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Today's Stichomancy for Italo Calvino

The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:

Saint-Gatien, his head bowed, his eye stern, respect followed him; that bent face was in harmony with the yellowing arches of the cathedral; the folds of his cassock fell in monumental lines that were worthy of statuary. The good vicar, on the contrary, perambulated about with no gravity at all. He trotted and ambled and seemed at times to roll himself along. But with all this there was one point of resemblance between the two men. For, precisely as Troubert's ambitious air, which made him feared, had contributed probably to keep him down to the insignificant position of a mere canon, so the character and ways of Birotteau marked him out as perpetually the vicar of the cathedral and nothing higher.