Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

Today’s Daily prompt is: Take the first sentence from your favourite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/daily-prompt-favorite-book/

I have difficulty, like others, selecting “your favourite book,” since there are several of them in a variety of genres. However, as for the novel, I’d say my favourite book is The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevsky.

The first line introduces one of the family members in the Karamazov family history: “Alexey Fyodorovich Karamozov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner of our district, who became notorious in his own day (and is still remembered among us) because of his tragic and mysterious death, which occurred exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall relate in its proper place.”

I find this opening sentence intriguing for at least three reasons. The names Fyodorovich and Fyodor may perhaps be autobiographical. The reference to “his tragic and mysterious death” may also be autobiographical in that Dostoyevsky’s dad was murdered in 1838, a year after his mother had died. The sentence also, I think, is paradigmatic of Dostoyevsky’s wonderful gift of storytelling.

The novel, for this blogger, is the best I’ve ever read in that Dostoyevsky writes about—with inspiration, depth and authenticity—nearly everything under the sun: life and death, the innocence of children in the face of evil and abuse, the problem of evil, the gift of grace and the strength of faith, the sanctity and dignity of life, parent, child and family relationships, the church and the world, belief and atheism, truth and lies, love and hatred, power and its abuse, Christ’s veiled and revealed presence in the world of Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth century Russia.

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Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

The Daily Post at WordPress.com asks the following Daily Prompt question: Do you have a favourite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/daily-prompt-quote/

This is a tough question, since I have many favourite quotes. Plus I think as we journey through life, we hopefully keep growing and maturing in many and various ways—hence there are favourite quotes that we identify with in each stage of life.

At this stage in my life, there are a couple of quotes that are meaningful—especially in light of the increasing conflicts, wars, violence and hatred among various nations, religions, and civilizations. They are, the words of Jesus’ ‘higher way’ of all-encompassing love, and a related quote from Lutheran pastor and World War II prisoner in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Rev. Martin Niemoeller.

Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

Martin Niemoeller said: “It took me a long time to understand that God is not the enemy of my enemies. God is not even the enemy of God’s enemies.”

Both quotes point humankind to a reality above and beyond hatred, violence, war and conflict; where peace-shalom and non-violence prevail. A dream that we need to keep dreaming; a vision that we need to keep seeing; until, by the grace of God, it becomes reality.

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