Exquisite Passage from 'Run'

My stars, how much do I love to read Ann Patchett? From "Run," 2007, Harper:
Night after day Father Sullivan was awake with his thoughts. The visit of the two women and all the subsequent visitors that followed had shaken him. It made him realize how helpless he was to do anything of substance for anyone. He tried to see what was ahead for each of them and he could see nothing at all. It would be incorrect in every sense to say that so near the end of his life he had lost his faith, when in fact God seemed more abundant to him in the Regina Cleri home than in any place he had been before. God was in the folds of his bathrobe, the ache of his knees. God saturated the hallways in the form of a pale electrical light. But now that his heart had become so shiftless and unreliable, now that he should be sensing the afterlife like a sweet scent drifting in from the garden, he had started to wonder if there was in fact no afterlife at all. Look at all these true believers who wanted only to live, look at himself, clinging onto this life like a squirrel scrambling up the icy pitch of a roof. In suggesting that there may be nothing ahead of them, he in no way meant to diminish the future; instead, Father Sullivan hoped to elevate the present to a state of the divine. It seemed from this moment of repose that God may well have been life itself. God may have been the baseball games, the beautiful cigarette he smoked alone after checking to see that all the bats had been put back behind the closet door. God could have been the masses in which he told people how best to prepare for the glorious life everlasting, the one they couldn't see as opposed to the one they were living at that exact moment in the pews of the church hall, washed over in the stained glass light. How wrongheaded it seemed now to think that the thrill of heartbeat and breath were just a steppingstone to something greater. ...


  1. That is the best description of one's view of God I've ever read. Gives me goose bumps. Thank you for sharing.

  2. She's great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love Ann Patchett too! I am reading Bel Canto right now. Run is one of my favorites.