Thursday, March 3, 2016

From My Commonplace: On Prayer and Distraction

"Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself, we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves.  Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills…Teach them the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure  of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment."
"…you must keep him praying to it – to the thing he has made, not to the Person who has made him."
~CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Letter #4)
(For those of you who aren't familiar with The Screwtape Letters, they are a series of imagined letters from a Senior Demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood educating him in the nature of tempting his patient – a human being -  and keeping Him from entering in to a full and living relationship with God.  Their 'Enemy', of course is God.  They are rather amusing and tongue-in-cheek at times, but the reversed perspective also gives rather intriguing commentary and insight into the nature of sin and temptation.  Very, very interesting to be reading this alongside Paradise Lost, although to be completely honest I haven't touched Paradise Lost for nearly two weeks.  But it's all still simmering away in the back of my mind…)

My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional: The Daily Office Lectionary Readings and Prayers from The Trinity Mission
 The Cloud of Witness (Gell)
 A Sacrifice of Praise (poetry anthology, edited by Trott)
 The Rising: Living the Mysteries of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost (Wright)
Theological: The Screwtape Letters (Lewis)
AO Book Discussion Group: Paradise Lost (Milton)
Personal Choice: The Scent of Water (Goudge)
With my Hubby: Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
Family Read-Aloud Literature: The Wouldbegoods (Nesbit)
*I am also reading Scouting the Divine (Feinburg) with a women's group at church and Charlotte Mason's Volume 6 for a local CM book club, but these meetings are infrequent and so I just read the brief section assigned as our meetings come up.  They aren't really part of my regular reading rotation as the rest of these are.
** Yes.  My hubby is actually reading Pride and Prejudice with me.  And enjoying it....

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