M. Morrel and God’s Providence

Count of Monte Cristo:

After being stripped of almost all his dignity and wealth (partly from his unrelenting pleading for Edmund Dantes release – putting him in league with a “Bonapartist” – and caring for Dante’s dying father), Monsieur Morrel, the former ship owner who employed Dantes, finds himself with one last hope of paying his mountain of debt and saving his family. That last hope is the return of the ship Pharaon which is already a month delayed. Here’s what Dumas writes for Morrel’s response to news of the ship:

“The ‘Pharaon’ has then perished?” said Morrel, in a hoarse voice. The young girl did not speak; but she made an affirmative sign with her head as she lay on her father’s breast.

“And the crew?” asked Morrel.

“Saved,” said the girl; “saved by the crew of the vessel that has just entered the harbor.”

Morrel raised his two hands to heaven with an expression of resignation and sublime gratitude. “Thanks, my God,” said he; “at least thou strikest but me alone!”

Sure he’s a fictional character but how many of us could utter that praise when faced with such depths of sadness, despair, and lost hope. I for one get mad when whatever I think I deserve doesn’t come to me (when even as trivial as driving, relationally, monetarily, etc. etc.). The idea that I should praise God for allowing myself to be the object of misfortune so that others may be spared flies straight in the face of my self-entitled, prosperity-minded notion of Providence I so routinely fall back into.

~ by veniatregnum on December 17, 2008.

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