Irdisches Reich & Gottesreich
«Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it... One day you shall love beyond yourselves! So first learn to love... There is bitterness in the cup of even the best love!... I call holy such a will and such a marriage.
The Voluntary Beggar, not having found among men what he is looking for, finally goes to the animals who teach him a very central quality: the remembering and savouring - the graces received.
If we do not alter and become as cows, we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. For there is one thing we should learn from them: rumination.
Truly, there are those who are chaste from the very heart: they are more gentle of heart and they laugh more often and more heartily than you. They laugh at chastity too, and ask:
«What is chastity? Is chastity not folly? But this folly came to us and not we to it. We offered this guest love and shelter: now it lives with us - let it stay as long as it wishes!».
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Portugal : Der Traum
Suffering over the death of his wife Joy leads Lewis to question God about the existence of disease, the separation after marriage, the limits of married love and death. His questions are answered by an increasingly sovereign silence.
It is hard to have patience with people who say «There is no death» or «death doesn't matter». There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter.
Lord, are these your real terms? Can I meet H. again only if I learn to love you so much that I don't care whether I meet her or not? Consider, Lord, how it looks to us.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of «No answer». It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, «Peace, child; you don't understand.»
Spanien : Die Form
The incorruptible [Der Unbestechliche] servant Theodor is an example of a Christian in the world who inconspicuously cooperates with Providence by arranging everything for the best, always remaining within the confines of his particular mission.
Earthly things [...] are very fragile. Even a very strong hand cannot build a protective wall for eternal times around its commanded protégés. But I hope that as long as I keep the supervision of the whole in my hands, everything will be in the most beautiful order.
The difficult man [Der Schwierige] is Hans Karl, a 39-year-old bachelor with great difficulties in decision-making and expression. In this confusion he is given the light through which he realises he has missed out on what matters in life:
The whole world came back to me, like something pure, new and yet so self-evident. I was suddenly able to think of what it was: a human being. And what it must be like: two people who lay their lives on top of each other and become like one person. I was able to imagine - at least in an inkling - what it involves, how sacred it is and how wonderful.
Preußen : Die Macht
The text is structured in three chapters: The Recalls, The Bridegroom and The Children. In the first, the protagonists are Teresa and Andrew during the joyful time of their engagement. In front of the jeweller's shop, Teresa opens her heart to us, saying:
And here we are reflected in the shop window as in a mirror that catches the future: Andrea, he takes one of the wedding rings, I take another, we give our hands - my God, how simple it is.
The focus of the second chapter is the marriage wound and crisis between Anna and Stefano. At one point Anna meets the Groom, figure of every groom:
Instinctively I started walking towards him. But when he raised his head I almost screamed. It seemed to me that I could clearly see Stephen's face.... I saw the face I hated and I also saw the face I was supposed to love. Why do you expose me to such an ordeal?
She receives the answer:
In the face of the Bridegroom each of us re-finds the features of all those we have loved on this shore of our life, of our existence. All are to be re-found in Him.
In the third chapter The Children, where the previous stories converge, the fundamental truth is revealed:
Sometimes human life seems to be too short for love. Sometimes it is not - and human love seems to be too short for a long life. Or perhaps too superficial. In any case, man has an existence and a love - how to form a meaningful ensemble?
And then this ensemble can never be closed in on itself. It must be open because on the one hand it must impinge on other beings, on the other hand it must always reflect absolute Being and Love.
It must reflect them at least in some way.
England : Die Schuld
A husband speaks to a young man with no definite state of life, who in his indeterminacy always wants to have all possibilities at his disposal.
My friend! What I have said to you so often I say once more, or rather I shout it to you: either/or; aut/aut. […] Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? […] The difference is precisely that yours prevents a choice.
The moment of choice is for me very serious […] When one looks at life’s either/or in this way, one is not easily tempted to trifle with it […] See, then, how important it is to choose and to choose in time.
I simply want to bring you to the point where that choice truly acquires meaning for you. It is on this that everything hinges […] If I have sufficient strength, only with this invocation will I be able to reawaken you, not to activity of thought, which you do not lack, but to seriousness of spirit.