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?

To See Over the Mountains

“In every friendship hearts grow and entwine themselves together, so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That is why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.”

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

It is always painful in some measure to leave a person you love. I’ve been repeatedly reminded of this fact today, and in reflecting on the words of this holy man, was reminded of something that I was told by an instructor in August 2018 while out in the mountains.

“Think of how Mary felt on Calvary, how much she was hurt. She knows more than anyone what pain separation from a loved one can be.”

There are times when it is impossible to understand why God directs or permits circumstances – at least in the more immediate sense. His Will is nothing but the good of each individual, the ultimate end for which He designed us. A temporary distancing and hurt can, if we so permit, be to guide us away from a permanent hell and closer to the resurrection.
He never takes away something permanently, we just have to be patient and trust Him.

. . . Usually easier to say than to act upon, isn’t it?

One can’t see what is beyond the mountain without first climbing it (or going around, but that’s a much longer journey). In some cases, one can literally see over the mountains while taking the first step upwards.
That’s what I saw over the mountains.

A Muted World: Thoughts

The sunrise never came. Snow above, underfoot, in the air – everything crystallized, cold, solid. Whispers of wind swirled spark’ling silver in the dusky dawn. The only fragments of the past were threadlike thoughts, twined within the breeze, remnants of yesterday’s time – The cries of a silenced world. You might have heard them if you weren’t quiet enough.

Is winter a time of death? Gloom and melancholy?
I think it is rather a time of silence and rest, made so that men must let Creation rest.

Noise runs rampant today, unbridled and coarse. Silence brings about reflection and the world fears to know itself lest it know the Truth. Our race prefers the cold groan of ice to the still of a summer evening, a bleak sky to the stars; To be blind than realize ourselves to be wrong, and be deafened by our machinations rather than hear the loving whisper of God.

There was a time when the world was ice to the core. It froze when the first father chose wrongly, and has only been thawing slowly for two millennia. Each time mankind challenges God, the chilling frost of Hell blows louder in acclamation. Evil does not realize (or proudly denies) that God can force Hell’s fires against the ice and turn the kingdom of rebels against itself to destruction.

Though sometimes painful and bleak, wintertime is a beautiful thing. Within the lack of colour and life, quiet and cold, shimmers anticipation of Life, warmth, and until then, a comforting of silence in a muted world.

A Poem…Five Years Ago

A pearled orb of sunlit stone,
On a course encompassing the world,
The lesser light to rule the night,
Across the sky since dawn of time,
On unceasing voyages has been hurled.

Like each of us, the moon can shine,
But it has a darker side:
Cold and dark, a frozen plain,
A broken surface, strewn with faults,
If not concealed: this lack of light,
Would any ever see by night?

O’er countless generations it carefully,
Makes sure its dark side is never seen.
It shines brighter than any star,
Yet does not boast, knowing it’s gleam
Like all gifts was given by God,
And if it has no light to shed,
It simply is not seen.

I can not help but wistfully,
Think of what our lives could be,
If we’d take an example from the Moon;
Never let others, our dark side see.