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Journal d un cur de campagne Diary of a Country Priest, Georges BernanosThe Diary of a Country Priest is a 1936 novel by the French writer Georges Bernanos The story is set in Ambricourt in northern France, where a young, newly appointed priest Claude Laydu shows up in the rural French community of Ambricourt, where he joins the community s clergy But the locals don t take kindly to the priest, and his ascetic ways and unsociable demeanor make him an outcast During Bible studies at the nearby girls school, he is continually mocked by his students Then his attempt to intervene in a family feud backfires into a scandal His failures, compounded with his declining health, begin to erode his faith 1994 1372 384 20 ,. Spiritual Classic Catholic Classic Very Sublime.Will try to write a lengthy review later.An Attempt at a Lengthy Review I titled it as an attempt, because I am very much certain that I will not be able to express what transpired in me as I read this novel.I agree with my Goodreads Friend, Cathy in defining this novel as a deceptively quiet book and that seems to be in fact very apt On the surface, it looks like a simple tale of an ordinary young Catholic priest and his priestly mission in a parish in the rural France But that is only the deception What is behind this simple tale is a narration of many spiritual struggles It is here Bernanos proves to be than a simple story teller Few of the spiritual struggles theological questions analysed are 1 What is Prayer Is it possible to pray at all times with full faith 2 What is the meaning of life eternal Life in front of death 3 What are the meanings of theological virtues Faith, Hope and Charity 4 Is God always present in our lives Or do we find grace everywhere and every time 5 The question of loneliness and priests the question of celibacy and priests priest s devotion to Our Lady etc.All these issues struggles doubts are analysed in a sublime way as only a great writer spiritual guide theologian who is illuminated by Divine wisdom can Bernanos was a devout Catholic and he wanted to be a priest Thankfully, after a short period of time in seminary, he thought it was not his calling and so came out of seminary He remained a devout Catholic and became a great writer Surely, God knew what Bernanos was called for and Bernanos responded to that call I am very much grateful to God and to Bernanos.P.S I have a tendency to collect some books as my death bed companions the books of my last days Till now I have decided on one Death Comes for the Archbishop and now this will be added to that list. Deceptively quiet book which starts off very slowly though I knew it had to be going somewhere, it is easy to see why some readers miss its depths I stopped and started it several times myself And then The gist of the story is an inexperienced, young priest arrives at his first parish, a little place out in the country and begins to keep a diary We also learn he is poor, devout, idealistic and ascetic None of these traits particularly endear him to his parishioners He seems to have but one fellow cleric friend, a worldly priest, de Torcy, who would have him toughen up and stand up for himself Sometimes, I confess I felt a little exasperated with our cur myself Other times, his self effacing meekness brought out my motherly instincts and I wanted to help this young clergyman who so many seemed to despise or take advantage of What makes the saga so compelling is the gentle, uncomplaining way the new priest relates his many failures and humiliations As his audience we see his kindnesses misunderstood and his simple mistakes turned against him And yet he is determined to go out and visit all within his parish despite mounting health problems.Most of the action if it can even be called that in this novel occurs in the brilliantly constructed conversations between the curate and another character a confused little girl, an atheist doctor, a long grieving countess, her malicious teenage daughter, and a soldier of fortune to name a few It is in these epic dialogues George Bernanos reason for writing this testimony to faith is truly revealed.It isn t an action book It s much, much better than that I can see why some used to reading a different sort of literature have discounted this book It has to be read carefully, slowly and perceptively Also, some background on the author, George Bernanos, and the French movement, positivism, would be extremely beneficial.Highly recommended One of the most faith affirming books I ve read this year ( Free Pdf ) ☭ Journal d'un curé de campagne ♊ In This Classic Catholic Novel, Bernanos Movingly Recounts The Life Of A Young French Country Priest Who Grows To Understand His Provincial Parish While Learning Spiritual Humility Himself Awarded The Grand Prix For Literature By The Academie Francaise, The Diary Of A Country Priest Was Adapted Into An Acclaimed Film By Robert Bresson A Book Of The Utmost Sensitiveness And Compassionit Is A Work Of Deep, Subtle And Singularly Encompassing Art New York Times Book Review Front Page
The French are in equal parts anti clerical and devout Georges Bernanos and Francois Mauriac are excellent examples of the latter tendency This is the second or third time I have read The Diary of a Country Priest and each time I find it has rocked my world.There is a kind of imaginative religious novel in which a saintly joyful figure moves from strength to strength until he or she is ascended bodily into the heavens Bernanos is not like that His unnamed priest, who writes in the first person, is a sickly young man of around thirty who is parish priest in a poor agricultural parish in Northern France whose parishioners are spiteful at best He tries to see all his parishioners regardless of the cost to his health During one such visit on a rainy day, he falls on the ground and vomits blood The word goes around the parish that the priest is an alcoholic Actually, he drinks wine in which bread is soaked very symbolic, that