Patricia Hofer

Christ’s presence “in the room”

CS Lewis (Screwtape, the devil, lecturing Wormwood, his pupil, on how to win someone away from spiritual experience: “The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether. … But whatever the nature of the composite object, you must keep him praying to it—to the thing that he has made, not to the Person who has made him…For if he ever comes to make the distinction, if ever he consciously directs his prayers ‘Not to what I think thou art but to what thou knowest thyself to be’, our situation is, for the moment desperate. …Once all of his thoughts and images have been flung aside, or if retained, retained with a full recognition of their merely subjective nature, and the man trusts himself to the complete real, external, invisible Presence, there with him in the room and never knowable by him as he is known by it—why, then it is that the incalculable may occur. …There is such a thing as getting more than they bargained for!” (Screwtape Letters, 16-18)

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