If I had to pick one line to sum up Monseignor Bienvenu, as he is come to be known, it would be:
“He said, ‘Examine the road over which the fault has passed.'”
I feel as though this line, speaking on how he thought through his judgments of the people he presided over, gives lovely insight into how empathetic he is for all plights. I love the descriptions of his good works, the pieces of advice given to the world through this character. We learn where he comes from and who he has become through the generosity and benevolence, deserved or not, he is shown and therefore wants to pass on through his life. He sets a “godly” example of how to do unto others as you would have them do to you, how to see others through eyes of understanding rather than judgment.
Not many lines later comes the plea for education, another personal favorite and a much pondered ideal that gives momentum to my overall teaching:
” ‘The faults of women, of children, of the feeble, the indigent, and the ignorant, are the fault of the husbands, the fathers, the masters, the strong, the rich, and the wise.’ He said, moreover, ‘Teach those who are ignorant as many things as possible; society is culpable, in that it does not afford instruction gratis; it is responsible for the night which it produces. This soul is full of shadow; sin is therein committed. The guilty one is not the person who has committed the sin, but the person who has created the shadow.'”