An ordered life

From time to time, every man must pause for a moment of introspection. Is the life he’s living purposeful?

Socrates stated that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” One tends to agree, but with the understanding that an unexamined life is unworthy not because it is unexamined but because, by being unexamined, its sins go without repentance. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity,

When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.

The world in which we now exist sets great store in entertainment and fleeting moments of ecstasy. The Christian must set great store in that which pleases our Lord. Only in doing so may he enjoy the created world, his relationships with others, and the pleasures of earthly life. To have a life unordered is to never truly know pleasure. The malcontent shall never have satisfaction until he gives up control to God.

Introspection is often accompanied by uncertainty or pain. On rarer occasions, it may come with a chance and sidewise glimpse of the ordered life exposed in someone else. It is only with humility that we may sincerely seek to “heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation”. And such humility comes with the examination of self in light of the majesty of God.

Christmas as a day of worship

It has become my tradition to attend church service on Christmas Day. This is a tradition generally abandoned in our present time, sadly. How can I not take the time to worship the Lord on the day we Christians mark as the celebration of the birth of Christ? I encourage you to take your family to church this Christmas Day so that you may give thanks for the incarnation of the Son.

Likewise, it is also my practice to decorate my house for Christmas on Christmas Day. These decorations are left for the twelve days of Christmastide. This is another of those practices that has been largely forsaken in our time. However, it is a practice that was formerly common throughout the Christian West. Marking the seasons of the church year helps keep life–and the life of Christ–in proper perspective. Being careful to celebrate each holy day in its place, and its fullness, aids in maintaining a hallowed life.

C.S. Lewis wrote the following brief comments about the Christian holy day of Christmas.cslewis

“What Christmas Means to Me”

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a “view” on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business. [Continue Reading]

“Exmas and Christmas”

Beyond this there lies in the ocean, turned towards the west and the north, the island of Niatirb which Hecataeus indeed declares to be the same size and shape as Sicily, but it is larger, and though in calling it triangular a man would not miss the mark. It is densely inhabited by men who wear clothes not very different from other barbarians who occupy the north- western parts of Europe though they do not agree with them in language. These islanders, surpassing all the men of whom we know in patience and endurance, use the following customs.

In the middle of winter when fogs and rains most abound they have a great festival which they call Exmas, and for fifty days they prepare for it in the fashion I shall describe. First of all, every citizen is obliged to send to each of his friends and relations a square piece of hard paper stamped with a picture, which in their speech is called an Exmas-card. [Continue Reading]

On the road to Hell

A quote from C. S. Lewis, so clearly stating truth.

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.