I really enjoyed this passage, and it has one of my favorite quotes from Lewis. "Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." I know I have referenced this quote before, but I think it really sums up how most of us act on a daily basis. We mistake earthly desire as something real and fulfilling, when the opposite is true. We tend to settle for less instead of searching for something greater. It goes along with what Lewis says later that these desires are good images of what we really long for but if they are mistake for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. We can long for sunny days but we must not worship the sun, beach, sand, etc. We can enjoy the nice weather but it is nothing compared to the paradise we have not yet found but will one day enjoy.
In class many of us wondered why the need and urgency of glory isn't embedded deeper with us and why we aren't constantly striving for it. I think we have put too much of our attention into earthly things that it can be hard to imagine a life without them. Lewis says that no natural happiness will satisfy our desires, and we cannot explain glory because it is a desire for something that has never actually happened in our experience. It is a different kind of satisifaction we find in the Lord. Instead of finding pleasure through music or books, we will find all our desires satisfied completely in the Lord, not through Him. Heaven is outside our experience, but this should not discourage our longing. "If Christianity could tell me no more than of the far off land than my own temperment led me to surmise already, then Christianity would be no higher than myself." What good is a religion that you know precisely every detail and can figure out all on your own? If we could know all the details of our God then there would be no need for Christ or the Holy Spirit to bring us to Him.
I really like when Lewis talks about there not being any vanity when we meet face to face with God. "She will be free from the miserable illusion that it is her doing." "If God is satisfied with the work, the work may be satisfied with itself." I think it is hard to grasp that God will be so pleased and overjoyed with us. It is comforting and exciting to know that some day we will be a real ingredient in the divine happiness...to be loved by God..."a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain." It is so amazing that by the works of Christ we will stand in the presence of God and survive His examination. Not only will we "pass" but we will have His approval; He will be pleased with us.
Our group also talked about the saying "Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning." It's reassuring that each day is new and another chance to start over. We are not only forgiven once and only once, but we are forgiven each and every day. God continues to love and care for us even when we have bad days. We also liked "there are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." Lewis suggests that everyday we are faced with overwhelming possibilities that our neighbors are gods and goddesses. It is interesting to think of the people behind the faces we see everyday; they could be someone totally different than they appear to be. You never know how God might be using others to speak to you, so we should not judge or brush off others around us. I love that Lewis ends with this: "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ ver latitat- the glorifier and the glorified, Glory himself, is truly hidden." I pray that I develop eyes that can see my neighbors in that kind of light.