August 25: The Narrow Gate

Homily Series: Accountability

Narrow Is the Way and Few They Be Who Find It

Fr. Steve addressed one of the most difficult texts in the scriptures, and included this interesting letter from C.S. Lewis to his brother Warnie:

I had a pleasant evening on Thursday with Williams, Tolkien, and [Charles] Wrenn [professor of Anglo-Saxon & member of the Inklings], during which Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams, or at least maintained that conversation with Williams enabled him to understand how inquisitors had felt it right to burn people. Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as some people at school, coll. punts, are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently combustible.

The occasion was a discussion of the most distressing text in the Bible (‘narrow is the way and few they be that find it’) (Matthew 7, parallel to Luke 13) and whether one really could believe in a universe where the majority were damned and also in the goodness of God. Wrenn, of course, took the view that it mattered precisely nothing whether it conformed to your ideas of goodness or not, and it was at that stage that the combustible possibilities of Williams revealed themselves to him in an attractive light. The general sense of the meeting was in favour of a view on the lines taken in Pastor Pastorum–that Our Lord’s replies are never straight answers and never gratify curiosity, and that whatever this one meant its purpose was certainly not statistical. Lewis, C. S.. The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2 (pp. 283-284). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The key for us, and the command of Jesus, is to strive to enter by the narrow gate. That is, to live lives of discipleship.

Get in touch

Ready to find out more?