«Instead a new wealth, which I had never possessed before, descended upon my desolation: the wealth of a conviction: “God exists.”»
– The formerly rich and powerful Simon Zealot on the wealth he received while a leper.
180. « Will we have the strength to resist? » asks Thomas.
« Well… as for me, I would not have it. But I put my trust in Him » and Peter nods to the Master Who is listening and is silent, His head slightly inclined, as if He wished to hide His understanding countenance.
« I think that God will not put us to tests beyond our strength » says Matthew.
« Or He will at least increase our strength in proportion to the tests » concludes James of Alphaeus.
Simon Zealot: « He is already doing that. I was rich and powerful. If God had not decided to preserve me for a purpose of His, I would have surrendered myself to despair and perished when I was persecuted and an outcast. I would have acted harshly against myself… Instead a new wealth, which I had never possessed before, descended upon my desolation: the wealth of a conviction: “God exists.” First… God… Yes, I believed, I was a faithful Israelite. But mine was a faith of formalism. And I thought that the reward of my faith was always inferior to my virtue. I took the liberty of debating with God because I felt that I was still something on the earth… When everything collapsed around me and I was like a worm crushed by the weight of all this human futility, then I no longer debated with God, but with myself, with my stupid self and I ended up by demolishing it. And as I did so, making room for what I think is the God immanent in our earthly beings, I gained a new strength and wealth: the certainty that I was not alone and that God was watching over man defeated by men and by evil. »