- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub (February 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0881840130
- ISBN-13: 978-0881840131
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,296,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Diary of a Country Priest Paperback – February, 1984
The Amazon Book Review
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An idealistic young Catholic priest in an isolated French village keeps a diary describing the unheroic suffering and the petty internal conflicts of his parish. This may sound like a thin plot for a novel, but Diary of a Country Priest, by George Bernanos, remains one of the 20th century's most vivid evocations of saintly life. First published in 1937, Bernanos's Diary describes a faithful man's experience of failure. In his diary, the priest records feelings of inferiority and sadness that he cannot express to his parishioners. And as he approaches death, from cancer, the priest's saintliness remains unclear to him, but becomes undeniable to the reader. "How easy it is to hate oneself! True grace is to forget. Yet if pride could die in us, the supreme grace would be to love oneself in all simplicity--as one would love any one of those who themselves have suffered and loved in Christ." --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Novel by Georges Bernanos, published in French as Journal d'un cure de campagne in 1936. The narrative mainly takes the form of a journal kept by a young parish priest during the last year of his troubled life. He records his spiritual struggle over what he perceives as the ineffectuality of his efforts to improve the lives of his impoverished and misguided parishioners. Physically, he battles a stomach ailment that local gossip attributes to drunkenness. His role in the conversion of a wealthy countess, who suddenly dies, aggravates his moral ambivalence and draws reproof from his superiors, as well as from the woman's family. His stomach condition worsens, and he seeks medical attention too late. In the deathbed ritual of absolution, however, he expresses an abiding faith that transcends his own and his fellows' failures. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Top Customer Reviews
The young priest, being devoured by cancer, is a luminous icon of Christ and a true Father to his flock. Darkness gathers around him - he is ascending Calvary with his Divine Master and his cross is the cancer in his body and a piercing dark night of the soul. A kind of petty wickedness surrounds him; even the children whom he catechises appeared aged ("wizened" as the writer to the preface notes) and bereft of innocence. By contrast, he is forever young and he is the innocent one.
"Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old" (page 18) says his old mentor the Cure de Torcy to the young priest.
The young priest is constantly struck by his inadequacies: he is a mere drop in the ocean of time and he notes with irony the priest's call: "We pay a heavy, heavy price for the superhuman dignity of our calling. The ridiculous is always to near to the sublime". (page 74)
He notes the kind of self deceptivity that people engage in when confessing their sins (who is not painfully aware of the truth of here words?): "Petty lies can slowly form a crust around the consciousness, of evasion and subterfuge. The outer shell retains the vague shape of what it covers, but that is all. In time, by sheer force of habit, the least "gifted" end by evolving their own particular idiom, which still remain incredibly abstract.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I rather enjoyed this book which I read as a selection in our Catholic parish book club. We chose this as a classic we should have read but for the most part hadn't. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anthony Bosnick
it was thought provoking it did have some depressive moments but the theme carried a lot of weight --Soul searching
of psych and faith bearing
Shipping and service great but the book was terrible. Poor choice for a book club.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
The main character was very unsure of himself and failed, in my opinion, to reach his potential.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a very deep book. I did not understand a lot of stuff. I ended up giving up on it.... I think a person into philosophy would really like it, but I do not think it is for... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lilly
Possibly my favorite book ever. Fantastic look at the priesthood and life of celibacy. Excellent exploration of despair and what it means to have hope, and ultimately love.Published 9 months ago by Emily
This is a good book to revisit through the years. I enjoy that I can come back to its familiarity to remember the simplicity of this life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sarah George
This is a truly great book, one that I read as a young man and has stayed with me throughout the years. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dalton London