Democracy of the Dead – C.S. Lewis

G.K. Chesterton once said that “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead…Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”  

To honor that sentiment and to stave off an easy chronological snobbery, today’s post comes straight from the mouths (or pens) of men and women who have died in the faith.

From C.S. Lewis’ PERELANDRA:

“As soon as you had taken away the Evil One,” [the Green Lady] said, “and I awoke from sleep, my mind was cleared.

Cross by George Wharton JamesIt is a wonder to me, Piebald, that for all those days you and I could have been so young.

The reason for not yet living on the Fixed Land is now so plain.  How could I wish to live there except because it was Fixed?  And why should I desire the Fixed except to make sure – to be able on one day to command where I should be the next and what should happen to me?

It was to reject the wave – to draw my hands out of Maleldil’s, to say to Him, ‘Not thus, but thus’to put in our own power what times should roll towards us…as if you gathered fruits together to-day for to-morrow’s eating instead of taking what came.

That would have been cold love and feeble trust.  And out of it how could we ever have climbed back into love and trust again?”