October 29, 2003

Quote from Evelyn Waugh Novel... from Weigel's excellent review:
Guy's prayers were directed to, rather than for, his father [at the latter's funeral Mass]. For many years now the direction in the Garden of the Soul, "Put yourself in the presence of God," had for Guy come to mean a mere act of respect, like the signing of the Visitors' Book at an Embassy or Government House. He reported for duty, saying to God, "I don't ask anything from you. I am here if you want me. I don't suppose I can be of any use, but if there is anything I can do, let me know," and left it at that.

"I don't ask anything from you": that was the deadly core of his apathy, his father had tried to tell him, was now telling him. . . . Enthusiasm and activity were not enough. God required more than that. He had commanded all men to ask.

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