A great post today On the Way to the Abbey on Count Leo Tolstoy, who died on this day in 1910. “His last words were, ‘To seek, always to seek.’ At the end of his life, Tolstoy was still haunted by, as Robert Ellsberg puts it, ‘the notion that he was merely play-acting as a Christian.’” Also quoting from this post,
Tolstoy struggled ‘to achieve a consistency between his ideals and his life’ (Ellsberg). Studying the Gospels led Tolstoy to the conclusion that the true essence of Christianity had become obscured and encrusted with dogmatism and empty ritual, as well as subservience to the state. The heart was the Sermon on the Mount, Tolstoy wrote, and he wrote increasingly on ‘such themes as the presence of the kingdom of God within each soul, the counsel of voluntary poverty and nonresistance to evil, and the ‘law of love.’‘ (Ibid.) When he attacked the Orthodox church for abandoning these things, he was excommunicated.
The full post makes a good read, and offers something with which most of us can identify… the struggle just quoted. On the same page, you might notice the “Current Quote” in the margin… “People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.” &8212; Bob Dylan.