The Scarlett Letter entry #2
"It is inconceivable, the agony with which this public veneration tortured him! It was his genuine impulse to adore the truth, and to reckon all things shadow-like, and utterly devoid of weight or value, that had not its divine essence as the life within their life. Then, what was he?- a substance?- or the dimmest of all shadows? He longed to speak out, from his own pulpit, at the full height of his voice, and tell the people what he was. " I, whom you behold in these black garments of the priesthood,- I, who ascend the sacred desk, and turn my pale face heavenward, taking upon myself to hold communion, in your behalf, with the Most High Omniscience- I, in whose daily life you discern the sanctity of Enoch,- I whose footsteps, as you suppose, leave a gleam along my earthly track, whereby the pilgrims that shall come after me may be guided to the regions of the blest, - I, who have laid the hand of baptism upon your children, - I, who have breathed the parting prayer over your dying frineds, to whom the Amen sounded faintly from a world which they had quitted, - I, your pastor whom you so reverence and trust, am utterly a pollution and a lie!"" (page 119)
Things are not always as they seem. People we love, trust, worship, obey can and will lie to us, decieve us and let us down. Men and women will sin, over and over again. Holy people are no exception to this rule of human nature. Why do we expect that they would be?
Posted by LeahDavis at 14, 2005 02:29
I think that it is common to at a glance think of a leader as only great and unflawed. However I think it is less important that we know he is flawed than it is to know that he himself is completely devestated with his own wrongs.
Posted by: Ian Sayre at 15, 2005 01:26
I think the reason that we hold "holy" people to a greater expectation is because they have made binding promises to God, to teach his word and to live as he did, eventhough that is impossible. We look at these people as they are supposed to be as close to perfect as possible, because they are in fact "holy people". That doesn't say that they are perfect, and that they don't sin, it's just more disturbing to us because of the way we understand people of the church. We go to them to confess, to teach us what we have to know so after we die, we can go to Heaven.
Posted by: Liz Ludovici at 15, 2005 03:26
Liz has a valid put in her very first sentence. We hold rabbis, priests, fathers, whatever you want to call them to a higher position and to have a greater, sinless lives than ourselves because they have that "personal relationship" with "god".
If they were just you and I--then yes, we couldn't possible expect them to perfect. I am actually going to talk with Father Honeygosky about this topic as soon as I can into his office.
Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at 15, 2005 08:43
Ian makes a very good point. I wondered, as I was reading, if Hawthorne was pointing out the fact that everyones sins, or more of what thoes sins can do to a peron.
Posted by: Liz Schomer at 16, 2005 04:05
But I feel that I have just as much of a personal relationship with God as a Priest or Rabbi...
Thanks for all the comments guys!
Posted by: Leah Davis at 28, 2005 05:59