'You make yourself more important than them. You are preoccupied with your own salvation. If you say that you will apostatize, those people will be taken from the pit. They will be saved fom suffering. And you refuse to do so. It's because you dread to betray the Church. You dread to be the dregs of the Church, like me.' (p268)
Faced with this statement from his former teacher, now apostatized; faced with the unbearable suffering of the japanese peasant Christians; faced with the intolerable silence of God, Father Rodrigues must decide if trampling on the face of Christ is indeed the most Christian thing to do.
This is a fantastically well written book and has been skillfully translated by William Johnston, a master of studies into mysticism and oriental Christianity. It is a text that will cause you to wrestle with God's silence, with the value of missionary work and will cause you to search deep within your heart and challenge the very fundamental beliefs of you own faith.