To Rise a Champion

Alyosho KaramazovThis morning, I read a passage from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  It is a beautiful and moving passage.  In it, Alyosha — the youngest brother — is dreaming as he reflects on the death of the wise elder Zossima.

“”Something firm and unshakable as the vault of heaven had entered into his soul.  It was as though some idea had seized the sovereignty of his mind – and it was for all his life and forever and ever.  He had fallen on the earth a weak boy, but he rose up a resolute champion … and never, never all his life long, could Alyosha forget that minute.

“Someone visited my soul in that hour,” Alyosha used to say afterwards with implicit faith in his words.

That is the feeling we long for … ‘to fall on the earth a weak boy, but to rise up a resolute champion.’

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