Friday, April 08, 2011

"If you're going to say the Jesus Prayer, at least say it to Jesus, and not to St. Francis and Seymour and Heidi's grandfather all wrapped up in one. Keep him in mind if you say it, and him only, and him as he was and not as you'd like him to have been. You don't face any facts. This same damned attitude of not facing facts is what got you into this messy state of mind in the first place, and it can't possibly get you out of it."

"The part that stumps me, really stumps me, is that I can't see why anybody- unless he was a child, or an angel, or a lucky simpleton like the pilgrim- would even want to say the prayer to a Jesus who was the least bit different from the way he looks and sounds in the New Testament. My God! He's only the most intelligent man in the Bible, that's all! Who isn't he head and shoulders over? Who? Both Testaments are full of pundits, prophets, disciples, favorite sons, Solomons, Isaiahs, Davids, Pauls- but, my God, who beside Jesus really knew which end was up? Nobody. Not Moses. Don't tell me Moses. He was a nice man, and he kept in beautiful touch with his God, and all that- but that's exactly the point. He had to keep in touch. Jesus realized there is no separation from God... Oh, my God, what a mind!" he said. "Who else, for example, would have kept his mouth shut when Pilate asked for an explanation? Not Solomon. Don't say Solomon. Solomon would have had a few pithy words for the occasion. I'm not sure Socrates wouldn't have, for that matter. Crito, or somebody, would have managed to pull him aside just long enough to get a couple of well-chosen words for the record. But most of all, above everything, who in the Bible besides Jesus knew- knew- that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look? You have to be a son of God to know that kind of stuff. Why don't you think of these things? I mean it, Franny, I'm being serious." - Salinger, Zooey

1 comment:

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