In The Know
Screwtape adds a new spin to gluttony:
Now your patient is his mother's son. While working your hardest, quite rightly, on other fronts, you must not neglect a little quiet infiltration in respect of gluttony. Being a male, he is not so likely to be caught by the 'All I want' camouflage. Males are best turned into gluttons with the help of their vanity. They ought to be made to think themselves very knowing about food, to pique themselves on having found the only restaurant in the town where steaks are really 'properly' cooked. What begins as vanity can then be gradually turned into habit. But, however you approach it, the great thing is to bring him into the state in which the denial of any one indulgence—it matters not which, champagne or tea, sole colbert or cigarettes—'puts him out', for then his charity, justice, and obedience are all at your mercy.
—from The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters. Copyright © 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men (18:16).
He has worked for this interview for months. He was about to interview one of the most popular actresses of all time, and he was very nervous. He knew little about her, really, except that she loved animals. He had picked up a stuffed dog on the way up to her apartment, just as a token of esteem, hoping that it would break the ice. She received it warmly, and he felt that he had made exactly the right move. She was truly appreciative of the small gift, and it made the atmosphere so much more comfortable for the interview. Afterwards, the reporter became great friends with the actress, and he frequently dropped in with more "pets" to add to her collection.
Gifts given from a pure heart are a real blessing. They let another person know that you care, and they pave the way for a deeper relationship. Often a well-timed gift can heal a wound or cement a relationship. It blesses both gift and giver, and it spreads a feeling that God loves. Giving is a powerful way to show what kind of person you are. Gifts freely given build bridges that last a lifetime. Nothing is finer than a gift given in love, as is evidenced by the divine gift of God's only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Make me a giver, Lord. A giver of time, of talent, of love, of commitment, of peace, of gifts, of all the things that make life worth living. Help me to reflect your giving spirit in every way possible. Amen.