Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian

On Obedience and The Screwtape Letters

Tod Worner - published on 07/23/17

C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is a fabled correspondence between an elder devil, Screwtape, and his young nephew, Wormwood. The letters are Screwtape’s effort to tersely educate his young charge on how to tempt a man away from God. The letters are a chilling reminder that the Devil is not a caricature sporting horns and cloven hooves while wearing red tights. He is a crafty soother, a seductive intriguer, a master of manipulation who will pose as friend and confidante as he ushers you into perdition.

So while re-reading The Screwtape Letters in preparation for a fast-approaching book club, I came across this brilliant insight about a Christian during times of dryness, times of despair:

Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending to do [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

As Catholics, we will know dark nights of the soul. Jesus Christ himself knew it. His disciples knew it. St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. John Paul II, St. John of the Cross and countless other believers have known this darkness, isolation and encroaching despair.

But they didn’t despair.

They obeyed.

As a good friend once said, “Your feelings are not the facts.” God is there whether we feel it or not, whether we know it or not. He is not dependent on our apprehension of his existence or our understanding of his actions for him to exist and act.

He simply is. Eternally loving. Eternally present.

So when every trace of God seems to have vanished and when we ask why we have been forsaken, he is still there.

We are called to believe, even if it seems unbelievable.

And obey.

And all shall be well.


Photo credit: Pixabay

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
3
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
4
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More