MANY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE lament that the first fervors of their conversion have died away. They think – sometimes rightly, but not, I believe, always – that their sins account for this. They may even try by pitiful efforts of will to revive what now seem to have been the golden days. But were those fervors – the operative word is those – ever intended to last?

It would be rash to say that there is any prayer which God never grants. But the strongest candidate is the prayer we might express in the single word encore. And how should the Infinite repeat Himself? All space and time are too little for Him to utter Himself in them once.

And the joke, or tragedy, of it all is that these golden moments in the past, which are so tormenting if we erect them into a norm, are entirely nourishing, wholesome, and enchanting if we are content to accept them for what they are, for memories. Properly bedded down in a past which we do not miserably try to conjure back, they will send up exquisite growths. Leave the bulbs alone, and the new flowers will come up. Grub them up and hope, by fondling and sniffing, to get last year’s blooms, and you will get nothing. “Unless a seed die….”

– The Joyful Christian

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