OpenFest 2006 - Share the Freedom

October 21, 2005

Father Brown on sleep and truth

So what if I quote yet another passage that… should I say "made an impression", or would that be quite the understatement — and you all are free to take with as big a pinch of salt and qualifications about personal opinion and taste as you wish :) Whether it is because of a whole lot of things that happened, might have happened, ought to have happened, weren't supposed to happen, were a great thing to have happened, are about to happen, just might possibly happen, or whether it is just like that… in the past couple of days I nourish a feeling that I understand perfectly what Father Brown meant — and then again, it's just possible that I'm oh so cunningly deluding myself too.

G. K. Chesterton, "The Honour of Israel Gow"
From "The Innocence of Father Brown", a short stories' collection

"Father," said Flambeau in that infantile and heavy voice he used very seldom, "what are we to do?"

His friend's reply came with the pent promptitude of a gun going off.

"Sleep!" cried Father Brown. "Sleep. We have come to the end of the ways. Do you know what sleep is? Do you know that every man who sleeps believes in God? It is a sacrament; for it is an act of faith and it is a food. And we need a sacrament, if only a natural one. Something has fallen on us that falls very seldom on men; perhaps the worst thing that can fall on them."

Carven's parted lips came together to say: "What do you mean?"

The priest turned his face to the castle as he answered:

"We have found the truth; and the truth makes no sense."

Posted by roam at October 21, 2005 03:58 AM

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