It was late in the evening, one cold November evening in New York when Timothy knocked on my door. I had not seen him in a long time, must have been almost ten years. He had changed. He was thin and pale, his eyes were red, as though he had been crying. He had that raw intensity of a strung-out junkie that I knew so well.
“Father O’Hara,” he said, “Is this a bad time?”
“Not at all, Timothy. Sit down. How have you been? What brings you here at this time of night?”
“I wanted to… Do you remeber how I left school, father?”
How could I forget. “Yes,” I said.
“You renounced faith in front of the class. You said God cannot exists.”
“Well?” he urged. I was not sure what he wanted.
“How do you feel about that now?”
“Faith,” he said, “Is not a choice. It is a conviction. A group of symptoms that come from authority or evidence. Does not have to be true evidence, but some kind of evidence. I lack the capacity to accept the authority or the evidence. For a long time I thought it was because I developed beyond those primitive factors that make people believe. Then I thought there was something wrong with me. Some form of chemical imbalance that puts me at a disadvantage compared to the rest of humanity. But now I know. You know?”
“What do you know, Timothy?”
“It is God who gives faith. God bestows the miracle of belief upon people. He gave you unwavering faith, father.”
My soul smiled sadly at his words. Unwavering. Anything but.
“Why not me?” he continued. “Why was I denied? Has God stopped loving me? How can I even consider that when I cannot bring myself to believe in Him. Not even one iota.”
“Come now, Timothy. God loves us all. Surely…”
Smack! He threw a huge book on my desk.
“Do you know what it is, father?”
“I… I don’t?”
“It’s the Necronomicon. The real one. Like in the stories. It contains the sacred names for summoning rituals. Names of demons… and gods. His name is here, too.”
I reached underneath my desk, found the old revolver. Vatican makes us put them there for occassions like these.
Timothy had tears in his eyes. “I am going to make Him love me.”