Just read Great Divorce. Thanks for the recommendation. I liked most of it very much. Interesting that he considers it possible to be saved even after death. My impression was that purgatory was only for those who were already saved, but had some venial (?) sins to expiate. I wasn't convinced, however, that most people are so wedded to their sins that they would cling to them even with heaven in front of them, as a real and tangible thing. He didn't make the difficulty of such a choice plausible. Otherwise, it was an excellent piece of writing and I look forward to reading more of his work.
I am glad you liked Great Divorce. It is a book I have read many times. Right now I am trying to read (and listen to tapes of) the Divine Comedy. Seems to me that Dante also dealt with the question of how ones sins could result in damnation and how our decisions in this life could determine our eternal fate in the next.
What C.S. Lewis book will you be reading next?
Fr. Phil Bloom
P.S. Your impression about purgatory being only for those saved was correct. In the Great Divorce those who stayed in hell were those who clung to their own justification.
See also: An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm
The Fiery Furnace
Jesus Teaching Concerning Heaven
Some Good News on Teen Pregnancy and Abortion
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History
He Approached the Victim: "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack."
Germaine Greer on Birth Control
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)
Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church
Deflating Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Stephen Jay Gould: Gorbachev of Darwinism?
Test Tube Offspring Want to Know Father
Erickson vs. Bartell Drugs
Call No Man Father
What is Original Sin of Sex?
Bicentennial Man (Hidden Assumptions)
Bogus Knights of Columbus Oath
Ossuary of James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus