"Since the order of the world is shaped by death, mightn’t it be better for God if we refuse to believe in Him and struggle with all our might against death, without raising our eyes toward the heaven where He sits in silence."
"Yes. But your victories will never be lasting; that’s all."
Rieux’s face darkened.
"Yes, I know that. But it’s no reason for giving up the struggle."
"No reason, I agree. Only, I now can picture what this plague must mean for you."
"Yes. A never ending defeat."…
"Who taught you all this, doctor?"
The reply came promptly:
From now on, indeed, poverty showed itself stronger stimulus than fear. (3.1.16)
It was wrong to say: "This I understand, but that I cannot accept"; we must go straight to the heart of that which is unacceptable, precisely because it is thus that we are constrained to make our choice. The sufferings of children were our bread of affliction, but without this bread our souls would die of spiritual hunger. (4.4.12)