103. C.S. LEWIS: To love at all
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was an Irish author most famous for the Chronicles of Narnia series. He was also a noted poet, critic and served as professor of English Literature at Oxford for 29 years. An atheist as a young man, Lewis would later would find his faith and go on to become one of the most important Christian authors of the 20th Century. I loved the Narnia books as a child and it’s interesting to find out now that the plot and characters were inspired by the Bible. Aslan was Jesus? Cool. Maybe if they recited the Narnia books in Church I would have paid more attention.
The full version of this quote, taken from Lewis’s book, The Four Loves, reads:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
- The official C.S. Lewis website.
- Thanks to Vanessa, Karen and Ethan for submitting this quote.