Thursday in the Third Week of Lent

A 1947 cover of Time Magazine  depicted C. S. Lewis with an impish devil poised on his left shoulder, an image of Screwtape, the Senior Tempter of Hell.  C.S. Lewis writes, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” 

Today many people don’t believe in devils.  But C.S. Lewis believed, and he speculated: “What if we could see what the temptation of our souls looks like through the eyes of the other side? In other words, what if we could interview a demon?”  With that in mind, he wrote his classic work, The Screwtape Letters.  He used his imagination to seek fresh ways to communicate orthodox Christian faith. 

The contemporaries of Jesus had no lack of belief in devils.  They saw them everywhere, in disease, in disasters, even in the miracles of Jesus.  And they were closer to the truth than the disbelievers in our own times.  As the great lay theologian, Frank Sheed writes in his book, Theology and Sanity, it is insanity not to believe in the invisible realities revealed by faith.  The Jews believed in Beelzebul but not in the holiness of Jesus.  It is our grace of sanity to believe in both and to live accordingly.