Monday, November 26, 2007

A Screwtape Letter

I guarantee that you will not understand this if you have not read any of C.S.Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters." I wrote this about 6 months ago and re-read it while looking for my NSA application essays on my computer. I thought you might like to read it.

My dear Wormwood,
You seemed to be very unnecessarily concerned (and long-winded) in your last letter concerning your patient's reading habits. Since we have discussed this before, you will recall my condemnation of reading for pleasure, but this is a different type of reading all together. Though you have done a disastrous job in keeping your patient from a tender heart and *blech* scriptural studies, there is an aspect of her new enthusiasm for the Enemies “Word” that we may exploit. You see, in her newly acquired fervor for studies of the particular doctrines of the Enemy, she has begun a failure to apply them. At this desperate point, you must actually encourage her to read more and more of eschatology, predestination, the eucharist, ectcetera. You may be suprised by my saying this, but you will see that with humans, pride takes over quickly and does our job for us. While she is reading all these deep and philosophical books concerning “great matters” two things will happen that you must both encourage and keep her from noticing. One, she will think herself above others for her studies deep into scripture and develop a facade of humility but all the while reek of pride. This of course is helpful to lead to many other kinds of sins- use your imagination. The second thing that will happen is that she will be so focused on these “high” doctrinal things that she will forget to apply them. They are great theological matters that she likes to study. Simply never let the seemingly obvious thought of “How might I apply this to my life” cross her mind and you will be home free. It will not be a very difficult job as humans are quick to apply standards to all but themselves, thus also promoting our first cause, of pride. Again, the only way this will work is if you keep her content and away from a realization of her sin and need for repentance. Good luck, and I expect prompt news of your success upon the arrival of your next letter.
To each his own,
-Screwtape

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