Thanksgiving in the United States was last week. It’s a time of calm before the expectant weeks of Advent. The bounds that hold in this coming season do not unbound all the travesty and distress of the world. In thinking about the season and the time that is today, I was reading through The Collected Letters Volume II of Lewis.
Here is part of a letter to Don Giovanni Calabria in March 1948:
Everywhere things are troubling and uneasy — wars and rumors of war: perhaps not the final hour but certainly times most evil.
Nevertheless, the Apostle again and again bids us ‘Rejoice’…
I believe that the men of this age… think too much about the state of nations and the situation of the world. Does not the author of The Imitation warn us against involving ourselves too much with such things?
We are not kings, we are not senators. Let us beware lest, while we torture ourselves in vain about the state of Europe, we neglect either Verona or Oxford.
In the poor man who knocks at my door, in my ailing mother, in the young man who seeks my advice, the Lord Himself is present: therefore let us wash His feet.
Let us give thanks and walk into Advent knowing that time is manufactured for eternity, the breath of humanity for the glory of God, our love of neighbor for the sake of the “eternal Godhead Itself,” as Lewis frames it. He ends he correspondence with Father Calabria, “Let us pray for each other always.” Yes, let’s do that.
(Excerpt taken from p. 843-844 of the The Collected Letters Volume II published by HarperOne. Read more about the collection. Lewis wrote to his friend in Latin and the edition has both the Latin and the translation. )