In Kazantzakis’ telling of the story of Jesus, his mother does not go through life beatifically accepting her God-ordained role and motherhood. Instead she is resentful of the smiting of her husband into paralysis and the miraculous birth of an unusual, troubled son.

But here she recalls a moment of innocence and sweetness in her life before she was chosen to be the messiah’s mother. Heaven-kissed Carmel – wishing you a safe climb to this or other such summits.

‘Mary felt the sweet weight and smiled. Ah, if it were possible for God to always come down so sweetly over men!  As she thought this, she recalled the morning she and her fiancé had climbed to the prophet Elijah’s summit, to heaven-kissed Carmel.’


Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), pp. 64-65

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