Finishing Greg Brillantes’ “Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro”

Self has finished reading Greg Brillantes’ “Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro.”

In the passage below, the doctor returns from a late night visit to a poor man’s hut, where he has been unable to save the man’s sick child:

Dr. Lazaro felt the oppression of the night begin to lift from him; an emotionless calm returned to his mind. The sparrow does not fall without the Father’s leave, he mused at the sky, but it falls just the same. But to what end are the sufferings of a child? The crickets chirped peacefully in the moon-pale darkness beneath the trees.

“You baptized the child, didn’t you, Ben?”

“Yes, Pa.” The boy kept in step beside him.

He used to believe in it too, the power of the Holy Spirit washing away original sin, the purified soul made heir of heaven. He could still remember fragments of his boyhood faith, as one might remember an improbable and long-discarded dream.

This story is so suffused with melancholy, dear blog readers. Which is perhaps why self loves it so much.

Stay tuned.


  1. August 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I agree. This is definitely one of the best.
    That title! Just pure brilliance.

  2. August 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    It could be a play — something out of Eugene O’Neill. The favored older brother’s suicide, the younger, dreamy brother who shows his father a side of himself the father hadn’t seen before. Doesn’t it sound like Eugene O’Neill?

  3. August 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Yes, yes… very “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”.
    Sheesh! Nothing gets past you. Literature must be like code, and you the geeky programmer who spots the patterns in lines of it.

  4. August 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Well, I’m in a zone right now, that’s why. The whole summer, I’ve been in a zone . . .

    When I’m teaching, I’m usually too exhausted to come up with connections . . .

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Iain Kelly

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