If you look at the categories for this post you may think I have made a mistake. I am listing this under both Transformation in Christ and C.S. Lewis because what Lewis has to say in today's quote could have come from the pages of Transformation in Christ. Perhaps that is why I have become so interested in von Hildebrand's writings – because Lewis prepared the way for me. The two had so many similar understandings of Christian spirituality. In fact, I would say they both had a Catholic understanding of Christian spirituality. That is understandable with von Hildebrand – he was a devout Catholic convert. Lewis, on the other hand, died as an Anglican. Albeit, an Anglican that was a product of the Oxford Movement. If only Lewis had been able to accept his various Catholic friends' (such as J.R.R. Tolkien) invitation to become Catholic himself. Unfortunately, he didn't. But that doesn't change the fact that his writings can bring us closer to God, as does the quote below. But the only way his words can change us is if we heed what Lewis has to say and allow God to have His way with us.
For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is our-selves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing “of our own” left over to live on, no “ordinary” life. I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include much leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian they would be as much part of his “religion,” his “service,” as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts. What cannot be admitted—what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy—is the idea of something that is “our own,” some area in which we are to be “out of school,” on which God has no claim.
For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.