Passions are meant to be transformed

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is about an imagenery bus ride from hell to heaven.  It is about how people in hell would experience heaven.  It seems that upon arrival, the riders hate heaven because the grass is too real and it hurts their feet and the sunshine is too bright it hurts their eyes.   There is a little creek at the outskirts of heaven where they get off.  When they get off the bus, they look like smears on the air rather than full human beings.  They are not fully human.

When our passions are our master, we are not fully what we are created to be.  We are not fully human.  To be fully human is to be like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is the true person.  There was a particular man from hell who has a white Lizard on his shoulder.  This white lizard is whispering licentious and lustful ideas in his ears.  As this lizard is whispering these things, the man comes upon an angel.  And the Angel asks the man, would you like to stay?  The man surprised by the offer answered saying, I sure would like to stay.  The Angel said sure you can stay and you can be more real but I must kill that lizard on your shoulder.  The lizard panics telling the man he will do it.  The Angel is ready and he has got his sword on his hand.   The Angel asks again, may I kill the lizard?  The lizard gets into a panic mode and told the man that he will make the fantasies almost pure if he promises not to have him killed by the Angel.  He said again, he will kill me if you don’t stop him.

Finally, they talk back and forth, and the man throws his hands up and said fine, go-ahead.  It will probably kill me too.  I know that you are not just going to kill the lizard, you are going to cut me in half with that sword.   He told the Angel, I am tired of arguing, just go-ahead and do it.  The Angel raises his fiery sword and comes down on the man’s shoulder to kill the lizard.  At this point, the man cries out saying I am undone and falls into the grass.   The lizard falls off his shoulder and start raving on the grass.   But neither one of them are dead.   Instead something amazing is happening.  The lizard begins to transform and pretty soon the man starts to stand up and finds he is more real than ever.   The white lizard on his shoulder has now been transformed into a beautiful white horse.   The man looks at the angel, smiles and jumps up on the back of the horse and rides into deep heaven.

We must understand that lustful passion who was keeping this man a slave was meant to be transfigured.  The desire was meant to be the man’s servant not the master.   All of our passions or desires, the ones we can see and the ones we cannot see, are not evil in and of themselves.   If the passions are undisciplined and run rampant, they will make a slave of our bodies.  We are meant to have those passions under control.   We are all meant to be like Jesus Christ.   Anything less than the dignity of an eternal companion with the uncreated God is unworthy of the human person.

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