Silent Lightning

Silence is a wonderful thing. A friend is a treasure from God. Time is mysterious, and darkness beautiful.

Is the last of the four surprising to be in such a list? I’ve written of time (or Not-Time) before. This is slightly different.
Many people associate darkness with things Not-Good. Maybe that’s because they can’t see what’s in it, and know that (worse), many think that they can’t be seen in it – the former is strange to me and the latter false in more than one way.

Earlier this evening I sat under a tree with a cup of tea, Another, and God. The sun had suffocated beneath piling clouds, or fallen down a mountain. I don’t know which. The day ended as timeless Evening crept forward to stealthily morph into Night.

We left the tree after a bit, walked somewhere down a road I’d never taken, and stopped after a few minutes to watch the clouds over the mountains ignite with brief flares of lightning. I don’t know how long we stood, perhaps twenty minutes.
It was all there – Time, a Friend, Darkness. Nature was raging in front of our eyes and was Silent. I know that somewhere the thunder was heard. It never reached us.

I say that darkness is beautiful (but then I can see rather well in it) because it doesn’t obscure everything – it removes some things and leaves the rest to be seen which otherwise are overlooked.
This particular species of Darkness was an unsteady rippling of light, for brief instances shrouding the starlight in pulses of silver. Other types are the steady moonrise, the waking stars, or bleak and cold, the clouded night.

To look into the darkness is like to do so up at stars or into someone’s eyes. There is everything to be seen, hidden in part by your own eyes, some things to be sought and others to remain Mystery. To know the stars or a person in whom resides the Creator are ways of further knowing Him. There, deep within the cosmos or in the heart and soul of that person, is God. If you look long enough, flashes of some truth shine out.

Look at the stars. I see hundreds of shapes between them, and unknowable points of light. Look at Another person. I wish that I could know the awful and beautiful ‘It’ which is naturally bound to the visible corporeal body, see that facet of God’s infinite beauty in all people – but far away are the stars, my eyes are blind and only God can be ever proximate.

All I know is that Sacred Mystery resides in Heaven, be It found in the eyes of the sky or a soul. And that is why I think darkness is beautiful.

” . . . faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” (Heb. 11:1)

Short Note On Poems

Many people have asked me, “How do you write poetry?”

…I wish I knew.

I started writing poetry about the same time that Algebra started making sense. I never have planned out a poem, be it a 12-liner or a 10-pager (why my prose is so awful) and no thought really went into them until I was finished.

Start with a thought. An idea. Write a few words about it, decide if it sounds like the beginning, middle or end of a poem, and write around it.
Or do the reverse. I’ll often write something that ‘sounds’, and if it sounds like something writable I go with it.

The latest poem here was considered weeks ago. I wrote it in 5 minutes when I had nothing better to do. Seems to be like music. It plays/writes itself out, ends when it wants to, and the artist is just the tool.

The only shred of advice I’ve ever given is this: Start small. Think of the smallest thing you can, write a line that sounds like it and GO.
And write of something you know about or can visualize. The art should not tell anything; I don’t think it ought to show everything. The final piece should work on the reader’s imagination, say enough to make him visualize what you write, but write so he sees only that – vividly.

To Own the Skies

Humanity has longed to be winged, has dreamed and wondered for millennia, and I think for more than we think we do. We want to fly freely, to have power, beauty, to surmount the clouds and see Light Itself. We want not the wings of eagles, but of Seraphim. We know that we want, but not always what –

Such wings would not be an escape from fight, but an overcoming, would they not? A rising to heights above the haze and clouds of mankind’s tragedy until you were not only in sight of the sun in its pure flame, but being consumed by it, burning as it does – radiating the same love with which you are struck, though never diminishing in ashes.

If you dream of flying, and wanting it as a beauty not meant for this life; if you see it as an escape from the ground you belong to – is that not because you were made for more than the confines of a spinning globe, more than a mortal’s lot; was your heart not created to contain eternally true Love and your body to be as beautiful as your soul, reflecting unspeakable Beauty Itself?

A Correction

Five days ago I put up a post: ‘Being a Challenge’.
One paragraph has a Problem.

(A thought on the side; maybe those in Hell are doomed to a name in the same way with which they are forced bear for eternity? We don’t know because St. John was shown a vision of Heaven and not the Other Place. Either way, each person chooses the name he will be . . . )

I said that the Evangelist was shown a ‘Vision of Heaven and not’ Hell.
This…is not correct, as anyone who has read the Book of Revelations can tell you.
He saw the New Jerusalem and what was in it. He also saw Babylon and the destruction of its people in the lake of fire.
My statement was much in need of qualification; it may have been better to say that he didn’t see what life in Hell was like as he did that of Heaven, though – can I say that?
That he doesn’t see what ‘life in Hell’ is like is true in one sense, as Hell is eternal death and separation from everything that is Good.
In another, it is false as ‘life’ can be read and understood as ‘existence’.

But still. I will proudly blame my blunders on the cloudy day during which they were writ, and move on.

Thanks go to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen for making me realize this error.
I may write a rant based on the above quote later…

‘Inspirational Quotes’

This evening, due to a certain level of pain or something else (I’ll leave you to construct circumstances with basically no information) I am leaving off the more serious thoughts which I planned to write, and instead looking at something which has always bothered me in a small way: So-called ‘Inspirational Quotes’.
That’s right, I’m putting aside St. John Bosco for a bit and ranting; to be honest this is mostly because Life at Present is leaving me little time for solid thinking due to Things and Otherwise.

Now don’t get me wrong, many of these provide some food for thought. It’s just that some ‘food’ isn’t worth eating over many other options, and the message behind SO MANY is plain L.A.M.E.

Let’s take a look at a few random ones that I came across:

Alright – No limits save those you place on your own thinking. So…if I think enough my capabilities will increase? If I think and believe that I can fly with shoelaces for wings, I’ll be able to?

When he says ‘accomplish’, does he mean ‘accomplish within the ordinary limits of human physiology and physics’?

Ok….what? Yes, if there’s an effect there is a cause. I’m not even sure how this would be inspirational.
“You sir, have a purpose. Knowing that is where you can start to achieve something.”
OK, let’s get a little bit realistic here. This is true…but you know, eventually the sun will set. Every day, in fact. You will get a horribly sunburned face and might go blind from having constant solar radiation contact. Your neck will become unbearably stiff and cramped between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Ok. THIS is just blatantly false. The stars are seen at night because the light of the sun doesn’t swamp theirs’. HOWEVER, the stars shine 24/7, and are not dependent on the absence of light to produce light.
Yes, from all bad things, good is drawn, by the wisdom of God. No, evil is not necessary for good to exist, nor does the resultant good justify the bad actions, you Gnostic raggabrash.
Hm…..Anyone who has tried looking at the stars while walking down the sidewalk (particular readers have seen me try) knows that it’s asking for disaster.

There are hundreds more. I didn’t even get to the ‘Believe in Yourself’ and other really sappy ones.
And I know, a lot are meant to be taken figuratively. Sure, they can put a certain light on a situation. I just don’t get why so many make a huge deal about them when there is better stuff like this:

I was just kidding. Here we are, Don Bosco, talking about you a little. (Very Little)

He’s an excellent spiritual director. Just look up and reread that sentence.

Working well and being patient with others is mortification and a way to sanctity. It worked for Dominic Savio. He’s a saint now, largely because he listened to this good priest.

That’s all I really have time for tonight. Perhaps later on I will put my next poem on here along with Thoughts.

Pray for me!

‘My Kingdom is Not of This World’.

Well, it’s been just over a month since the last post. So many things have happened since then that I had little time to keep up here. Finishing a year at college, travels, settling into a new routine with work and Getting Sick mixed in took up a significant amount of time.

But here I am at last, with a Partial-Maybe (short) answer to a question/idea/odd notion which has been in my head for years, and will probably never leave since if nothing else, it is fun to mentally exploit.

The Tenth Crusade: Why not, right? Why did all the past crusades fail, and…could we get the tenth one going?

