By Bob Welch
Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts fifty two nuggets of Bible-based knowledge from the most renowned novels, musicals, and flicks of all time: Les Misérables.
In 52 Little classes from Les Misérables, Bob Welch walks readers via Hugo's masterpiece, extracting dozens of uniquely religious reflections from this enduring portrait of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. Welch reminds us that Jean Valjean's lifestyles offers the truest instance of why true love is located within the grittiest locations, and that hearts are made entire underneath the overwhelm of mercy. most vital, although, Welch retains returning to the intersections of religion and fact all through Hugo's writing—those areas the place mercy turns into an inroad to the guts, and the place love is barely actually acquired while it really is given with out .
Discover back why life's goal is located now not in getting to own wishes and wishes, yet in responding to the hearts of...
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Extra info for 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables
Marius tells Cosette. The two come to Valjean’s side, and, reconciled with Cosette, Valjean dies in peace. Whew. If that seems rushed, it should. It’s the distillation of 1,463 pages of Hugo’s novel into fewer than one thousand words, the literary equivalent of trying to scoop the Pacific Ocean into a thimble. So what follows is a broader—and more leisurely—voyage across this sea of significance. Lesson 2 FAME BRAGS; LOVE WHISPERS Love one another. He declared that to be complete. 1 —HUGO, ON THE BISHOP’S PRIORITIES ALTHOUGH THE MOVIE VERSION OF LES MISÉRABLES BEGINS with the cultural chasm between Jean Valjean and Javert, Hugo opens his book with a fifty-eight-page exploration of Monseigneur Charles Francois-Bienvenu Myriel, the bishop of Digne.
But also, what can it say to me where I am right now? I came to love Les Miz late, not as a decades-long fan or drama critic, but as a journalist and author fascinated by the twining of life and faith, having written, among sixteen other books, 52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life. My scope of seeing theatrical presentations of Les Misérables ranges from a world-tour show spearheaded by original producer Cameron Mackintosh in Vancouver, British Columbia’s three-thousand-seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre to a dinner-theater presentation by Actors Cabaret in Eugene, Oregon, so intimate that, en route to a preshow potty break, I ran into a few Toulon prisoners and a French soldier in the hallway.
2. Faith in literature. 3. Christianity in literature. I. Title. II. Title: Fifty-two little lessons from Les Misérables. 7--dc23 2014005366 14 15 16 17 18 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1 CONTENTS List of Characters Author’s Note Lesson 1 Context matters Lesson 2 Fame brags; love whispers Lesson 3 Knock and the door will be opened Lesson 4 Every personal encounter matters Lesson 5 Even the coldest heart can thaw Lesson 6 Blessed are the poor in spirit Lesson 7 Actions trump words Lesson 8 It’s not about “the stuff” Lesson 9 The conscience must not be ignored Lesson 10 Starting over can redefine our purpose Lesson 11 Goodness requires no audience Lesson 12 Our actions ripple through time Lesson 13 We need to see people as God sees people Lesson 14 Crisis reveals character Lesson 15 Grace, accepted, changes us Lesson 16 Our strengths can become our weaknesses Lesson 17 Trust can be misplaced Lesson 18 God’s ways aren’t always our ways Lesson 19 Not all that glitters is gold Lesson 20 God hears our desperate cries for help Lesson 21 Children need childhoods Lesson 22 We need one another Lesson 23 Faith must touch others Lesson 24 Don’t rush to judgment Lesson 25 Faith in others unlocks their giftedness Lesson 26 The past can be a springboard to the future Lesson 27 