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To Love Another Person Is To See The Face of God


Memoirs of a Six Suitcase Girl in a One Bag Allowance World

The Church Of Les Mis

Beth Haile dissects the moral theology in Les Miserables (spoiler alert):

In the end, Valjean is a man, "no worse than any other man," as he explains to Javert. The critical difference between the two is that Valjean is willing to live out a life of mercy. He is willing to both give and receive it while Javert can do neither. When Valjean offers Javert mercy, saving his life at the barricade, Javert is tormented. His system is broken, his god dead. As his world comes crashing down, he plunges into the Seine. Valjean, on the other hand, looking up with shame into the eyes of the bishop whom he just stole from, chooses to accept mercy, and then give it in return–to Fantine, to Cosette, to Marius, and even to his enemy.

Victor Hugo apparently had a strained relationship to the faith but the story has a very Christian message: "To love another person is to see the face of God."
The Daily Beast January 6, 2012

Define "God" as you wish.  Call it God or Grace or Love, Compassion or Kindness.  It doesn't matter what we choose.  I think it is what keeps any of us from willfully plunging from a  high bridge into a cold and deep river, be that river figurative or literal...

Reader Comments (1)

Love is/should be a two-way proposition.
If one loves and never receives then the bridge and cold-dark-night look inviting.
The French have such a wonderful view of love and romance...
The Northern Europeans tend to be as Fellini described "Passion arises as a storm at sea. Sudden, swift, much power and soon calm again." Americans have a lovely mix of people from everywhere... we tend to be gourmands at the banquet of live. Choosing a bit of this, that and finally something new and wonderful is created... That makes it all the harder to define, capture and categorize... Just makes us very interesting people to get to know.

I prefer Victor Hugo to Andrew Lloyd Weber... But that's me... I also prefer Rossini and Verde to Wagner...Mostly I enjoy Dvorak, Debussy, Satie, Faure and Saint-Saens... All new and all swept away in the bloodbath butchery of WW I. The flowering of the whole 19th century was wiped away... What could have been is gone and never to be again... Now, we face an uncertain future with history as a dreadful guide to a new century.

January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndyJ

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