Two famous men died fifty years ago today. In many ways they are a study in contrasts.
One death was violent and loud, eclipsing the other more quiet passing.
One man was president of the United States, the other a professor at Cambridge and author.
One event will get far more media attention today than the other.
But let me pay my small tribute to CS Lewis. I owe my faith, so far as I can tell, and all the good that has come to me with believing and following Jesus Christ, to him. My debt to JFK is much smaller.
Lewis saw the future with amazing accuracy, because he understood the past so well and his consciousness was not blurred by wishful thinking or illusions about human nature.
I recently encountered his essay, “On Living in an Atomic Age, ” written in 1948 when the world was still adjusting to the dark possibilities of nuclear war. Though we have gotten used to that, we still have our fears of economic collapse, climate change, terrorism, antibiotic resistant diseases, etc. If anything we are even more obsessed with survival now than we were then, ironically at a same time when we are being told that life is essentially meaningless.
If you have 15 minutes and some curiosity, take a look at this clever and effective Youtube presentation of Lewis’ essay. I doubt you will find anywhere more insight packaged so clearly. It will also give you a window into this great soul and mind.
Here is another very helpful short video from Fr. Robert Barron, discussing the influence of C.S. Lewis.