Saturday, June 30, 2007

Doctor Faustus

You are a person of rich gifts, and you know it - how could you not know it? You also know that He who sits on high and from Whom everything comes has entrusted you with those gifts, since indeed you intend to offer them to Him. And you are right: Natural merits are God's merits on our behalf, and not our own. It is His adversary, having himself come to grief out of pride, who strives to make us forget. He makes a wicked guest and is a roaring lion who walketh about seeking whom he may devour. You are among those who have every reason to be on guard against his wiles. This is a compliment I'm paying you - or rather, to what you are with God's help. Be that in all humility, my friend, not with strut and bluster; and always bear in mind that self-satisfaction is itself apostasy and ingratitude to the Spender of every mercy.

Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann

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