This is my favorite C.S. Lewis book. I’ve been a bit ashamed to say that in the past, but it’s the truth. Why ashamed? Because it’s so simple, but honestly it’s the most transformational book for my spiritual life that he’s written. More than explanations of what Christianity is or allegories about who Christ is – this book has helped me understand the sly ways that Satan works in our lives and we don’t even know it.
Lewis writes as Screwtape, a senior demon, to Wormwood, his nephew who is just learning how to turn humans into devil food (i.e. get souls to Hell). The ways he’s tells him to invade his human’s soul, to do things that sort of look like Christianity, to turn him against other Christians.
Oh, I can see it all working in our world and the Church. I’ve been reading survey results for weeks and the fighting attitudes that Catholics have for other Catholics is unreal – and straight from Satan’s playbook. We fight over which Mass is holier: English or Latin? Which music is the right stuff: Contemporary or Traditional hymns or Chant? Who’s succumbing to the fear the government is wielding by wearing a mask and not trusting that God will take care of us?
Can’t we see that when we fight over these things we miss the things that really matter? Like charity, helping the poor, striving for holiness, and general loving one another. We seem to be so busy figuring out who’s the most holy that we are missing the point of actually trying to be holy.
I’ve read this book a few times, and I don’t think this time is my last!