C.S. Lewis Reflections on Despair and Human Worth

By: Tyler Hummel

I wish to present a few choice quotes from the great C.S. Lewis to meditate on this week as the ongoing debates about abortion continue…

I felt the need to dig up a handful of these quotes when I saw the image above, the sad image of a young millennial woman who holds abortion in such deep regard that she wishes she could’ve been killed before she was born. It is a very Screwtapian image of self-loathing, sadness, and anti-human worth that I felt the need to revisit my priors. No matter which side of the abortion debate you’re on, we should all be wary of the despair that leads a person to suicide or violence, be they bombing abortion clinics or bombing anti-abortion clinics.

Stay safe my friends!

“What is now common to all men is a mere abstract universal… and Man’s conquest of himself means simply the rule of the conditioners over the conditioned human material, the world of post-humanity which some knowingly and some unknowingly nearly all men in all nations are at present laboring to produce.” – Abolition of Man


“If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.” – A Grief Observed


It is certainly not wrong to try to remove the natural consequences of sin provided the means by which you remove them are not in themselves another sin. (E.g. it is merciful and Christian to remove the natural consequences of fornication by giving the girl a bed in a maternity ward and providing for the child’s keep and education, but wrong to remove them by abortion or infanticide.) – Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III, 91


“Let him say that he feels hatred not on his own behalf but on that of the women and children and that a Christian is told to forgive his own, not other people’s enemies. In other words let him consider himself sufficiently identified with the women and children to feel hatred on their behalf, but not sufficiently identified to regard their enemies as his own and therefore proper objects of forgiveness”. – The Screwtape Letters


“Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with ever fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” – Mere Christianity


“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.” – The Weight of Glory


One thought on “C.S. Lewis Reflections on Despair and Human Worth

  1. Thank you for this collection of Truth which applies so well to the sin of our nation. I just read this morning Malachi 2:17 in which the people have the audacity to say that, “everyone that does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them, and by asking, ‘were is the God of justice?” What a perfect picture of pro-abortionist thinking, “what we are doing is right, and God if you don’t think so, you are unjust.”

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