Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A middling holiness redeemed via sickness and death

"Bernanos, again, very near his [own] end, expressed better than anyone [else] . . . this coincidence of our deepest [(profonde)] will, beyond all our lapses and all our villainies, with the divine will in view of the ultimate sacrifice:  'We will everything He wills, but we don't know [(savons)] that we will this, [for] we don't know [(connaissons)] ourselves[.]  Sin causes us to live on the surface of ourselves[.]  We re-enter into ourselves only in order to die, and it is there that He awaits us [(Nous voulons tout ce qu’Il veut, mais nous ne savons pas que nous le voulons, nous ne nous connaissons pas, le péche nous fait vivre à la surface de nous-mêmes, nous ne rentrons en nous que pour mourir, c’est là qu’Il nous attend)].'"

     Georg Bernanos, as quoted by Jean-Pierre Batut.  "De la nature à la gloire, la grâce de la maladie," Communio:  revue international catholique 39, no. 3 (mai-juin 2014:  106 (97-107).  This is, I think, an example of "the mute offering of the sinner" so characteristic of "the middling classes of sanctity" and "salvation" that is to be contrasted with "the heroic offering of the saint" (105).  I now have the official English translation (Jean-Pierre Batut, "From nature to glory:  the grace of illness," Communio:  international Catholic review 41, no. 3 (Fall 2014):  526 (515-528)):
Bernanos again, very near to his end, expressed better than anyone else in his diary this coincidence of our profound will, beyond all its errors and all its cowardly acts, and the divine will with a view to our ultimate offering:  'We want all that he wills, but we do not know that we want it; we do not know ourselves; sin makes us live at the surface of ourselves; we return to ourselves only to die, and that is where he awaits us.'

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