because he can t digest much of anything else.When he sees a doctor toward the end, it is a young man who is injecting morphine into his veins so he could have the strength to see his patients because he himself is dying of a rare disease.The end comes to our priest, as it does to all men His last words are, Does it matter Grace is everywhere Diary of a Country Priest is perhaps a true study of sanctity in a hostile world Perhaps Bernanos has given us a sense of reality in a troubled world which is honest and true than what religious authorities would have us believe. I thought this was one of those books that comes with a guarantee But of course there is no such thing Still, I d read only glowing reviews and boy was I ready for a triumphant experience But on p 26 I couldn t make heads or tails of what I was really reading about On p 54 the voice of the innocent and well meaning young priest began to irk the shit out of me On p 55 I skipped ahead to see if anything would ever actually happen to dilute all the fluffy introspection and it didn t look promising On p 64 I took the kitty to the well and drowned it Ach If only I lived near a English library I d run so much less risk of wasting money on books The back cover says 15.95 I checked my order though, and thanks to , I paid just 11.48 for The Diary of a Country Priest, so I feel a few dollars better already Plus I ordered it along with The Shadow of Sirius and Blood Meridian, both of which paid off Sirius cost 10.88 but was really worth about 17.89, and Blood Meridian cost 10.20 but was easily worth 13.86 So actually I only lost 81 cents in this deal, making it easier to swallow.I m returning to this century now Nice to see you. Before his death on April 4th, 1947, Georges Bernanos gave a lecture in Tunisia entitled Our Friends the Saints which can teach us to say to the Lord, Lord, your love is infinite I can t fathom it and it is sufficient for me, to which the Lord might answer us as he answered the mother who lost her little one, there is a mother who is hiding her face for the last time against the little heart that no longer throbs, a mother, close to her dead child, offering God the moaning of an exhausted resignation, as if the Voice that threw the suns into the great void the way a hand disperses grain, the Voice that makes the earth tremble, had just sweetly whispered in her ear Forgive Me One day you will know, you will understand, you will thank Me But now, what I await from you is your pardon Forgive Me Those people the harassed women, that poor man are at the heart of the mystery, at the core of the universal creation and even inside the secret of God Himself What can I say of this Language is at the service of intelligence But what these people have grasped, they have understood by a faculty superior to the intelligence, though not at all in conflict with it, or rather by a profound and irresistable impulse of the soul which engages all the faculties at the same time, which thoroughly absorbs all that is natural in them Such a woman, once made aware of God s love for her, she becomes, as it were, another christ In a word, she is a saint To surrender to God s will is not easy Therefore, we don t offer our sufferings up to God, but rather we offer what we might become as a result of suffering We should go with our sufferings to the maximum degrees of love, to the highest peak of love Then, our sufferings become for us salvific sufferings, which means in the course of God s dealing with us, we have to genuinely convinced of the prayer which taught us, Lord, Your will be done. The Journal of a Country Priest is the work of the strongly Catholic writer Georges Bernanos who gives the daily drama of a priest fighting in God s army against the devil for the salvation of human souls all the intensity that it so richly deserves.The protagonist of this novel is a young priest who demonstrates that he possesses the true vocation Despite growing up in poverty and being afflicted with a very serious illness, He does not flinch in his efforts to save the souls whose care has been entrusted to him As the novel concludes Grace is everywhere.This is must reading for Catholics who need to be reminded periodically of the exceptional courage of so many of our priests and nuns.For readers unfamiliar with the culture context of France between the two wars, it might be helpful to first watch Robert Bresson s movie of the same name which has been hailed as a masterpiece by such diverse critics as Ingmar Bergman and Jean Luc Godard I read the book first After seeing the movie, I read the book a second time and got much out of it As Canadian and a native speaker of French, I can assure any Anglophone that the culture of France is at times very murky to the outsider who must at times go to extra efforts to fully enjoy French literature.Lu en francais. The Parisian Georges Bernanos 1888 1948 is one of the last century s greatest Catholic novelists, and this is probably his most admired book As the title indicates, this is a fictional diary of a young, very ill, priest who is trying manfully to administer well to his small countryside parish He struggles with faith, the role of suffering, the nature of evil and almost every other major religious topic as he strives to maintain his integrity and faithful stewardship over a very problematic flock His relationships with several of the women in his parish are particularly challenging and force him to consider lust and the role it plays in the religious struggle It is difficult to do justice to the seriousness and profundity of this book I hope one day soon to attempt a short essay on Catholic fiction as exemplified by George Bernanos s The Diary of a Country Priest and Francois Mauriac s The Viper s Nest What I intend to argue is that the very sense of complexity, cynicism, and even darkness they are willing to portray is what Mormon literature has never dared to touch, at least so far as I know, and thus precludes the latter from ever being than mediocre.