The Weight of Glory: 75 Years Later

08 Jun

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As I was perusing the internet earlier, it was brought to my attention that tonight will mark the 75th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’ delivery of his sermon titled, The Weight of Glory. It was first preached on June 8, 1941 in St. Mary’s at Oxford University.

I have, for a long time, been a great admirer of Lewis. I have read and re-read his works. I have read his biographies: the most recent by Alister McGrath. I have been to England and visited Oxford, in part, so I could visit the Kilns (Lewis’ home) and Trinity Church (where Lewis is buried), along with Oxford University and Magdalen College and the Bodleian Library.

One of the works I enjoy the most is The Weight of Glory.

I would like to give only a few of the wonderful excerpts from this amazing sermon:

Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.


Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning. A cleft has opened in the pitiless walls of the world, and we are invited to follow our great Captain inside. The following Him is, of course, the essential point.


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.

If you are interested, the full text can be found at the below link (notice, in the header they erroneously state it was preached in 1942, but the truth is it was preached in 1941):

The Weight of Glory

And again, if you are interested, below is the link that brought all this to my attention:

The 75th Anniversary of Lewis’ “The Weight of Glory”


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Posted by on June 8, 2016 in C.S. Lewis, Christian, Christianity, history


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