Friday, June 12, 2009

The Brothers Karamazov

I am slowly reading The Brothers Karamazov.

This passage really struck me; the whole book is incredible; I am still at the beginning of it and am aware of how full of light it is.

"Are you speaking the truth? Well, now, after such a confession, I believe that you are sincere and good at heart. If you do not attain happiness, always remember that you are on the right road, and try not to leave it. Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself. Watch over your own deceitfulness and look into it every hour, every minute. Avoid being scornful, both to others and to yourself. What seems to you bad within you will grow purer from the very fact of your observing it in yourself. Avoid fear, too, though fear is only the consequence of every sort of falsehood. Never be frightened at your own faint-heartedness in attaining love. Don't be frightened overmuch even at your evil actions. I am sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the slight of all. Men, will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on the stage. But active love is labour and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science. But I predict that just when you see with horror that in spite of all your efforts you are getting further and further from your goal instead of nearer to it- at that very moment I predict that you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you. Forgive me for not being able to stay longer with you. They are waiting for me. Good-bye.”
The lady was weeping.

14 comments:

RW said...

I read this book when I lived in Switzerland at Grandchamps - the monastic community. I have a great photo of me reading it under a tree. It is such a good memory. I should read it again. But, I think I am going with contemporary novels this summer. I have gathered quite a few on my list.

RW said...

ok - that comment sounded funny.

the photo is great. it is not a great photo of me in particular... you would not even recognize me because I am just incidental to the whole image. could be anyone reading a book under the tree in switzerland.

my wv was the same for both comments.. I wonder if it is the same work verification for repeat comments ...

RW said...

this is a test

nope

different word this time!

elizabeth said...

Blog world and comments with wv!

Nice - sounds like a wonderful memory! :) such a good book... I am looking forward to my read of it...

Michelle M. said...

I need to try to read that book again. I've tried twice and haven't been able to get through it. But I've read other works of his. Maybe I should make that a goal before the baby is born.

elizabeth said...

I had tried before as well; thankfully I have a book club group of friends this summer who are reading it... so I have an organized incentive! We are doing one 'book' per week at the moment...

And it feels like the right time to be reading it...

FDK said...

I remember enjoying this book, but it's been a while. thanks for the reminder. I should pick it up again soon.

elizabeth said...

Thanks Vic! (I know it's you!). It is exciting, as this is my 'virgin read' as one of my former professors would say. :)

I need to read more of it soon!

TruthQuestioner said...

Hey! I just listened to this on Audio Book while painting! It impressed me too.

elizabeth said...

S- Neat! A bunch of us are reading it and discussing it at A.C.

This passage deeply impacted me; I hope I always remember it!

E Helena E said...

It keeps popping up to add to my list of books to read.

elizabeth said...

E-H.. I am finding that books wait for us...

I am really happy to finally be reading this one - I hope to read more on the Optina Fathers DV after reading the Brothers K, as their influence on this book is profoundly felt...

Thank God.

Lauren S. said...

probably one of my favorite books ever. i definitely want to read it again in ten years or so if the Lord wills. :)

elizabeth said...

Hi Lauren, I am excited to read it!! Glad to know you also love it...