As she recalls in her diary, the procurator pleaded, “Have pity on your father’s grey head; have pity on your infant son.
Throughout high school, I read the gospels in church on Sunday, smirking and self-satisfied about the low-key blasphemy I was committing by regaling the congregation with “the word of our Lord.” At that age, being an atheist seemed edgy and defiant in a way that is (only now, of course) howlingly adolescent, like listening to Marilyn Manson or sneaking cigarettes out by the old guardrail at lunch break.
With neither the capital-c Catholic Church (or any formalized belief system) nor the prominent god-hating intellectuals to identify with, that chasm of faithlessness only widened.
But it’s not long before the thought perishes altogether, obliterated by my knowledge that, deep down, in the ol’ heart of hearts, I don’t actually believe in God, or his only begotten Son, or the Communion of Saints and the Forgiveness of Sins, or much of any of it.
What the characters in “Silence” possesses is that which faith ultimately bestows: strength.