Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #2

The Safest Road to Hell

I remember reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis for the first time. I recall many instances when I found myself believing that Lewis had somehow managed to peer into my very soul and discern my thoughts, behaviors and attitudes.

C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters in the form of a series of letters in which the older, wiser demon, Screwtape advises his young nephew, Wormwood, in the subtlties of temptatation and ultimately, damnation.

Here, Screwtape is suggesting that Wormwood needn't waste his efforts on causing his subject to commit some grand sin when something more understated will suffice:

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

1 comment:

Chad P. Shepherd said...

I am fascinated by the passage regarding hope and fear in relation to using them both as tools of inaction against those who would do good.

Fear can keep us safe and wise, and hope can lead us to action.

Love the perspective and meaning of this photo.