Being a Challenge

Prepare for an unexpected dive into a random topic:
I have had Thoughts assemble (grudgingly on this cloudy day) and thus have put them down here.

I always did like St. Michael, and not for one reason. He is, firstly, an angel. Those tend to be spectacular beings of themselves, evil or not. He is among the legions of angels devoted to loving and serving God forever, so there’s that going for him too. (That’s made obvious by the abbreviated ‘Sanctus’ before his name…in case you were wondering.)
Those named after him have as their patron saint, the centurion of Christ’s armies – and what a name has he!

Names on earth, like all worldly things, are temporary. St. John the Evangelist speaks of a new name – a secret name, known to the person and God alone – given to all in Paradise, and one can only imagine what it could be. I imagine that it will perfectly describe the person as he is.

(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 . . . being nameless, without meaning and identity may be among the greater intellectual torments.)

I assume that the angels all have names as unique as the species of each, already set in stones, and the few that we know are rusted-down versions so that we poor fools can understand them a little.

We know what the Archangel’s name means: ‘Quis ut Deus? – Who is like God?’
It’s not a rhetorical question (the answer being ‘Nobody’ or ‘Everybody’ depending on your argument and both can be correct), nor a statement that he is like God, but a challenge. A defiant battle-cry at the fleeing demons. Who IS like God?

It’s a challenge to us as well. ‘ All you commanded to be perfect as the Father is – Who is like God?’ and then if the angels have humour as I’d like them to, he’d ask ‘Who among you is?’ – Not specifically directed at individual persons, if only to extract the usual answer to start a philosophical debate.

We stand here, heads down, kicking the dust nervously and deliver the expected reply with minds full of humanity’s failings and voices full of woe: “…Nobody….”

And the vibrant commander of myriad superlegions laughs.

Are You Lonely?

“Are you lonely child, or
Lost amidst a lengthening night?
I stand here timeless waiting for
You to speak to me, the Light.

Are you lonely, dearest heart?
Do you wish to rest secure?
Sleep in faith. About you are
My warriors shining from afar.

Are you lonely, love of mine?
Is your soul a holy shrine?
Therein my Heart will take abode,
If you will but have me.”

…If at night awake you lie,
Pray with He who chose to die,
In the Hour of Darkness; with Him take a part,
Give comfort to the suffering Heart.

‘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.

A Midnight Thought

Good evening!
Yes, it is rather late and close to tomorrow, but sleep is a thing that happens when there is nothing else to do or one becomes too tired to stay awake.
There are too many things to think about right now: So many ways to improve as a man, not enough time in a life to do it properly. Different and many little steps to take in making sure I get where I need to go for the next 12 months, which will lead me to where I should be for the next however-many-years I have in life, which will hopefully get me to the eternity I was created for.
That’s only a couple things, and plenty to occupy me for now. Does it not distract from the purpose of being in bed? Sure it does! And well it might, there’s little I can do about it unless you wish me to manually stop the process of thinking. That could be arranged but I’d not be fit for much after (not that it would be anything radically new).

In the recent months, peace of soul has been elusive. Changes, mistakes, consequences of the fallen state of my human nature; it’s been a lengthy class in Surviving and Recovering from Life – or just a taste of it really.

How does one cling on to some fragment of spiritual peace?
I say ‘Go to Mass’, and ‘Visit Christ often.’ In a world so focused on always the next thing, never a time to rest, the unchanging God waits for us. If so distracted, how does one even remember to try to do this?
Well, find a friend, and a good one. A friend that will remind you to get up and go to Mass; a friend who (somehow) tolerates your mild insanity, repeated mistakes and mindless flaws and helps you correct them.
The best of friendships are based on Virtue – if you have someone who has the will to be more like Christ, keep that person as a treasure from God – he or she will help you closer to Him if you so allow.

In a mysterious way, she could be a moral shield in those (seemingly random) moments of trial, a little light in the sanctuary who reminds you of the presence of God . . . more to come on that next time.

Ichorian Slumber

Slowly moon-rise wakes the stars,
Throwing webs of dew across
A field, a cloud, a tired mind,
Creeping along like waking moss.

Clouds burn red behind the sun,
Black clouds, like embers smouldering,
Smoking and fading into the sky,
A fire of heaven consumed but not burning.

The sky was open, stars and clouds,
The failing sun, the misty shrouds,
And mortal minds were twined within,
Falling between ancient images.

The noise of the tomb deafened the world,
And through the stars like thought was hurled,
A ray, cold beam, last fleeting gasp,
Of this day’s light, like a finger groping,
At a mind’s resting, or warm wind breathing,
Heart pulsing slowly, beating out grieving . . .

Every day ends in such hallowed prose,
Heaven soft-shaded with blood from a rose.

Easter Sunday

Darkness. It filled the world, overflowed the sky. For a day the sun shone helplessly on the earth, and then it sank sobbing, in a bloody anger, down into the cold mountains. For a second time, night came but the world was no darker for it. We waited, hoping for the impossible.

A light shone in the darkness. It was a spark which touched a dry palm leaf; a breath of wind kissed it and in as little time as could be, a flame rose up, caught little sticks, and the whole rose like a fountain of light and heat, defying the night with a bold light.
From this fire candles were lit, and the dark fled from the Church.

Christ is risen!
Yes, ring those bells, be silent no more. Sing the song of the angels at His birth as he re-enters the world from the grave.

The Lord is risen! Once for all time, Sin’s dark power was annihilated and life won for all men.

Christus surrexit! The Temple has been raised up though brought to the ground. For the first time in millennia we can worship with Hope.

Dominus surrexit! He lived and died for all, He now rises for all. Forever He lives, King of Heaven and Master of Hell. He holds the keys.

(There is no mention of the Blessed Mother at this time, but I personally think that she was among the first, if not the first to see Him.
She shared the sorrow of the Cross, I’m rather certain that she just as fully shared in the joys of the Resurrection.)

Death is dead and the One who called Himself ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’ is now eternally among the living. Follow Him now, up to your Calvary and die to live with Him.

May you all have a peaceful and blessed Easter Season, and share in the happiness of the Risen Christ.