Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Living faith …

… Yes, J. F. Powers wrote about priests. But his real subject was America. | America Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In a 2014 essay for America, Kevin Spinale, S.J., noted that “there are no unspeakable sins” in Powers’s stories of priests, “just sloth, cruelty, ambition and pride.” His characters “convey authenticity without paroxysm. They inhabit a world embraced by a merciful God and made holy by the Incarnation. Powers offers humor with hope.” One gets the sense that while Powers (a daily Massgoer) loved the church immensely, he also saw the artistic value of it—in all its brokenness as well as its beauty—as a background for fiction that traced the vanities and frailties of humankind. In 1964, he said of the institutional church, “there’s nothing bigger, cruder, more vulgar in the world.”

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