The main character is a priest with no ordination. He's taken in by a Christian Lord, and pretends he has the ordination. In the course, he has a leman (concubine), fights a walker-again (a revenant), a priest of the Old Gods, and comes to understand the intrinsic difference between the Christian God (whom he hates) and the heathen gods (whom he fears).
"What I can't understand", said someone, "is, if our God is so much more powerful than the old gods, why do all wonders seem to come from their side?"
A voice said, "Because a marvel is like a sword." Strangely, the voice was my own. "Or like torture. There is no answer to it. The Beloved prefers to woo."Later, the priest has a vision of his old abbot. They talk about the pain and suffering and evil in the world. And the abbot tells him that it's not the pain, the evil, that God desires. Rather it's the risk.
"It was God's risk to make the world, and give Man a choice. All love is risk, and salvation is the most dangerous thing of all."Another point they make in the book, is that when a man stands in the light, all the darkness can see him, and he becomes a target.
The Beloved prefers to woo. And as Gnostics, I think we find that especially true. We know that love, we know its quiet, its certitude, its Presence. The priest in the book fails, and fails often. He's weak in morals, in resolve, in learning. He sometimes makes up psalms and prayers and the words to the Eucharist. At first he doesn't even believe in God. Then he believes, but hates him. Yet still he serves. Eventually, even that changes.
The Beloved prefers to woo. That's why it's the soft, still voice that speaks.
Still doing the LBRP. It's been an interesting exercise so far, and I hope my paths are becoming clearer with each performance.