Day 1. Refusing to become just like the Germans:
There was a solemn article in the local paper seriously advocating systematic exterminating of the entire German nation as the only proper course after military victory: because, if you please, they are rattlesnakes, and don’t know the difference between good and evil!…The Germans have just as much right to declare the Poles and Jews exterminable vermin, subhuman, as we have to select the Germans: in other words, no right, whatever they have done….You can’t fight the Enemy with his own Ring without turning into the Enemy.
Day 2. Eucatastrophe:
[The] unhoped-for happy ending,…the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears…a sudden glimpse of Truth [as] your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels a sudden relief as if a major limb out of joint had suddenly snapped back…[This] is indeed how things really work in the Great World.
Day 3. The Gospel as fairy tale:
I do not mean that the Gospels tell what is only fairy-story; but I do mean very strongly that they do tell a fairy-story: the greatest. Man the story-teller would have to be redeemed in a manner consonant with his nature: by a moving story.
Day 4. What Charles Williams said of LOTR:
Williams…says that the great thing is that its center is not in strife and war and heroism (though they are understood and depicted) but in freedom, peace, ordinary life and good liking.
Day 5. Describing the hoarfrost:
One of the most lovely events of Northern Nature…trees like motionless fountains of white branching spray against a golden light and, high overhead, a pale translucent blue. It did not melt. About 11 p.m. the fog cleared and a high round moon lit the whole scene with a deadly white light: a vision of some other world or time. It was so still that I stood in the garden hatless and uncloaked without a shiver, though there must have been many degrees of frost.
Day 6. Christians have forgotten the beauty of Genesis:
I think most Christians…[have] tucked Genesis into a lumber-room of their mind as not very fashionable furniture, a bit ashamed to have it about the house….They have indeed (myself as much as any)…forgotten the beauty of the matter even “as a story.”…The beauty of the story while not necessarily a guarantee of its truth is a concomitant of it, and a fidelis is meant to draw nourishment from the beauty as well as the truth.
Day 7. We all long for Eden:
Certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy earth. We all long for it, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most humane, is still soaked with the sense of “exile.”…We shall never recover it, for that is not the way of repentance, which works spirally and not in a closed circle; we may recover something like it, but on a higher plane.