Sunday, October 10, 2004

the cunning of the divine

the san francisco chronicle recently printed an article on graham greene, observing in part the novelist's centenary. i got acquainted with one of greene's novels entitled "end of the affair" through a movie of the same name which came out a few years ago starring julianne moore who plays a woman named sarah who is trapped in a loveless marriage and who falls in love with a journalist and an atheist named maurice played by ralph fiennes. sarah contemplates divorce in order to marry maurice. but after a very powerful event, she experiences conversion and abruptly ends her affair with maurice. this had a great effect on him; one thing it did was to draw out from him a hesitant acknowledgement of God's existence. it was a very good film and nicely conveys "God's infinite cunning." here's a snippet from the novel. these are words greene puts in maurice's lips addressed to sarah:

"For if this God exists, I thought, and if even you--with your lusts and your adulteries and the timid lies you used to tell--can change like this, we could all be saints by leaping as you leapt, by shutting the eyes and leaping once and for all: if you are a saint, it's not so difficult to be a saint. It's something He can demand of any of us, leap....I sat on my bed and said to God: You've taken her, but you haven't got me yet. I know your cunning. It's you who take us up to a high place and offer us the whole universe."

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