It came to me a week ago that Christ gave us the answer: “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36)

Christianity (TRUE Christianity) was never meant to be established permanently here. The world is it’s base, to bring the world to God, but the Kingdom of God is not OF the world – just IN it.
The War for the Cross is ongoing. It just doesn’t necessarily mean starting a physical war. That’s what the world does; utilizing only things it understands for its own ends. Until such a time as we are summoned to God, our fight involves nothing more than doing what is given us to do in our own capacity and time.
Establishing fortresses of stone and conquering lands with swords won’t win you Heaven, and it may not aid anyone else. For most of us, doing that would be far beyond our physical limitations, to speak nothing of the spiritual.
Getting up every day and living every moment in Charity, accomplishing each task, being patient with the next little sibling; like steel rings that make up a coat of mail, all those little things will eventually come together and habitually guard your soul.

NOT, mind you, that this in any way means I won’t do something odd like flying a Knights Templar flag at the Walk For Life next year. . . I just won’t be going all-out and summoning a secret war council in Constantinople on September 2nd. (Please tell me you know how ironic that would be.)

**I hope to one day prepare a fully-organized rant. A goal of mine this summer is to accomplish that.

Blood-Moon: The Eclipse

As embers blacken, smould’ring red,
Living fire from what was once dead,
First they grow dark, to burst into light,
So have we seen the Moon tonight.

It scorched by light’s absence,
Then ignited in the lonely undying cold.
Whispers across the cosmos bare,
Shuddered for fear, trembled the air,
And pale wights turned their mindless eyes,
To the star-struck heavens, though fearing the skies.
A tremour they felt and by fading light,
The warning was passed – “The Moon bleeds tonight”.

No blade nor shaft by one was seen,
To cause the fading of empearled gleam,
From radiance of ice to a fiery shell;
But the spirit groaned and faded to hell.
Wraiths turned about swiftly, gloating mid-flight,
Flew off to spread words – “The Moon bleeds tonight”.

The light which ever fluctuated slowly,
Now yields its pure beams to the fire and blood,
Reflecting the woes of humanity’s grounds,
For but this short hour, remorse it has found.
All peoples stopped living, were rooted in fright,
“How is it that this – the Moon – bleeds tonight!”

In those little moments, our history’s laid,
With light we percieve what our misdeeds have made.
From full shining glory, to fading then black,
From blackness to bleeding, what hearts we have lack,
And Fire! the Blood! What a fate lies ahead,
The misery, torment – Oh unholy dead!
So surely ye die! all fall in your plight,
And doom is so certain – The Moon bleeds tonight!

And Hope never finds us, if what skies portend,
Spoke wholly of fate, as if we could not mend,
What was rent by the first, who started the eclipse,
Still stand all! Heedlessly bound in watching the fall,
Every soul speechless views with delight,
The anguished moon rising – And bleeding tonight.

But hold. It passes, is fading away.
Mournful that the evil could not stay,
We move back to living, by hell bound no more,
And the souls are not transfixed as they had been before.
Oh foolish children, if only you’d seen,
What under the mysteries, all of these mean!

The passing of gory signs in the sky,
Speaks out that not all ever must die.
A coming is not an eternity,
But beginning has ended, and reading we,
Could know such a horror as this that you saw,
Was the passing of the ancient demoniac law.
From white, black and red, from living to dead,
And red then to black – life, but purity lack,
The moon’s a reflection – humanity’s soul,
As war is waged ever, eternally won,
So now is again reflecting the sun,
A pure orb glist’ning, both shining as one.

Though for a short while mankind was ablaze,
A-lost in the gore and the dread ruddy haze,
And yet it may fall back into ancient rites,
Always returns to as it was before,
You may know, all you warriors, God’s winning the war:
And search out the grace from Lucifer’s blight,
Rejoice and stand fast when the Moon bleeds tonight.

Midnight Thought # 3

It’s that hour again. 11:00 p.m. Something about Finals Week (the mental equivalent of the Chinese slow death) makes me want to stay up and review the already re-reviewed Latin course of this past semester. There’s not much we can do about that – I know as much as I will. I’m staying up later than I should because when I am tired and unable to think efficiently, I can ‘think Latin’ comparatively better than if I’m alive.

