animal or angel

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one,
not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries;
avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

(Marc Chagall / Cow with a Parasol / 1944)

In his Second Sunday before Lent homily, Bishop Ashenden puts before us the notion
of the identity of Jesus.

Who Jesus really is.

He notes that no one—not Buddha, not Mohammad, not Abraham, nor Moses…
none of these individuals ever professed to be God…

But that Jesus was different.

He did claim to be the Son of God…and in turn God.
That He was in the Father and the Father was in Him.
(John 14:11)

Yet Bishop Ashenden notes that our culture does not teach that Jesus is or was any
different from anyone else.
And also notes that none of us can actually prove what Jesus did.
We only have the written word…no tangible proof that shows the world definitive proof
of this or that.

And so we are left asking ourselves…
why were these things done the way that they were done and
why had these things been done and said even in the first place?

The good Bishop notes the words of C.S. Lewis when Lewis referenced man and choice…
that the choice of man is to be either animal or angel—or more aptly, animal or saint.

For in animals we are all similar in that we are born of both male and female.
And from that… man is then born of consciousness/ brain/mind…
with his conscious being the separator between man and animal…
as some may even dispute that…

So thus, by the conscious being of his conscience, man (us) has the capacity to
become children of God.
The choice between dust or to live eternally.

And so comes Jesus to show how humanly conscious choice is put into practice.

For the Children of God are born not only from man and woman but also from
the Holy Spirit.

And yet even worse than the animals…man, with his consciousness, can, therefore,
choose to become demonic…
because man can consciously choose malice, anger, rage, hatred, damage…all things which
are demonic versus that of The Spirit.

And so Jesus, as God made man…demonstrated that Love was never designed to be kept
to self…but to be freely offered and given…that which counters the demonic…

“Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world,
but as animals they inhabit time.
This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object,
their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time,
means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–
the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back,
a series of troughs and peaks.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

14 comments on “animal or angel

  1. Love C. S. Lewis. Thanks for the great quotes to start out the day.

    “And so Jesus, as God made man…demonstrated that Love was never designed to be kept
    to self…but to be freely offered and given…that which counters the demonic…” — Amen and amen again.

    Be blessed. God is with you.

    P. S. — Love Marc Chagall as well.

  2. dbp49 says:

    Thanks for those reflections on the Bishop’s sermon. There was much there to try and digest when I first heard it, and it does help to see a little of how someone else I trust understood his message. The Bishop’s mention, which you reiterated in this post, regarding the other “holy men” never making claims of being God, was a rather interesting point, and something I had never really considered. But thanks again, and God bless.

    • Thank you David.
      When I sit and watch or listen to, say Bishop
      Asenden or Pastor David Roberston or as I did when I watched the video of Nabeel’s, I do so with pen in hand as I try to take in and write down what I glean….and of course I feel lead to share. And in the sharing, I sort out my take away from it all.
      Which I pray will also provide for others.

      And I too was struck by what he said that no other “religious” individual down through time has claimed the Divinity of God but for Jesus Christ…that right there is certainly telling!!
      More tomorrow 🙂

      • dbp49 says:

        I also take notes when I read. Unfortunately, I lack your gift of conveying what I learn to others, and have to be satisfied most times with hoping that those things which I take in are at least helping me to live a more Christian type of existence.

  3. This is excellent, dear Julie! Truly Christ is different than any other in His claims, and the Word of God different in its profundity of early texts that have survived to this day, the ability of those living during its writing to refute or bring forth evidence against it as well as the willingness of the writers to die for what they testified. And the distinction between man and animal is a profound one! Yes and yes again. Our ability to choose distinguishes us. Love C.S. Lewis as well. He always gets to the heart of the matter…as do you! ❤

    • Agreed Lynn—but as for me getting to the heart of the matter…it’s like I was telling David, I just listen or read with pen in hand—then I try to turn around and offer what I’ve gleaned— hoping others will or can glean soemthing worthwhile as well…
      in education we call that teach one, tell one 🙂

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Jesus is indeed the unique Son of God and different than the other founders of religion

  5. Wally Fry says:

    Yes, no other prophet every laid claim to being God. Jesus did! And 3 days after he died, He proved it by coming OUT of that grave.

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