and continues to inspire readers to this day.
Lewis, C. S.. Letters to an American Lady. United States: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014.