Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So impossibly hard to be a wise saint

[B]ecause in the realms both of vision and morality he was in the kindergarten, his effort at self-expression was comparable to a child's scribblings with colored chalk on brown paper.
"The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." That was the artist's problem as well as the man's. Progress in evil was quick and easy; Apollyon was not a chap who hid himself and he gave every assistance in his power. The growth in goodness was so slow, at times so flat, so dull, and like the White Queen one had to run so fast to stay where one was, let alone progress; and there were few men who dared to say they had found God. It was easy to be a clever sinner, for the race to an earthly visible goal was short to run, so impossibly hard to be a wise saint, with the goal set at so vast a distance from this world and clouded with such uncertainty. Patience with the apparent hopelessness of spiritual growth was the man's task, patience with the breaking chalks and the smudgy drawing the artist's. And for both the grim struggle of faith.

From Elizabeth Goudge, The Rosemary Tree 

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