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)

3 comments:

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.