God's Man | Quotes a-Plenty
I am reading through "The Explicit Gospel" by Matt Chandler. This book is a good presentation of the Gospel. Right now I am in the chapter on the Fall of Man and he shares some quotes from Blaise Pascal and C.S. Lewis. These quotes highlight the idea that as fallen individuals we are always longing to fill the hole that created by our first parents, Adam and Eve. No matter what we try to put into that hole, it will never satisfy us the way that God can.
"All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves." - Blaise Pascal, Thoughts (1910)What is we take this to the opposite end of the spectrum. I mean if trying to fill the void in our souls is folly what about denying ourselves everything? Here C.S. Lewis answers that.
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. - Lewis, The Weight of GloryBoth the desire for happiness and the denial thereof influences our decision making. The problem comes into play when it overrides our desire for something that has eternal value. Again Lewis illustrates this point.
"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not to strong, but too weak.
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to 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." - C.S. LewisWe are always seeking to get back to that place of peace. Here Pascal highlights it.
"There was once in man a true happiness of which there now remains to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent to help he does not obtain in things present... But these are infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself."If you have the chance to pick this book up I would recommend it.