Saturday, November 01, 2003

A Martian Bible
by John Mark Butterworth (C)2001

Martian Prophecies

Fathers have left their homes and made widows
of wives, orphans of their children saying -
"pleasure is my first desire. I will go
and seek it. I owe nothing to others."
And ruin follows on their heels, while none
console the widows and orphans but say -
"here is the field of poverty. Labor
from dawn to dusk and glean bad dreams at night."
This angers the Lord. He sends destruction to
the land. No one but the upright have rest.
The tornado and the hurricane
appears and breaks the roofs of idiot peace;
rivers rise and flood the plains of false calm;
earthquakes shatters towns and no one says -
"I will turn back to God and do his will."
They pay no tithes to God but swell the merchant's vaults
and say - "insure us that we may be safe from wrath."
They call misfortune - luck; and boon - their just
reward, but place no hope or trust in God.
The upright are few. The Lord protects them.
Though they suffer, glory consoles them.
Who will console the wicked? Who gives rest
to those whose evil stains the land with blood;
who worship Self and sacrifice the children
God has made? Where have the fathers gone,
those who were to lead their families
in love and truth? They left their fields to chase
a whore, seduced by vanity.

The Lord says -
" I hate divorce." But who has listened?
"I made you fertile that you may be blessed.
I crowned you with my crown of life, but who
respects my will, esteems my friendship,
honors gifts that bless your being? Who
is faithful to my teaching? Who knows why
they live and how I bless the humble?
Did I not leave my word among you? Did I,
your God, not raise the dead and send
my spirit into men? Was I not perfect
with love? Has Man no need to be saved?
Why do men cry out for mercy while they sin
and ask for power to continue sinning?
Why do neighbors scorn each other, begrudge
communion, and reason not together?"

"The fire has come and is coming. Do I
cease to warn and punish? Do I
fail to call you to repentance? Is my Son
not among you to this day, healing distress?
And still you will not look and listen.
Still you scurry into darkness like the cockroach
when light appears exposing error."

"I have struck at the unchaste and foul -
they refuse to be warned. I have struck
the divorced, even their children, but they don't
repent. I have struck your leaders blind,
and no one sees they have no vision.
I have struck the drunkard and the lotus-eater,
and they look up in a stupor for a hiding place.
I have struck the proud, the vain, the giddy -
all their fruit is barren yet they do not reel.
I have yoked the laborer to a grindstone
where he's muzzled at the mill - and still
he does not ask for holy days - but mindless and numb,
he trudges on asleep and wants no Sabbath."

"I have struck the vain with sickness
but no physician teaches prayer and faith.
I have struck mighty Jupiter with comets
yet astronomers don't tremble at my name."

"Teachers teach that I am nice. My angels cut
their throats. Teachers teach that I am many.
Demons eat their hearts. My mercy is
a flaming sword. I terrify the penitent
that they may die to sin and know reward."

"I have struck the merchants. They give false measure.
I have struck the judges. They side with evil.
I have struck the poor. They seek revenge.
I have struck the rich. They love only wealth.
I have struck the householder. They know only debt.
Yet everyday I offer peace and mercy to all.
Everyday I offer bread of life and wine of joy.
Everyday I offer reconciliation.
Everyday I offer healing of the sick
and blessings to the married, living water
to infants and the unclean. My servants labor
ceaselessly for all who cry for peace.
I have forsaken none. Not even the worst
among you is refused my saving grace."

"I hate divorce and infidelity.
Change your ways, your laws, your acts, and be redeemed.
My love is boundless and my gifts are great.
Eternity is measureless and rich
for those who do my will; worse than death
for those who won't. People - learn holy fear!"

