Judgement of a Soul

“Now you stand before me, give me the account of your soul. In this book is written all by your angel; all things you ever said, thought, did; to others or alone; with good intent or false. Shall we open it?”

The soul hid his face and replied: “You have already seen, you already know. Have mercy on me, my Lord.”

“Not all who address me as ‘Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you know.
Look yourself and see what you have done with the Time appointed. Here . . . what is written?”

Slowly the soul raised his eyes to the pages as his angel opened the book, glistening with dark writing.
“So many things,” he said, “words of vices. Forgetting that One God alone Is, so many times I placed things of the fallen earth before you; Abuse of my tongue in blasphemous bouts of anger, calling on the powers of Heaven and Hell without regard, insulting Your Mother; Failing multiple times to attend the Mass or wandering in my mind when it is You I should have seen; Authorities countlessly scorned . . . “

Here the soul faltered and closed his eyes.
“I need not the pages to tell me. I know what I have done.”

“Then continue on.”

“Anger, unjust injury to other men, neglecting those who needed food, clothing, shelter. Once I looked on a woman with lust, not heeding my place or her soul. Oh, how could I have . . . Desiring what was unlawful and unjust. Lies and slander, deceitful speech and gossip. Being dissatisfied with the talents of others I knew, wanting them myself, looking at the property they owned and wanting it for my own.”

For what seemed like days to the soul, he stood with eyes closed and told of his misdeeds. When at last he could recall no more, “What then do you deserve?” asked the Judge softly.

“Hell.”

“And what do you desire?”

“Mercy.”

“Read the page again.”

The soul glanced up. The page was streaked with crimson, blotting out, washing away the black ink. Try as he might . . .

“Where has it gone? I can read nothing!”

As you can read, so do I remember,” the Messiah replied, “Justice convicts, Mercy forgets.”

“Oh, Sacred Mercy, Fountain of Compassion and Hope!” cried the angel, falling prostrate before throne, “Ask, O soul, and you shall truly receive!”

“Here now is a page blotted clean. Let us begin anew. In your shame you have forgotten all the good works of your life. Let me now relate them to you, and your angel will write them here – in gold.”
To God you gave honour and placed Me above all else; You praised My Name and offered much prayer to Heaven for the world; You have thousands of times stood near my Cross and joined yourself to My Sacrifice – Do you remember?
To your parents you gave assistance until their death and afterwards prayed for their souls, giving them much consolation; In humility, always did you strive to obey all men placed above you by My decree; You fed my hungry brethren, you gave them drink, clothed and sheltered them, buried those who walked on to Eternity, visited the sick, the lonely – You do remember this?
You gave consolation to the sorrowing, instructed those less of knowledge than you, brought sinners back to My fold, gave prudent words to they who were lost in doubt. You guarded Purity, cherished your wife and loved her beyond her death . . . Remember all.

For a year the soul knelt in front of the throne, hearing again and again the innumerable moments of grace in his past life, listening to the beautiful words, remembering, being drawn into happiness.
Do you remember? Take consolation. All of this, you did for me.”

Pages now shimmered with white gold, the crimson Blood bathed them with light.
The angel wrote a name on the last page – a name wholly unpronounceable in any mortal tongue. The soul read it and saw with wonder a reflection of himself within a greater Light.

“You are in Me, and I in thee. Come. Now you will be called Blessed. Enter, into the place which was prepared for you.

Evening Ramble

Hmm, ’tis been a good while since I wrote a decent ramble, and rarely do I ramble of late. Mostly I fog. ‘Fog’ is a verb now; you’re welcome.
Is it not frightful, the speed at which days end? They don’t happen fast. Time is mostly normal and steady (until it isn’t) and then the sun trips on a cloud or tree-branch – Whoops! Down it goes, the world gets sleepy . . . and it all goes Dark.

