CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
Sixty years ago this week, I learned that his name was not Albert, as in Prince Albert Tobacco, but Al-bear. And that Camus was not Caymuss, but Ca-moo. I felt so sophisticated, being able to drop the name of Ca-moo at lunch in the cafeteria.
So I chose Camus for my books in my French reading class. I was never very good at speaking French, except for Vous puez de l’aile, which means You smell of garlic, but I got to the place that I was comfortable reading in French, especially in history and theology. I felt so sophisticated on campus that fall, walking around with my copies of Sartre’s Les Jeux Sont Fait and Camus’ L’Etranger and La Peste.
Camus was an existentialist, a nihilist, who contracted TB at age 17. It was then incurable, and he had long periods of great pain. His time of the winter soul came in the springtime of his years. But it is perhaps the most important thing to learn, regardless of when it comes, despite all the nihilism and despair to which this world gives cause: There is in me an invincible summer.
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