You Have Never Met a Mere Mortal

Watch your actions; you have never met a mere mortal.  This is an exerpt that I think will affect those who love the Lord…  

The Weight of Glory (edited)

C.S. Lewis…

It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.


It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities[indeed one or the other is an eventuality], it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another… all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.


There are no ordinary people.


You have never talked to a mere mortal.


Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.


This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.


And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling[that is, heartbreak]for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to…[God Himself], your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ ‘vere latitat’—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.



5 thoughts on “You Have Never Met a Mere Mortal

  1. Was there a particular reason you rendered and edited Lewis above thus:

    “Next to…[God Himself], your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

    When the original (which you edit, says much more poetically:

    “Next to the Blessed Sacrament Itself your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

    Let Lewis be Lewis!

  2. It’s been a while since I posted this. But I believe the reason I edited it was because I am under the impression that C S Lewis believed in Transubstantiation, that is that communion is physically changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. Such a belief is not Biblical, indeed it is anti-Biblical. However, I believe that by substituting “God Himself” in place of “the Blessed Sacrament” I convey the truth of the idea Lewis believed, while removing a false doctrine.

    But it’s been a while. If Lewis was not speaking of this transubstantiated communion, and was indeed speaking simply of God Himself, then substituting God Himself in place certainly helps unfamiliar readers to understand the truth of the passage.

  3. You are incorrect about Lewis believing in Transubstantiation. He was an Anglican, and the understanding of that branch of catholic Christianity is called “Real Presence”. It isn’t the physical features of bread and wine that are changed, but their significance. More than mere symbolism, but not magical transformation either. The substance is the vehicle for the Reality. And yes, that is a mystery. That’s kinda the point. I agree that you did Lewis a disservice by editing out what he wrote because it offends you.

  4. Thanks for sharing more information on what he thought Mr. Cheesman, I’ll have to look into that. Specifically to address the comment about a disservice to Lewis though… my intention in quoting him in the first place was to honor God. I believe he found and shared God’s truth in the matter, though the one area I edited was something that, I think, diverts the reader from the truth Lewis was sharing. If that’s a disservice to Lewis then so be it, God’s truth is more important than any of us! 🙂

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