Having thoroughly read through the first five chapters a good half dozen times, I have decided this year to go ahead and move on through the rest of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. To be honest, I feel a little sheepish that it has taken me so long to do so. I mean, really, it’s a literary treasure chock full of Orthodox Spirituality. I’ve met Orthodox converts who were drawn to the Faith solely by the contents of this novel.
See, what happens is, I sit down with all 822 pages, get started and then frequently interrupted by requests for dinner, clean clothes, homework help, etc. and then I put the book down for a month or so, opting rather for something more useful, like an umpteenth perusal of the three-year-old Good Housekeeping article on how to clean anything in under a minute.
It turns out that acquiring a taste for excellence takes some discipline and forethought, but I’m here to hopefully prove to you and to myself that it is worth it. As a special treat, my Close to Home podcast this week will offer a radio drama of sorts. I am reading (in my best radio voice) a passage from The Brothers Karamazov. This excerpt involves Father Zossima, a much loved and revered Orthodox elder of a well-known Russian monastery and a peasant woman, having made a pilgrimage to see him, asking for Spiritual counseling after the death of her four children due to various illnesses. If there is anyone in your life you fear losing then I hope that you will find this text to be as wrenching, victorious and prayer-provoking as I do.
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