Paying it forward changes the world Lesson 28 A contented life is a thankful life Lesson 29 Wisdom can come from weird places Lesson 30 True character is consistent character Lesson 31 Remember the humanity of the homeless Lesson 32 Remember those who put their lives on the line Lesson 33 Deceit is no respecter of social standing Lesson 34 The truth shall set you free Lesson 35 Political opinions are unworthy idols Lesson 36 Jesus’ life was revolutionary stuff Lesson 37 The truth isn’t always obvious Lesson 38 Perspective changes things Lesson 39 Love means letting go Lesson 40 Self-pity morphs into selfishness Lesson 41 The older are not necessarily the wiser Lesson 42 Hiding feelings hampers relationships Lesson 43 We can break the chains from our pasts Lesson 44 Opportunities to help shouldn’t be wasted Lesson 45 Love has a gritty side to it Lesson 46 We matter more than we know Lesson 47 Religion isn’t the answer Lesson 48 True revolution starts and ends in our hearts Lesson 49 The law is not enough Lesson 50 Love perseveres Lesson 51 We are les misérables Lesson 52 To love another person is to see the face of God Book Club Questions Acknowledgments About the Author Notes Les Misérables (Lay-mee-zay-rahbl)—The Miserable Ones, or “The Poor” LIST OF CHARACTERS PRIMARY CHARACTERS Jean Valjean (Zhan Val-zhan)—ex-convict who begins life anew while being tracked down by a tireless police inspector Bishop Myriel—compassionate bishop whose mercy on Valjean changes the ex-convict’s life (full name: Monseigneur Charles François-Bienvenu Myriel) Inspector Javert (Jah-ver)—letter-of-the-law police inspector whose obsession is to bring justice to Valjean Cosette (Ko-zet)—Fantine’s daughter, saved by Valjean from the clutches of a cruel and cunning innkeeper couple, the Thénardiers Fantine (Fahn-teen)—unmarried, working-class girl whittled to her core by poverty; mother of Cosette Marius Pontmercy (Mar-ee-us Pohn-mair-see)—idealistic student who falls in love with Cosette The Thénardiers (Ten-are-dee-ays)—husband and wife innkeepers bent on exploiting all who come near, including Cosette OTHERS Bamatabois (Bam-ah-tah-bwah)—prospective “customer” whose degradation of Fantine triggers her wrath Champmathieu (Chomp-mot-two)—poor, uneducated man who is identified, tried, and almost convicted as being Jean Valjean Enjolras (Ahn-jol-rahs)—leader of the student revolutionary group Friends of the ABC (ah bay say), so-named from a play on the French word abaissés (the “lowly” or “abased”) Éponine (Epp-oh-neen)—daughter of the Thénardiers who secretly loves Marius and redeems herself with that love Fauchelevent (Fosh-luh-vohn)—man saved by Valjean in Montreuil-sur-Mer who later helps Valjean in a Paris convent Gavroche (Gav-rosh)—likable street urchin—and son of the Thénardiers—who gives his all to the student revolutionary cause Gillenormand (He-lare-nor-ma)—Marius’s grandfather, a devout monarchist and self-seeking part of Paris’s bourgeois class Madeleine (Mad-eh-lenn)—name Valjean assumes when he comes to Montreuil-sur-Mer Petit Gervais—twelve-year-old boy from whom Valjean steals a coin Colonel Georges Pontmercy (Zhorzh Pohn-mair-see)—Marius’s father, a courageous officer of Napoléon’s who grudgingly allows Marius’s grandfather to bring up his son Félix Tholomyès (Thol-o-mee-es)—college student in Paris who abandons Fantine after getting her pregnant PLACES Digne (Din-yay)—town in French Alps where Valjean meets the bishop Montfermeil (Moan-fer-may)—town where the Thénardiers and Cosette live Montreuil-sur-Mer (Mon-twee-soor-Mair)—town where Valjean assumes the name “Madeleine” and begins anew Petit-Picpus (Pet-teet-Pic-poo)—convent in Paris where Valjean and Cosette live Toulon (Too-lohn)—prison on coast of southern France where Valjean spends nineteen years AUTHOR’S NOTE THE FIRST QUESTION YOU ASK YOURSELF WHEN BEGINNING the challenge of conveying the life lessons of Les Misérables is: Really?