– Side thought, the sunset is not just a big circle, it’s actually a huge circle-rainbow on a circumference of the globe at all moments. Think about it for a minute –

Something about Time has always fascinated me. I really do think that there is a smallest unit of time, for it is a measurement of motion. If one could find the smallest possible thing, with the fastest possible motion in the . . . shortest possible time. No, I just hit a problem there. Speed is distance divided by Time, and distance is a Thing which can just keep being divided – as far as we know at least, nobody can magnify anything enough to tell. Perhaps there is in theory, no shortest unit of time. It’s all numbers in the end, all in our heads, and then we’ll die and find out that there is a certain Speed to Thought, and an Angel-flight is the shortest amount of Time when it happens IN the physical universe because somehow that works, however the spirits can be present to a thing not like them… After that we have the Eternity of God’s Word, and that’s not Time and obviously won’t do.
See? I rambled. It’s very easy and ought to be tried as long as you can mostly stay on the little trail in the forest. Never go off the path – that’s a rule, you know.

Also. Some of you readers may notice that there is a new page up on this website.

https://knightofthewhiterose.com/poetry-meditations-on-the-way-of-the-cross/

There’s absolutely nothing but a title and picture on it right now, but check back on that once in a while. I hope to complete it by Easter this year. Realistically it is a doubtful thing, but I hope nonetheless.

First Hope

The man took fruit from the hand of Eve,
And bitter was the taste within,
A lie was plucked from the youthful tree,
The skin was soft, the core too harsh,
For any of flesh to bear.

The sun was quenched before the noon,
Within their souls they felt,
A chill of guilt, and heat of shame,
The man looked fearful at his wife –
Her eyes burned his, apart they ran.

When evening had cooled the garden,
Descended God to earth as He
Did daily to walk with His newest children,
But found them not before Him there,
He looked and saw them cowering.

And from their Paradise they were banished,
They themselves had turned away,
A serpent writhed in pain before a Cherubim,
Sword of the Almighty’s flaming wrath,
Denying all the fruit of Life.

Oh you first of Man and Woman,
What grievous choice in Pride you made!
You now have nothing but a promise
Made in love, of Love to you.

Your children will bleed and suffer,
Generations will fall away,
You will have been but dust for centuries,
Before the world shall see the day –
The Day of Salvation, when on a Tree,
A Man unblemished will take your sin.

The Tree of Life has changed for all,
It’s Fruit is bitter-sweet,
We must now take up our inheritance,
The misery of the Fall, but Hope
Remains to us at it did you,
We hold the fruit of Sin,
And die not for Sin but Salvation,
Like you, one day, your God will meet.

Now take we up these days of Penance,
And Prayer before commemorating
The fasting of the Christ – the Forty Days –
Who felt the hunger of humanity.

The Love Not-Triangle

It takes three to make love, not two . . . Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.
~ Fulton J. Sheen

I don’t know what you may have thought, reading the above quote, but my very first thought was along the lines of “Ha, a love-triangle.”
Another moment of thinking and I convinced myself that saying such is far from the reality, even…yes, even on paper as a diagram. Could one have a triangle with God and two people as the points at which two sides connect? I think not. We were infinitely separated from God with sin, and only He could diminish that gap, the relation we have between each other was sundered, and every triangle is finite and the three points are connected by straight line segments.

Can this be thought of or drawn out as a line? It does appear to come closer to reality, if God is the center point and the two lovers are points at the end of the line.
Still wrong, the people are connected to God but at an infinite distance.

What about a circle? The people are two points on the circumference, and God is the center. What if each person was on a different circle – with God as the center of both, and the radii – the distance each is from God – is somehow representative of the spiritual flaws separating them from Him. Now all that is needed is for both people to go closer to God, and draw the other with them so that they might be in a sense united with Him, different in being but also the same.

I myself do not know why I tried to think of this in somewhat mathematical imagery. It just jumped into my mind. It did not clear up the mystery of Love any further. Certainly not surprising, since the works of God are not necessarily to be understood now or even in Eternity . . .

Life is unfinished, incomplete without a central loyalty, and the purpose of life is essentially to love – Ourselves, our neighbor, our Creator. If that loyalty is to anything but God, it is empty and not love but a lie. True love aims for the highest good of the beloved for his or her own sake – to be united with God eternally – and sacrifices whatever is required to that end.

Just throwing a few rambled thoughts out there on this Sunday afternoon.

