Few authors are as eminently quotable as C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), especially when it comes to friendship.
Recognized as a definitive voice of Christian apologetics, Lewis’s path to writing was marked by a yearning for discovery that even included a period of atheism.
His return to Christianity (which was largely influenced by his friend and fellow writer J.R.R. Tolkien) resulted in many books that are still widely read by Christians today, including The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and, of course, his internationally beloved series, The Chronicles of Narnia.
From Lewis’s work, we find memorable quotes about friendship, faith, families, love, and all of the wonders of life. On the subject of friendship, he is perhaps most often remembered for this quote: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
List of the Best CS Lewis Quotes
Read on for more quotes from C.S. Lewis that stand the test of time.
What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.
God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
The heart never takes the place of the head: but it can, and should, obey it.
Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
Forgiveness does not mean excusing.
Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.
Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.
It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.
Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.
It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.
When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.
A pleasure is not full grown until it is remembered.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.
Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours.
People who bore one another should meet seldom; people who interest one another, often.
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.
We are mirrors whose brightness is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us.
Being in love first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.
It’s all love or sex these days. Friendship is almost as quaint and outdated a notion as chastity. Soon friends will be like the elves and the pixies—fabulous mythical creatures from a distant past.
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.
The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.
The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.
We’re not doubting that God will do the best for us; we’re wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s, we do not accept them easily enough.
What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.
We do not want merely to see beauty . . . We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.
The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.
The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.
When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive.
Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Macmillan, 1950. —. The Magician’s Nephew. Macmillan, 1955. —. The Screwtape Letters. HarperCollins, 1942.—. Mere Christianity. HarperCollins, 1952.—. The Great Divorce. Macmillan, 1946.