05 May 2009

psalmic CSL quotes

I have been conducting a class on Psalms this semester (an undergraduate survey designed for non-Bible majors), and have recently come across a couple of quotes from the beloved C. S. Lewis regarding this collection. Both are insightful.

Regarding 119:

"[It] is not, and does not pretend to be, a sudden outpouring of the heart . . . it is a pattern, a thing done like embroidery, stitch by stitch, through long, quiet hours, for love of the subject and for the delight in leisurely, disciplined craftsmanship."

How much modern worship needs to listen to the wisdom therein. We quickly abandon those things which do not give us instantaneous emotional warmth, thus failing to participate in the deeper disciplines of the faith. And then lament our own shallowness.

The second I wish to mention speaks of righteous indignation:

"Thus the absence of anger, especially that sort of anger which we call indignation, can, in my opinion, be a most alarming symptom. And the presence of indignation may be a good one. Even when that indignation passes into bitter personal vindictiveness, it may still be a good symptom, though bad in itself. It is a sin; but it at least shows that those who commit it have not sunk below the level at which the temptation to that sin exists - just as the sins (often quite appalling) of the great patriot or great reformer point to something in him above mere self."

Interesting. Perhaps also we could learn that mere happiness is not the path to spiritual success, and then stop leading so many people along that road. There is a world to mourn and lament and look upon in anger . . . an then there is comfort to be found.

No comments: