C.S. Lewis and the Weight of Glory

We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning
Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of
course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you
can go and enjoy the gift of many fine mornings if you get
up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want?
Ah, but we want so much more—something the books
on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the
mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely
to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty
enough. We want something else which can hardly be put
into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass
into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become
part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and

water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves—
that, though we cannot, yet these projections can enjoy in
themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature
is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods.
They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into
a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born
of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it
won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture
seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the
Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendor of the
sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and
the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the
truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the
world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness
and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and
pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But
all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the
rumors that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing,
we shall get in. When human souls have become as
perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation
is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory,
or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first
sketch. . . . And in there, in beyond Nature, we shall eat of
the tree of life


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