Books like this make me believe that good authors are not yet extinct! It is my favourite.
“You want to build this cathedral yourself, don’t you?”
Tom hesitated. It was as well to be candid with Philip: the man had no patience for prevarication. “Yes, Father. I want you to appoint me master builder,” he said as calmly as he could.
Tom had not expected that question. There were so many reasons. Because I’ve seen it done badly, and I know I could do it well, he thought. Because there is nothing more satisfying, to a master craftsman, than to exercise his skill, except perhaps to make love to a beautiful woman. Because something like this gives meaning to a man’s life. Which did Philip want? The prior would probably like him to say something pious. Recklessly, he decided to tell the real truth. “Because it will be beautiful,” he said.
Philip looked at him strangely. Tom could not tell whether he was angry, or something else. “Because it will be beautiful,” Phillip repeated. Finally, he nodded, as if agreeing after some reflection. “Yes. And what could be better than to make something beautiful for God?” he said.