The root of real honor

My method for remembering which pages of Gilead contained not just great and thoughtful narrative but Culture Making-worthy quotes was this: I remembered a phrase from the Psalm of the particular page’s number. So I thought, “you have searched me and you known me,” and was thus able to find this quote again. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d wanted to excerpt something that came after page 150 …

What the reading yields is the idea of father and mother as the Universal Father and Mother, the Lord‘s dear Adam and His beloved Eve; that is, essential humankind as it came from His hand. There is a pattern in these Commandments of setting things apart so that their holiness will be perceived Every day is holy, but the Sabbath is set apart so that the holiness of time can be experienced. Every human being is worthy of honor, but the conscious discipline of honor is learned from this setting apart of the mother and father, who usually labor and are heavy-laden, and may be cranky and stingy or ignorant or overbearing. Believe me, I know this can be a hard Commandment to keep. But I believe also that the rewards of obedience are great, because at the root of real honor is always the sense of the sacredness of the person who is its object.


from Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, p.139

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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