20 April 2008

At odds with circumstance...

From The Holy Longing: The Current Struggle with Christian Spirituality (pp. 20-21)

"In his autobiographical novel, My First Love, Czechoslovakian novelist Ivan Klima struggles with some painful questions. He is a young man, full of sexual passion, moving among young men and women who are less hesitant than he is. Klima is reticent, celibate, and not sure why. Certainly it is not for any religious reasons. So he wonders: Is it because I respect others more than my peers and am less willing to be irresponsible? Is it because I carry some high, quasi-religious, moral solitude that I'm rightly hesitant to compromise? Or, am I just uptight, timid and lacking in nerve? Am I virtuous or sterile?

He is not sure: "Suppose I spent my whole life just waiting, waiting for the moment when I last saw that starry face? It would turn its glance on me and say: "You've been incapable of accepting life, dear friend, so you better come with me!" Or, on the other hand, it might say: You've done well because you knew how to bear your solitude at a great height, because you were able to do without consolation in order not to do without hope!"

What would it really say? At that moment I could not tell.

His question is, ultimately, a spiritual one..."

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