So many cry to know you, Lord, but who
will pay the price, the serious price of love
and agony? Instead, fear rules our lives
and makes us little; hardly worth your notice.
Fear is the faithkiller. Trust is salvation.
Sincerity supported by conviction,
that makes for joy which spreads out far and wide.
Simplicity is perfect when it knows
what you, what love, requires - only then
you live; and men's beliefs are swept away.
For what are men's beliefs when you are certain?
What are men's catalogues of words and reason when
the Lord is living and terrifying?
What are the dust of thoughts meant to define
when you are a raging and consuming fire?

Will not men see, and stand in awe, and cease
their endless chatter of themselves? Won't men hear,
and sing their souls in sweet response to life,
your living flame of pure being, gift after gift?
Who will scourge grossness and dross out of us?
Who will call forth the hopeless and the fat,
each one entwined by grace to reach for you?
If you don't do these things, dear God, who can?
Then make me do it, Lord. Make me your mouth.
Make me your fearless light and enchanting song.
Make me pay your serious price on love.

"Who has been faithful?" God asks.
"You sterilize your bodies, destroy fertility,
and ask for blessings on your unions -
married and unmarried.

You divorce
and remarry, divorce and remarry again
and without shame demand blessings.
You work and work for money and for useless things
and let your children spoil untended,
unguided, unloved - and you want blessings!

Men lie with men, women with women,
and call evil good and want blessings
from all in praise and approval.
You have lost your minds.
You have gone insane.
Can no one among you reason from the heart
and hear God speaking what is true and good for Man?

The shepherds of my people, everyone
has become a liar and a fraud: teaching
what I never taught them; doing what
I never asked; lying for the sake of power
and position, wealth and comfort:
everyone of them a liar and hypocrite -
from Rome to Athens to Canterbury and Wittenburg;
to every fractured body of my Son.
Everyone a liar and a hypocrite!"

"Are there not ten men or women who know me?"
cries the Lord. "Are there not ten who take
after my own heart? Are there five? Or even one?
All are perverse and change my Word
to suit perversity. Who calls me - Father -
and does my will? Not one. Not one!
Who calls me Jesus, takes up their cross
and follows me? Not one. Not one!
Who calls me Holy Spirit and can read
the Scriptures truly and in Love? Not one. Not one!"

"Who understands mercy and love? Who understands peace?
Who among you knows prayer wherein I may
be known? Is there one? Maybe one. Are there two?
Maybe two. Are there three? There are not three today."

"The day of reckoning comes. It comes soon.
All priests, all shepherds of every faith
shall die. They led all astray, everyone of them.
All people, all children of every faith
shall die. Each followed only their own hearts.
Soon the world shall know I am the Lord!
Soon the world shall see the Living God!
Soon the world shall hear of all its sins."

"Do not my creatures, my human children kill
their young and claim it is their right?
Who gave them this right? I never did!"
says the Lord.

"My creatures are enslaved to sin, and worship money,
pleasure, power, and themselves. They hate
all report of me," says the Lord. "Even they
who say they love and believe in my will,
they do their own and call it good."

"They have
no chastity or purity, no faith in marriage vows.
And all my virgins, men and women,
are fornicators with strange doctrines - new
inventions that I never taught."

"Oh how
black they've made my Bride, and how they twist
my holy words to do their will to satisfy
their love of power, pride, and cruelty.
They have no purity or simple trust and love.
They are not my children. My children are not
word twisters and wranglers, justifiers of power
and oppression. My children love one another,
and always sit down and reason together.
My children are wise as I am wise
(which is folly to the learned). My children
are merciful because I am mercy. Generous
because I am kind. Loving because I am perfect.
My children love me because I love them.
They listen and pray, pray and listen for me.
How shall they die? They shall die in peace.
No one can hurt them. I let no one touch them.
Their enemies do not know where to look for them.
They are under the folds of my wings. Who
can find them? No one. They are invisible.
How many are my children? Too few, too few!
Is there one? Maybe one. Are there two? Maybe two.
Are there three. There are not three today.
Too many, even those who say they're mine, sin
and say they do not sin; are not contrite or broken
in their hearts; have no emptiness within where
I may find a place of rest and share my peace."