Spera in Deo

“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Twas another dark night, the candle had blown out, another soul had lost sight of the Crucifix. A room of stone, clean but empty, had fallen with the sun into a darkness, and though there had been for a while a small light, the darkness had overcome it. From the Emptiness like a heartbeat echoed the voice of the Timeless Love:

“Have I though, child? You fastened me here with your iron; I will not to leave without you driving me away as you drove these spikes out of your sight and into my limbs, and then I would wait just beyond your sight until you called for me. Love always waits, you know.
When you placed me on this torment, such violence did you use that the angels themselves did not know if you wanted to kill or detain me.
If I have remained, Beloved, can I then also abandon you alone?”

“My Lord, have I then forsaken Thee?”

The cold wind wailed and beat about the room; on the candle in the center showed a dull red spark, just visible, smouldering and kept alive by the very wind that had extinguished it. From the Nowhere which contains Everything came another voice, just as loving as the first but deeper, and somehow more ancient in Eternity:

“Beloved Son, listen to me. If you had cast me aside with all Hope, would you hear me? You seek as a blind man does now. If you would not ignore the warnings of the setting sun and refuse to bar the door against the darkness, your flame would not have gone out. But you are not so hardened with the cold that the Death will take you; Rise, close the door. I am here and none other shall enter unless you permit your heart to become too cold to sustain Love. If you truly had faith, you would see. But the little you do have is enough for now – you can still feel. Quickly now! Without Faith, Hope can not abide in you.”

The soul hesitated, a tear sliding icily down his face, and then slowly groped about. He finally found the floor, then a wall – how cold it was, and covered with ice – and at last it caught the door, pushed it closed, and waited in the dark, shivering. Listening desperately for the Voice again, he heard only his own heart. No sound could he hear, no guiding Voice – But he knew where his table was. That very faint red spot in the air marked the candle on it, and the matches should be next to it, if he recalled correctly.
He slowly crept forward, right hand in front of him, and after several long seconds he found the table. Another moment of clumsy groping found him the matches, and the smouldering wick was still there.
All that he had to do was to strike a light – but he was afraid. Frightened of the rocks that formed his walls, the emptiness of the room; so apprehensive of seeing again the Crucifix –
But he feared more the darkness, and the pain of sight is better than the loneliness of the Night. He knew how long the night would last if he did not end it soon.

A small scratching, then a little light flared up, one flame ignited a second. A warmth which the soul had not felt since the sun fell off the Mountain days ago filled the room, and his heartbeat once again kept time with the world.

“My Saviour, my Hope, why hast Thou not forsaken me?”

A third Voice rang out, holding in it the notes of an Ancient Wisdom, like the liquid whiteness of a full moon:

“Does a Lover abandon his Beloved? Though a man ask for Hell, Mercy remains to him. The drawing forth and cleansing of sinners is the delight of Mercy, not their condemnation. You know this, and yet you question as though you had not the worth of a sparrow. You have seen the Sign, why should the Begotten from Whom I proceed permit you to hold him as you do, if not to show you the way of Love?

The soul was tired, and wanted to sleep – he could now, the Darkness was gone. Before he could though, he wanted to know: “Do I speak to Three or One?”

From the corner where the Crucifix hung, a Whisper of Eternity brushed and swirled for a moment. It was as though all three Voices were combined, and as the soul lay down to rest in the little light of his heart with God:

What does your Faith tell you?” came the Loving Reply.

Detain the Day

The waking sun struggled sleepily to its feet and peered cautiously over the horizon. It squinted over the trees, dormant under their fluffy blankets, the river and its wrinkled sheets of ice (“The River never makes his bed” thought the sun) and the hundreds of little houses peppered over the hills.
Everything seemed to be sleeping still, regardless of the growing light.

Should he shine brighter and wake the birds?

“No,” muttered the sun drowsily, “Today can wait for a bit.”

And he pulled a cloud over his head and went back to sleep.

I do wish that would happen every week or so. We could have a leap-year every month to catch up on sleep-days, don’t you think?

The Holy Innocents

Innumerable lives of children slain,
Upon the altar of Herod’s doubt,
And the will of Pharaoh – abandoned to Hapi,
For fear of new power, new life, to keep old,
The earth and its joys; they preyed on the mothers,
Stealing their offspring –
They saw the death of the ones who should bury them.

The earth and the river, the seas have cried out,
And call still to the Lord: “How long must we wait?
When will you make us new, cleaned of this blood?”

