“A Passage and a Gift”
In his “Beliefs” column in today’s New York Times, Peter Steinfels writes of a new book, Do You Believe? Conversations on God and Religion. Its author is Antonio Monda, based in New York, as cultural correspondent for the left-leaning Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.
In his book Signor Monda interviews a number of prominent cultural figures about their beliefs. Steinfels highlights the following exchange between Monda and the 83- year-old Grace Paley:
[Monda] asked Ms. Paley, “Do you think that life after death exists?”
She replied, “Obviously no,” adding, “And an 83-year-old is telling you this, aware that she doesn’t have much time to live.”
And then, turning the tables on Mr. Monda, she asked, “And what is there for you after death?”
He replied, “The true life.”
“And what,” she came back, “is the life that we’re living at this moment?”
He answered, “A passage and a gift.”
The exchange serves as an apt prelude to tomorrow’s Gospel.