Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Graham Greene's story of a failed Eucharistic desecration

The horrific actions of Paul Zachary Myers are shocking, but alas they are not new. You see, Myers' character was ably described and, to a point, explained in a short story written decades ago by Graham Greene: The Hint of an Explanation.

In the story a Catholic man, while discussing religion with the agnostic narrator, recounts his youth as an altar boy when the village atheist, a baker named Blacker, tried to bribe his ten-year-old self into providing a consecrated Host.

Greene captures in his art the qualities, or lack thereof, possessed by the vehement atheist. See his familiar-sounding description of Blacker:
"There was much more hate than love, poor man, in his make-up. Can you hate something you don't believe in? And yet he called himself a free-thinker. What an impossible paradox, to be free and to be so obsessed."

Even Blacker's words prefigure Myers' own:
"'What's the fuss? It's only a bit of bread' [Blacker said,] looking so longingly and pleadingly up at me that even as a child I wondered whether he could really think that, and yet desire it so much."

Tolle legge, take and read.

(Found via this comment at the blog What's Wrong with the World)


Equus nom Veritas said...

Wow, thanks for finding/sharing this.

The Priestly Wannabee said...

I suppose this response of yours is better than no response at all, but to respond to Myers' desecration of the Eucharist with a made-up, fictional story is actually sort of weak in my opinion.

What I'd like to see is the recounting of *actual Eucharistic miracles* that were a result of attempted Eucharistic desecration. I know they are out there, and that they exist, but no one is really stepping forward with them. Maybe I will research this and put them on *my* blog.

I cannot verify where this came from for example - but there was a case once of someone stealing a consecrated host from a Mass, then keeping it in an attic in a steamer trunk - the person later noticed that a strange light was coming from the attic, and upon closer inspection, from the trunk. Like I said, this is supposed to be a true example - I am hoping and actively praying for some sort of Eucharistic miracle to happen in the case of P.Z. Meyers

Owen said...

Thanks for posting this. Fiction is a powerful vehicle for truth telling. Must have been or Jesus wouldn't have used the method so much himself. Greene is, of course, a strong apologist whether writing in a fiction or non fiction form.

We are still looking for miracles and proofs to which Jesus also had a fair bit to say including if he should raise this temple in three days many would not believe.

Again, good post. Thanks.