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We are always completely, and therefore equally, known to God. That is our destiny whether we like it or not. But though this knowledge never varies, the quality of our being known can. A school of thought holds that ‘freedom is willed necessity’. Never mind if they are right or not. I want this idea only as an analogy. Ordinarily, to be known by God is to be, for this purpose, in the category of things. We are, like earthworms, cabbages, and nebulae, objects of Divine knowledge. But when we (a) become aware of the fact—the present fact, not the generalization—and (b) assent with all our will to be so known, then we treat ourselves, in relation to God, not as things but as persons. We have unveiled. Not that any veil could have baffled His sight. The change is in us. The passive changes to the active. Instead of merely being known, we show, we tell, we offer ourselves to view.

From Letters to Malcolm

Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer. Copyright © 1964, 1963 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1992, 1991 by Arthur Owen Barfield. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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