Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Plague

Dear Albert Camus,

I have been reading your masterpiece. Did you think it so?

It has taken me several tries to get beyond the point of no return with it. I almost got there the last time--half way through. You make us wait a long time.

Tarrou makes the difference for me.

At any rate, I like your statement:
"..there's no question of heroism in all this. It's a matter of common decency. That's an idea that may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is - common decency." (In one volume, this statement hits at p. 136. For me it hit on CD #4 I think.)

Common decency! Is this the Summum Bonum that I have been searching for? Be ye nice, one to another.

Perhaps it is enough.



cadh 8 said...

"Be ye nice, one to another"...until that person tries to get you involved in his attempted murder of his wife...until that person tries to beat his wife's brains in. How is giving aid to a monster decency.

What about when you try to help a girl who has nothing, no family, has been in institutions all her life and for your trouble she scratches you, grabs your hair and proceeds to punch you repeatedly in the head. Then spits on you and tries to break your window of your car.

When do we start expecting something for the trouble of your decency?

Of course, we just watched the Passion of the Christ, and I guess we are lucky that he did not expect anything in return for his goodness. The ultimate good is only Christ. ONLY Christ. Without Christ, goodness to others is only stupidity. Only weakness that decreases our chances of passing our genes along. But with Christ, we all have value, even the most broken among us.

AS you can see, I am struggling with this point. I am struggling with what being kind to others is worth if they don't benefit or appreciate what you have done. And is simply having a good intention enough if the end result is ineffective or detrimental?

brd said...

Yes, yes. It is never too simple. (And let's face it, you've been through a rough couple of weeks on the trail of "Be ye kind."

And I agree with you, on this Maundy Thursday, that without Christ in the mix, no, without Christ, i.e. incarnate representation of eteral deity, as the underlying definition for the meaning of being, we flounder without essence whatsoever. We are left, without Christ, with a stripped altar, gospel-gone, light of world-gone, bread of life-gone, cup of salvation-gone, wrapped in darkness and with the veils of any temples we may hold dear in our hearts rent in two, top to bottom.

I'll stop there. For it is Maundy Thursday, and though Easter is coming, it is not here yet, so I'll stop and just mourn, with you, our loss.