Over the past several days, Ideas have popped up and been logged for posts which actually talk about something. Quite a few Ideas, in fact.

  1. A rant on the lack of respect (of others and self) in Society In General
  2. Moral Relativism among . . . yea, just a bunch of humans including many ‘Catholics. (assume that would be a rant as well)
  3. Answering some questions asked by a couple friends about the veil and dressing properly at Mass.
  4. Answering more questions from the same people mentioned in #3 about modesty of dress in general (that would turn into a rant – going back to #1)
  5. One heck of a whoppin’ long rampage concerning the many problems our ‘culture’ (if I dare call it that) has with ‘dating’ and expectations with relationships, respect for women, basic courtesy in general – I could include a special section for ‘social media dating’.
  6. The Tenth Crusade. No more be said.
  7. Heck, I could just put the first 6 in a proper order and make ’em all into one.

The image for this post is Our Lady of Fatima. It was that or the Apocalypse. No, not zombies, I’m talking about the Apocalypse. World ending. Fire. Angels throwing a censor full of God’s Wrath onto this orb of cosmic dust.

I decided on the image of Our Lady instead. The message of Fatima is, 102 years later, even more important that it was at the beginning, and Our Lady and her words are still being overlooked, ignored, or unknown by a miserable majority.
Now that I think of it, many things she said could be worked in to several of those ‘Post/Rant Ideas.’

I’m going to turn in, presumably sleep at some point, and will try to get one of those 7 things written within the next 2 weeks.

*Question: What is ‘Emerald Dew’?

Another Midnight Thought: Confusion

Good evening! It’s almost the morning of tomorrow, but the night is still young. I’ve been thinking of one of the Impossible-To-Understand Things. (Two things, actually) Care to jump in?

Do you ever consider that each second brings you closer to your death, but not an instant closer to the end of your story?

(1). We have an Author who wrote us into His book, with a beautiful and mysterious beginning but no end. I can’t fathom how that works, but nobody can.
(2). You are literally forming the quality of the unimaginable length of being that you will have. We’re here as long as we need to be to make a choice, given thousands of little options (and several major ones) concerning how we choose, and then the rest of eternity to endure the consequent results.

I don’t know that ‘being’ is measured in length, because that ‘length’ has to be of something, and existence doesn’t have size in the manner with which we are concerned. ‘Length of time’ we could say, but is there time to eternity? Certainly not as we know ‘time’.

I’ve been talking about this with a friend while writing, and am consistently becoming more confused. Like I said at the start, it’s an Impossible Thing.

No, wait. I rambled on to another thought: We’re in eternity already. Our existence is forever and right now we’re in the first tiny stage of it.

I could go on for a few hours, but I, being a human, require sleep, and it’s early morning now.

Short little thing here, but it is just a Thought, and may be continued at any time. Do feel free to contribute to Thoughts.

‘Trust the Past to the Mercy of God, the Present to His Love, the Future to His Providence.’ ~ St. Augustine

Why are we told to trust the ‘Past’ to ‘Mercy’, ‘Present’ to ‘Love’ and ‘Future’ to ‘Providence’?

The Past is filled with failings of our own, acts based on weakness and lack of Charity. Trusting in God’s Mercy, we have Hope of a holy future.

The Present can be a time of doubt, of spiritual blindness, uncertainty, fear. With Faith in the Love of God – belief of It though we can not always see it – we know that He will guide us in Love, we have only to follow.

The Future is more clouded oftentimes than the Present. Similar to the difficulties of the Present, we have to let all things fall into the masterful hands of the Creator and by living our lives based on what is required now, set the path for a Future agreeable to Him.

Faith comes through prayer. At all times, when in doubt – Pray. If you can not mentally pray, do so physically. Be in the presence of God, for you are at any moment, every place. If possible find the Blessed Sacrament and be with Him as He suffers for sinners. Keep mutual company in the spiritual loneliness.

In any difficulty, if you need to act, to speak, to do anything, pray for guidance first that all you do may be with, in and for Love.