My dear Wormwood,

I was severely displeased to hear in your last letter that your patient has joined the priesthood. You were charged with the task of discouraging him from that profession after we learned of his inclination.

His hunger for knowledge is insatiable. He could have been a brilliant philosopher like Socrates, whom as I am sure you recall, lead a truly tragic life. Ah, the Greeks were a special race my nephew. I often find myself reminiscing that deliciously wicked era.

Fear not, for your patient is yet to be lost. We have a duty to pursue all souls until the Enemy intervenes and takes them from our grasp.

In your last letter you mentioned that he is still pursuing the art of alchemy in his spare time. This is a matter that will have to be treated with much delicacy. Men of our Enemy abhor anything they believe comes from our Father Below. It is heartening news to learn that your patient has not yet embraced those archaic ideals and continues his research of turning lead into gold.

You must use this weakness with the utmost discretion. Keeping him busy with his potions and books will turn his thoughts away from the Enemy until he is impatient to finish his required duties so that he may get back to his studies, giving little thought to the souls he wishes to save.

We wish for him to join the numerous priests who have forgotten why they joined the cursed Church in the first place. We want him to become pious to the point he no longer associates himself with the heathens and drives away would—be Christians from the Enemy and the Church with his attitude like the Pharisees of old.

Not only will he help us gain more souls to welcome into our Fiery Halls, he will also lose his own soul in the process. As our Enemy so pointed out in his Cursed Book, not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.'

It is essential that you remind your patient time and again that he is a true man of God while the heathens he teaches are the leeches of this earth. He must be so wrapped up in his righteousness that he does not see his own faults. Yes, eventually he will come to see himself above reproach to anyone except our Enemy and it would not even occur to him to pray for his own soul.

One more thing you should keep in mind are his daily prayers. I know I have told you in the past to taint his prayers until he eventually stops altogether; however, now that he is a priest that will not do for him.

When he prays make sure he does not pray for the heathens souls. Have him dwell on theirs sins to the point his righteous blood boils with anger and shame at their sinful ways. If he starts to pray fervently for someone, remind him of something they have done either directly to him or to someone he knows that way he will dwell more on that moment than his actual prayer. Eventually, his prayers will become mundane and routine as he loses interest. Like with his duties, he will soon be rushing through his prayers to get back to his more important tasks.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape