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Friday, March 9, 2012

Kafka, a Troubled Soul Who Longed for God

Today I'm quite distracted, because tomorrow my husband of 28 years and I are going to marry in the church! Therefore this will be a brief post based on quotes, so I won't have to do too much thinking.

In his books, Monsignor Giussani often quotes troubled Italian writers and poets such as Giacomo Leopardi and Cesare Pavese, to show how the soul of deeply human individuals longs for meaning and ultimately for God, even when God is relegated to the role of pious fantasy.
Reading a collection of Franz Kafka short stories, letters and aphorisms, I found a few that I want to share with you. He was one of my favorite writers when I was a non-believer and he still is, only I look at him in a different way. I have great compassion for this man who suffered so much and could never put into focus his intuition of the divine.

"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return."

"A first sign of nascent knowledge is the desire for death. This life seems unendurable, any other unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wishing to die; one prays to be conducted from the old cell that one hates into a new one that one has yet to hate. There is in this a vestige of faith that during the change the master may chance to walk along the corridor, contemplate the prisoner, and say: 'You must not lock up this one again. He is to come to me'."

"The true way goes over a rope which is not stretched at any great height but just above the ground. It seems more designed to make people stumble than to be walked upon."

"If there is a higher power that wishes to use me, or does use me, then I am at his mercy, if no more than as a well-prepared instrument. If not, I am nothing, and will suddenly be abandoned in a dreadful void."



"I am dirty, infinitely dirty, which is why I make so much fuss about purity. No people sing with such pure voices as those who live in deepest hell; what we take for the song of angels is their song."

"A faith is like a guillotine, as heavy, as light."

"What is laid upon us is to accomplish the negative; the positive is already given."

"Once we have granted accommodation to the Evil One he no longer demands that we should believe in him. The afterthoughts with which we justify our accommodation of the Evil One are not ours but those of the Evil One."

"There is only a spiritual world; what we call the physical world is the evil in the spiritual one, and what we call evil is only a necessary moment in our endless development".