Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why Monte Cristo?

Edmond and I are book lovers by nature.  We find truth and beauty in the writings of others.  A year can not pass without one of us immersing ourselves in the conspiracy, treachery, revenge and kindness that makes up Aledandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.

In the novel you meet Edmond Dantes.  He has a beautiful life-- he is marrying the girl of his dreams and has been promoted to the captaincy of a ship.  So called friends accuse him of treason and ill fortune shuts him in the prison on Chateau d'If.  Plunged into despair, he remains in prison for 18 years.  A true friend helps him escape his ignorance and Dantes learns to find hope in education and freedom of mind amid captivity.  After liberation from prison, Dantes learns the fates of the conspirators who betrayed him and is repulsed to find them living a life of ease.  Sworn to act as the Lord's tool of justice, Dantes assumes the identity of the Count of Monte Cristo and assists fate in the work of vengeance.

This masterpiece of French Literature thrills me each time I read it.  The inner struggles of Dantes as he reconciles his actions and the love of God rend my heart.  Dantes grows in light and wisdom as he finds and understands the healing power of love and the grace of God.

Each of us pass through journeys that plunge us into the prisons of despair and despondency.  Whether we land in that prison due to our own actions or the actions of others, the experience affords us the opportunity to grow in light and turn to the source of strength that can free us.

At the end of his healing journey, Dantes gives his protege Maximilian Morell a final piece of advice on how to find joy and peace amid the injustice of the world:
"Live then and be happy..., and never forget that until the day God will deign  to reveal the future to men, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, -- 'Wait and hope.'" (Dumas 1462)
I am honored to share my feelings and experiences with you as I learn to wait and hope on the Lord.

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