“He burns with spiritual intensity—and he desperately wants to be something in the eyes of the world. An exquisite contradiction, because what lurks near the center of his spiritual life, but without actually living there, is the thought that he should desire and expect to be nobody and nothing to the world.”
In my experience, this quotation fits nearly everyone* who teaches at a church-related university, or preaches to a public, or posts about faith on Facebook, or blogs about it. I make no exception for myself.
Fellow teachers, preachers, posters, and bloggers, I would love to know what you think. If you're moved to post in the comments here, or on your own preferred forum, you will have my admiration—and I do not mean that ironically.
*There is a class whom the quotation does not describe. This is the cynical "pragmatist" who burns with no spiritual intensity at all. But he has learned that if he simulates such a person, playing a role, he can acquire power for himself by exploiting
those who do feel the contradiction.