I just finished reading Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (having heard so much about it from Adriana at Classical Quest and because it was one of those biggies I'd never read). It's an amazing book in many ways. The story of the doomed Anna is quite heartbreaking, but I had much more of an emotional connection to the plot line about Konstantin Levin and Kitty Shcherbatsky.
Levin (a kind man but a bit of a cranky-pants) has proposed to his beloved Kitty (a sweet, loving young woman) and been accepted -- but before he marries her he must make confession and take communion. This makes him extremely uncomfortable because he sees himself as a doubter and an unbeliever and hates the idea of pretending to be something he is not. This scene is from his confession, where he has just admitted his doubts.
[The priest] said to him:
"You are about to enter into matrimony, and it may be that God will reward you with offspring, is it not so? Well, then, what sort of upbringing can you give your little ones, if you don't overcome in yourself the temptation of the devil who is drawing you into unbelief?" he said in mild reproach. "If you love your child, then, being a good father, you will not desire only wealth, luxury and honour for him; you will desire his salvation, his spiritual enlightenment with the light of Truth. Is it not so? What answer will you give when an innocent child asks you: 'Papa! Who created everything that delights me in this world -- the earth, the waters, the sun, the flowers, the grass?' Will you really say to him, 'I don't know'? You cannot not know, since the Lord God in His great mercy has revealed it to you. Or else your little one will ask you: 'What awaits me in the life beyond the grave?' What will you tell him, if you don't know anything? How will you answer him? Will you leave him to the temptation of the world and the devil? That's not good!" he said and stopped, inclining his head to one side and looking at Levin with meek, kindly eyes.
"You are entering upon a time of life," the priest went on, "when one must choose a path and keep to it. Pray to God that in His goodness He may help you and have mercy on you," he concluded. "May our Lord and God Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love for mankind, forgive you, child..." and, having finished the prayer of absolution, the priest blessed and dismissed him.
On returning home that day, Levin experienced the joyful feeling of having ended his awkward situation and ended it in such a way that he had not needed to lie. Apart from that, he was left with the vague recollection that what this kindly and nice old man had said was not at all as stupid as it had seemed to him at first, and that there was something in it that needed to be grasped.