July 08, 2008

Quote 10

“Monsieur Cure,” said the man, “you are good; you don’t despise me. You take me into your house; you light your candles for me, and I haven’t hid from you where I come from, and how miserable I am.” The bishop, who was sitting near him, touched his hand gently and said: “You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house; it is the house of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty; be welcome. And do not thank me; do not tell me that I take you into my house. This is the home of no man, except him who needs an asylum. I tell you, who are a traveler, that you are more at home here than I; whatever is here is yours. What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me, I knew it.” The man opened his eyes in astonishment: “Really? You knew my name?” “Yes,” answered the bishop, “your name is my brother.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, p. 67 , (conversation between the Bishop and Jean Valjean)