Georges Bernanos, a Catholic French writer and author of the novel Diary of a Country Priest, died on July 5, 1948. The novel is a classic, detailing the last days of a simple priest; it was made into a beautiful movie. In the novel, the last words of the priest were “All is grace.” (Incidentally, this is the title of a new biography of Dorothy Day written by Jim Forest which I’m now reading.)
Bernanos had a very strong sense of the sacramentality of the ordinary and the role of the poor. I find this quote, from Les enfants humilés, extraordinarily perceptive and true to my experience here in Honduras:
I hold that the poor will save the world and they will save it without wishing to do so, they will save it despite themselves, that they will ask it nothing in return, simply because they will not know the value of the service they have rendered.