The 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis is a fitting opportunity to recollect what Lewis has meant to many, many Catholics. Aleteia invited a number of its board of experts to comment on this.
I think that Lewis has fostered for many Catholics a real experience of the compatibility of faith and reason in its richest sense. This was because of his amazing ability to speak to Everyman. He was not a “popularizer” — he was a brilliant Everyman. He had understood the heights of the Christian life as experienced by himself, a man of deeply ordinary concerns and sensibilities. He was not content with the abstract. He knew that theology has to mean something in our lives.
He could do that for us with his explanations and through his imagination. As I read Perelandra, his story about the beginnings of rational life on Venus, to my fourteen year old son, I am marveling again at his imagination — nourished by theology, history, literature, science — of the new Eve and a new temptation in Paradise.
I strongly recommend that Catholic high schools make their students intimately familiar with Lewis. “Mere Christianity” is unbeatable as an introduction to Christianity. That Catholics have derived so much from the Anglican Lewis, many even pointing to his importance for their conversions or reversions, is no doubt a sign from the Holy Spirit that Protestants really are our separated BRETHREN, and that He did not abandon them when their fathers abandoned His Church. What a great witness to His desire for re-unification through our growing mutual understanding and love!
May his soul rest in peace.