Scholar and best-selling author Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was born on this day in Belfast, Ireland and raised in a house full of books, developing a passion for poetry, mythology, and writing.
Lewis said that with the death of his beloved mother in 1908 "all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life."
Searching for wisdom and balance, young Lewis--"Jack" to his friends--attended boarding school, called himself an atheist, and fought in World War I. He thought long and deep about his life and once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
While teaching literature and mythology at Oxford, he joined the discussion group The Inklings and began a lifelong friendship with writer J.R.R.Tolkien who was instrumental in Lewis' conversion to Christianity in 1931.
Lewis said, "Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."
Aiming at heaven, Lewis became a beacon of faith and celebration of religious doctrine, what he called "mere Christianity." He recorded radio lectures that were broadcast during World War II and wrote. His prolific works included the seven-part fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-1956), still popular with children today.
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world," Lewis said.
More C. S. LEWIS Quotations
Friends are angels.