C.S. Lewis: One Good

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This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13

“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.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened…

There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”

C.S. Lewis (1989-1963) in The Great Divorce (New York: Macmillan, 1946) excerpts from chapter 9 and 11.

Why cite this work by Lewis in which the narrator finds himself in the rainy and joyless city of grey town?

It offers a classic view of eternal realities, our daughter, Sophie, analyzed it for her capstone project as an English major, and it contains priceless wisdom.

Related to generosity: we are on this earth not to accomplish our will but God’s, and we only do good when we look to Him.

These two ideas are not insignificant and related by the fact that there is only one good.

For Jesus to tell us to pray “Thy will be done” as our rhythm for life, He is instructing us to find that “one good” by exchanging our desires for God’s.

Will our generosity be and do good? It depends whose will is guiding us and to whom we are looking.