“I wish you weren’t being so quiet,” Elena said.

“I don’t know what to say. Making you promises seems patronizing. To tell you I’m glad seems presumptuous about the future. What are you thinking?”

“Glad and scared. Mostly about what you’re thinking.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m here and I don’t want to presume about your being here.”

“I’m here too.”

“And I don’t want you to be deprived if you are not meant to be, or sure you are a solitary.”

“Being with you and the baby isn’t solitary.”

“But you want more than I can give.”

“Who knows how long that will last?”

“If you are counting on it not lasting then I am scared. Maybe this arrangement isn’t realistic. Maybe I’m hiding from the world and trapping you in my delusion.”

“’Love God and do what you will.’”

“Read me more St. Augustine.”

After reading Book IV, Chapter 3, Pavel said, “I think there is a dark art to astrology, even if some just play the odds.”

“I am surprised St. Augustine was convinced to disregard negative spiritual forces at work. Even with Manichaeism he dismisses it as justifying fantasy with over-complicated, hard to understand precepts.”

“Let’s keep going.”

At the end of Chapter 4 Pavel read, “’Tears alone were sweet to me, for in my heart’s desire they had taken the place of my friend.”

“Odd to think of tears as comforting, but their clingy warmth can be sweet.”

“Tears of another can connect you to their grief, but one still seeks to alleviate them.”

“Unless one gets lost in their grief or enjoys it too much.”

“I have heard that giving thanks is the antidote for that. St. Augustine seems to think that his friend died because it was an unholy alliance, and so he gives thanks for God’s judgment in taking him away.”

“I am hesitant to be so sure about God’s motives and even complicity in how things happen. There is also human free will and demonic forces that may go against God’s will, but it is right to give thanks for how God’s ultimate determinations can’t be thwarted, nonetheless.”

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