Sous le soleil de Satan


With you it all seems simple.

Alone, I'm worthless.

I'm like a zero ;

only useful with other numbers.

Priests are so wretched.

They spend their lives

seeing God humiliated.

People make fun of me.

I'm like a wall

covered with obscenities.

You're weary.

Weariness is an evil thought.

Suspend your visits.

I do more harm than good.

At first I didn't know what evil was.

I learned it from the mouths of sinners.

No one knows better than a priest.

...the awful monotony of sin

I can't talk to them.

I can only absolve or weep.

If one absolution in thirty

did its work...

the world would soon be converted.

You're silent tonight, Estelle

Still no coffee at night,

Father Donissan?

No thanks, Dean

I'll take mine in the next room.

I've been waiting for you.

I know

I want the Bishop to return me

to the monastery. Please back me up.


I don't belong here.

Parish work is too much for me.

My superiors thought so.

You do, too.

I'm willing to request your recall,

but it's complicated.

Are you overtaxed here?

Don't be childish. The parish is too

poor to feed a useless mouth.


...I could go to

the Trappists for a while.

Trappists! You all want to go there!

A monastery's no rest home.

What should I do?

Now you're showing sense.

If you can't guide others,

how can you judge yourself?

You've been given a master ; me!

I know it...

You were allowed to take holy orders...

despite your superior's doubts.

I am not totally incapable...

...of parish work fitting

my intelligence.

Luckily, my health...

Health is God's gift.

I know its price too well.

Your strength and manual skills.

suggest you were meant

for a humbler vocation.

It's never too late to admit an error.

Should you try something else,

or return to your plow?

I'm asking, not answering.

A man like me is easy to size up.

You're being tactful.

I'm eager to obey.

Don't keep me in suspense.

I know you're impatient.

But what you hope I'll say

maybe be too great a temptation.

You want my decree.

Will you obey it?

I'm not just a crude, ignorant priest,

unable to make himself loved.

I was a poor seminary student.

It took a miracle...

to get me admitted to the priesthood.

I lack intelligence, memory, diligence.

Yet I can't overcome... stubbornness.

Your submission touches me...

I must have seemed cruel.

I'm going to be even more so.

Do you know whose hands you've

put yourself in?


The hands of a man you don't respect!

I seem to live like a wealthy layman.

You're ashamed of my leisurely ways,

admit it.

You know fools praise my experience...

You think it's sterile,

of no use to anyone.

That's how you see it, no?

The thought was unintentional...

That's not an excuse.

Now you know my wicked mind...

and now...

My dear boy!

I thought so!

My boy, our Lord is not

displeased with you...

Burn this devilish thing tomorrow.

We'll find something better.

Your mortification is misplaced.

a proper priest wears white linen.

You know, my boy.

your opinion of me is by and large correct...

but it errs on one point:

I judge myself harshly.

I'm reaching my end empty-handed.

You're very different from me.

You've changed me!

I sent for you dreaming naively...

...of bringing in a young

priest with poor grades,

lacking the qualities I so prize,

and shaping him.

This was a heavy burden to take on.

But you are shaping me!

I need you!

[i]They[/i] didn't see the gift

the Holy Spirit gave you.

[i]They[/i] never see anything!

God appoints us.

The spirit of strength is within you!

Anyone but me,

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Georges Bernanos

Louis Émile Clément Georges Bernanos (French: [ʒɔʁʒ bɛʁnanɔs]; 20 February 1888 – 5 July 1948) was a French author, and a soldier in World War I. A Roman Catholic with monarchist leanings, he was critical of bourgeois thought and was opposed to what he identified as defeatism. He believed this had led to France's defeat and eventual occupation by Germany in 1940 during World War II. Most of his novels have been translated into English and frequently published in both Great Britain and the United States. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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