C.S. Lewis on Perfection

The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him–for we can prevent Him, if we choose–He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said. – C.S. Lewis, “Beyond Personality”

Transforming the World through Jesus’ Name

Jesus’ name is a concrete and powerful way of transfiguring men in their deepest and most divine reality. The men and women we meet in the street, factory, office, and especially those who seem to be irritating and unlikable, let us go toward them with Jesus’ name in our heart and on our lips … If we see Jesus in each man, if we say “Jesus” over each person, we will go through the the world with a new vision and with a new gift in our heart. We can thus transform the world, as much as it is within us, and make our own the word Jacob spoke to his brother: “I saw your face and it was like seeing God’s face” (Gn. 33:10). – Father Lev Gillet

Desert Fathers on Beauty

A story told by the Desert Fathers:

As a group of bishops was meeting in Antioch, a procession of actresses passed by. Among them was the first and most beautiful of actresses bedecked with extravagantly beautiful robes and jewels. As she rode by, bare of head and shoulders with not so much as a veil upon her, the bishops groaned and turned away their heads as from a great sin.

But one of the bishops, Nonnus, did not turn his eyes away from her. Rather, he gazed upon her intently and said to the other bishops, “Did not the sight of her beauty delight you?”

The bishops answered him nothing. Nonnus persisted and said, “I was greatly delighted with her beauty and I believe that God will one day set her in judgment upon us and our episcopate. How many hours has this woman spent in her chamber, bathing and adoring herself that there may be no stain in all her body’s beauty. All of this in order to please men! And yet we who have the greatest of all lovers, the splendid Bridegroom upon Whom the Cherubim dare not look, we adorn not our souls and care not so much as to wash the filth from our miserable souls.