The waters have yet to be turned to dark red,
Bones still have not choked the rivers dry,
Nor the swarms of carrion-eaters enveloped the sky,
Hidden are the remains of the unjustly slain.

Innumerable lives forbidden to choose,
‘Ere they saw daylight their beings were sundered,
For fear of an army for the nation of God
As traitors they were dealt,
And while none could yet so much as raise
A weapon against this hell,
The bronze-edged sword and point they felt,
In battle silent fell.

. . . . . .
Amidst the cries and tumult, a soldier leaving,
Looked back on a mother grieving,
Lying in blood of her dying infant,
Mingling her tears with the innocent red,
Wishing herself to be fallen there dead,
And the warrior, sun and battle-seasoned,
Duty-sworn, wrongly obeyed, in heartbreak swayed,
And wiping his sword of twenty long years,
Cleaned it also with his remorseful tears.

Is God Necessarily One?

St. Thomas Aquinas’ arguments for the ‘Oneness’ of God are several.

The first says that if there were many gods, they would be called ‘god’ either univocally or equivocally. If equivocally, then he says that “this is not relevant to our topic.” (Short and simple.)
If univocally, then they must all be the same in genus or species, but he showed that God can be neither genus nor species, and therefore multiple gods are impossible.

The second argument is fairly straightforward – It is impossible for one thing to be multiple things.
If an essence is individuated by itself, it cannot pertain to many.
Because God’s essence is His existence, the divine essence is individuated by itself. The following conclusion is the same as the first. God can not be more than one.

I won’t go into the third due to general laziness and a lack of sufficient cause.

While giving one of my brothers (who is about a decade younger than I) a random quiz on what he is studying in his Religion books, I was given a response to the question: Why can there be only one God?
His answer was remarkably close to that which I gave my grandmother in reply to the same question about ten years ago: “There can be only one God because everything made works together with everything else in the world.”

His argument is that because everything he has observed about the natural world acts and reacts so perfectly together, it seems unreasonable to think that there could be more than one Mind and Designer behind it all. This, from a ten year old who is quite diligent in his reading on natural science, particularly zoology. Rather than strengthening the claim that some have made that knowledge of the world and of God are incompatible, his studies are showing him more and more of the Beauty and Wisdom of his Creator.

When I answered my grandmother ten years ago, I added that if there were many gods then either they would all be equal and thus no Supreme Being.
(It was simple math. Many things equal to one another are all equal.)
My brother this morning, with a little help, got around to that reasoning as well, and also found that if there were many gods, and one of them was ‘higher’ than the rest, that he would be supreme and thus God (according to the definition of God as ‘Supreme Being’).

It seems that anyone can, without having to understand genus or species, form or essence, discover the ‘Oneness’ of Divinity, and I for one find myself relieved to know that it is not necessary to have the intellectual capability that St. Thomas had. If that were so, I for one would be quite lost.

Makes me wonder why most of the world before Christ and for a long time afterwards was pagan; full of people who worshiped multiple gods. Perhaps because there are innumerable spiritual beings who are not in compliance with the Will of God. Demons can (and do) mimic the Truth, appealing to fear and concupiscence, showing the good as something rightfully ones own rather than a gift, displaying the false advertisement of Divinity to men as though we could become gods.

Hopefully more thoughts (I mean actual thoughts) on that later . . .

A Quote

Delving two years back into my Google+ archives I found this, and would like to share it:

“We should have a clear notion of what chivalry is. It is a form of preferential treatment that men once accorded to women generations ago, inspired by the sense that there was something special about women, that they deserve added respect, and that not doing so was uncouth, cowardly and essentially despicable.”
~Pier Massimo Forni

It’s not quite an adequate summary, and I will add that such ‘treatment’ involves all actions of Mind as well as Body, but I saved it nonetheless.

End of a Promise?

When the King should summon me,
To step above this wasted world,
Would you then Love, willingly,
Surrender my heart and let me go?

When the link of our vows be unchained,
And I, your Treasure, through a lifetime guarded,
Long to abandon you for Love,
of God and you, to love you more,
Then might be our sacrament’s test:
‘Do you truly love me?
I love you enough to leave you.
Will you let me go?