I recently re-read C.S. Lewis’ book Miracles (you can read my full book review by clicking here). As you may have noticed, after reading and reviewing books on this blog, I also like to share some quotes that caught my attention. Doing this with Lewis is difficult, because in order to get the context of a particular quote, I think I would have to cite almost a full page or more. So over the next few weeks I plan to share some quotes from Miracles that require not as much context, or I will provide a bit of background to set the stage.
Lewis talks at great length how Nature (and our natural laws) had to come out of something, which he calls Supernature. What we commonly refer to as a miracle is not a miracle in the sense of natural laws being broken, but in Nature accommodating Supernature. Thus, Lewis writes…
“This perhaps helps to make a little clearer what the laws of Nature really are. We are in the habit of talking as if they caused the events to happen; but they have never caused any event at all. … Thus in one sense the laws of Nature cover the whole field of space and time; in another, what they leave out is precisely the whole real universe—the incessant torrent of actual events which makes up true history. That must come from somewhere else. To think the laws can produce it is like thinking that you can create real money by simply doing sums. … It is therefore inaccurate to define a miracle as something that breaks the laws of Nature. It doesn’t. … The divine art of miracle is not an act of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern. It does not violate the laws proviso, ‘If A, then B’: it says, ‘But this time instead of A, A2,’ and Nature, speaking through all her laws, replies, ‘Then B2’ and naturalizes the immigrant, as she well knows how. She is an accomplished hostess. A miracle is emphatically not an event without cause or without results. Its cause is the activity of God: its results follow according to Natural law.”
For another quote from this book, see Miracle Or “Cheating”?