50+ Best Screwtape Letters Quotes: Exclusive Selection

The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetic novel by C. S. Lewis and dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to address Christian theological issues, primarily those to do with temptation and resistance to it. Profoundly inspirational Screwtape Letters quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

If you’re searching for most beautiful lines from books that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of significant Invisible Man quotes, best The Bluest Eye quotes and greatest The Crucible quotes.

Famous Screwtape Letters Quotes

The Present is the point at which time touches eternity. — Screwtape Letters

The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favor that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbor’s talents–or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long, run to be able to recognize all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. — Screwtape Letters

In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time– for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays. — Screwtape Letters

Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys. — Screwtape Letters

We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the alter of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. — Screwtape Letters

All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. — Screwtape Letters

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one. — Screwtape Letters

Horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions … produced in the human heart. — Screwtape Letters

There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them. — Screwtape Letters

And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make. — Screwtape Letters

Tortured fear and stupid confidence are both desirable states of mind. — Screwtape Letters

Make full use of the fact that up to a certain point, fatigue makes women talk more and men talk less. Much secret resentment, even between lovers, can be raised from this. — Screwtape Letters

Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him. — Screwtape Letters

Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys. — Screwtape Letters

Hatred is best combined with Fear. Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful–horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember; Hatred has its pleasures. It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of Fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate. — Screwtape Letters

When He talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever. — Screwtape Letters

Suspicion often creates what it suspects. — Screwtape Letters

A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing. — Screwtape Letters

The Enemy [God] allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavor. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it makes the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. — Screwtape Letters

Once more, the inexplicable meets us. — Screwtape Letters

Courtship is the time for sowing those seeds which will grow up ten years later into domestic hatred. — Screwtape Letters

Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. — Screwtape Letters

All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy are to be encouraged. — Screwtape Letters

It is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love–a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors. — Screwtape Letters

We have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. — Screwtape Letters

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. — Screwtape Letters

He cannot ‘tempt’ to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with their stumbles. — Screwtape Letters

Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. — Screwtape Letters

We have trained them to think of the Future as a promised land which favored heroes attain–not as something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. — Screwtape Letters

Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. — Screwtape Letters

The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel. — Screwtape Letters

He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least–sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side. — Screwtape Letters

A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky. — Screwtape Letters

One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. — Screwtape Letters

In wartime not even a human can believe he is going to live forever. — Screwtape Letters

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. — Screwtape Letters

You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption ‘My time is my own’. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours . . . The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels…. — Screwtape Letters

We make the Sophists: He raises up a Socrates to answer them. — Screwtape Letters

It is only in so far as they reach the Will … that the virtues are really fatal to us. — Screwtape Letters

To human animals on their knees He pours out self-knowledge in a quite shameless fashion. — Screwtape Letters

Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment. — Screwtape Letters

It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out. — Screwtape Letters

The Christians describe the Enemy as one ‘without whom Nothing is strong.’ And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why. — Screwtape Letters

Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. — Screwtape Letters

If you can once get him to the point of thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point,’ you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all- and more amusing. — Screwtape Letters

Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead. — Screwtape Letters

We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants that can finally become sons. — Screwtape Letters

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