There Are No Ordinary People

Eucharist“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.”

-C.S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory


4 responses to “There Are No Ordinary People

  1. When I clicked on this post title in Tag Surfer I thought it might be something to reassure me that the fact I am (and generally feel like) a freak is universal.

    But it actually said something way more tremendous and awesome 🙂

  2. Hi, Sophia,

    It is a shift, isn’t it–placing the emphasis of how unique and spectacular human beings are based on what they’ll become, rather than what they presently are? I recommend reading the whole sermon by Lewis. You’ll find the link in my sidebar under “Recommended Reading”.

  3. You stated that we must play. What do you mean and is there a reference you could point me to in the Bible , the Church Fathers, or the Catechism? Thanks

  4. Hi, Kay,

    This entire post is a quote from C.S. Lewis’s sermon/essay “The Weight of Glory.” I’ll let Lewis speak for himself and recommend reading the essay, which is linked in my sidebar under “Recommended Reading.”

    Blessings to you.

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