Tuesday, October 31, 2017

C.S. Lewis's Ghost Story

We've had Padre Pio and a ghost, St. John Bosco and a ghost. For Halloween itself, let's get one where the famous person is himself the ghost!
At the time, J. B. Phillips was in a deep depression that threatened his life. He refused to leave his chambers, refused proper food or exercise, and seriously questioned the love and election of God [in his life]. It was in this state of detachment and depression, leading to his early death…that suddenly, a ruddy and glowing C. S. Lewis stood before him, entering his room through closed doors -- a “healthy Lewis, hearty and glowing” as Phillips was later to record.

In this vision, Lewis only spoke only one sentence to Phillips: ‘J.B., it’s not as hard as you think.’ One solitary sentence, the meaning of which is debated! But what is not debated is the effect of that sentence. It snapped Phillips out of his depression, and set him again following God. After Lewis spoke that cryptic sentence, he disappeared.

Phillips came out of his chambers only to find that Lewis had died moments before the appearance, miles away. He pondered this in his heart, with wonder, and never returned to his depression. Now, was this a case of God giving a detour of a soul on the way to heaven to a special friend, to save him? Who knows? But again, it is recorded evidence of the highest order, by persons of the highest order: Lewis and Phillips. It is a ghost story, a benevolent one, to all appearances – actually, not only benevolent, but redemptive [which I would take as an element of authenticity].
This story is found in a lot of places but I like this retelling which is from Thoughts of Loy.

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