Sunday, February 12, 2017

How Can God Answer Prayer C.S. Lewis

...from The Screwtape Letters

Screwtape offers a short lesson on Time and Eternity:

But you must remember that he takes time for an ultimate reality. He supposes that the Enemy, like himself, sees some things as present, remembers others as past, and anticipates others as future; or even if he believes that the Enemy does not see things that way, yet, in his heart of hearts, he regards this as a peculiarity of the Enemy's mode of perception... he doesn't really think [though he would say he did] that things as the Enemy sees them are things as they are! If you tried to explain to him that men's prayers today are one of the innumerable co-ordinates with which the Enemy harmonizes the weather of tomorrow, he would reply that then the enemy always knew men were going to make those prayers and, if so, they did not pray freely but were pre-destined to do so.

And he would add that the weather on a given day can be traced back through its causes to the original creation of matter itself... so that the whole thing, both on the human and on the material side, is given' from the word go'. What he ought to say, of course, is obvious to us; that the problem of adapting the particular weather to the particular prayers is nearly the appearance, at two points in his temporal mode of perception, of the total problem of adapting whole spiritual universe to the whole corporeal universe; that creation in its entirety operates at every point of space and time, or rather that their kind of consciousness forces them to encounter the whole, self consistent creative act as a series of successive events. Why that creative act leaves room for their free will is the problem of problems, the secret behind the Enemy's nonsense about 'love'. How it does so is no problem at all; for the Enemy does not foresee the humans making their free contributions in a future, but sees them doing so in his unbounded Now. And obviously to watch a man doing something is not to make him do it.

...from The Screwtape Letters

Those acquainted with The Screwtape Letters would know that the Enemy in this case, is God.

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