"Whom have I revealed myself to? I have promised
and I keep my promise. Who among you has seen me?
Is there one? Maybe one. Are there two? Maybe two.
Are there three? There are not three today.
(Yet many who are easily deceived.)"

"Let this one or these two die and not another take
their place, and the world will end. I, the Lord,
hate the world and all its evil.
Let it all be evil and it shall be destroyed;
cleansed for eternity for my adopted sons and daughters."

"I am Love and I shall restore Love in all Creation.
I will kill every enemy of mine, every rebel - human
and spirit.

Are you reborn? Then be reborn!
Act reborn! Suffer for my sake. Rejoice for my sake."

"I have come before you. I have appeared among you.
I have given you all that you have from age to age.
I have fed you, housed and clothed you, nursed and cleansed you.
Is there anything, I, the Lord, have failed to do?"

"Even as you turn away from me and pray to do evil,
I have allowed you your own wills. And when
you've made yourself sick and vile in your sin,
I have reclaimed you and restored you."

"I have loved you and never ceased to love you,
yet you do not respond. You do not know
the meaning of love. You pervert all my advice
and guidance into labyrinths of law that few
may enter to emerge in purity
and simple wisdom.

I have hid myself
deep in your hearts where no one goes
to seek my face and love. You are ashamed
to feel my presence, mercy, and forgiveness.
You are ashamed to be humble, gentle people.
You are ashamed to set down pride and rights;
to live instead in my embrace: protective peace."

"If you sin and do wrong, will I fail to forgive
that one who repents? But who among you
seeks to know and understand the wrong you do,
and repent of it? You do not know your evil.
Not in the greatest sin or in the least.
You do not know that I hate all sin: the least as much as
the greatest. No one with the smallest stain
of sin can come into my presence.
Thus will I cleanse my children perfectly."

"You do not trust I can and shall deliver you
of every sin. You have no faith in me, your God
and master. Yet, I love you and traipse after you."

"You are pitiful fools. The glory of glorious love,
the light of warming fire, the joy of perfect peace
is before you always, but you chase shadows
as dogs chase after their own tails. Pitiful humans."

"Oh, my dear priest, why have you become
my enemy? Why do you try to kill
Christ twice? Oh, how you murder hope,
derange the children's faith, and fill your bellies
fat with false authority. Eyes blind,
ears deaf, mouths full of lying piety,
deceitful doctrines, false witness and false
humility. You cry, "Lord, Lord" but you don't know me!
Woe to you and woe to all who will not love;
to all whose fear has hedged their hearts from faith.
Oh, filthy priests awash in children's blood.
Merciless priest, ignorant confessor.
In death, you'll judge yourselves and die. My Word,
my covenant can't hold against despisers
of love, of justice, of mercy, of wisdom, and trust.
My will is done in Heaven, yours in Hell.
Oh, men of pestilential prudence:
the unwisdom of proud timidities.
Oh, cautious 'safe bet' creatures. How you say -
'no one ever went to Hell who played it safe.'
Fools! Many go to Hell who play it safe!
who trust in safety as a shield from wrath.
The creatures of fear have chosen their fate
and broken faith with me, the Lord your God.
Sins of omission! Sins of omission!
The failure to love is sin. The failure to live
is death! The failure to trust is murder.
Sins of omission! Take heed and study love!
Repent and be healed. Repent and be loved.
Repent and learn humility, compassion,
and sincerity or you shall surely wail.
If you will not love, you will fear
and then will I not be a terror to you?"

"Just as you think the free salvation of your souls
is Truth too good to be true, how could I speak
to you about the innocence you shall enjoy,
the childishness of Heaven in my grace,
the vast inheritance, the new estate to come?
If I began to tell you of the simpleness and
easy purity I offer you, you'd scorn it with
a laugh and say it's an idiot's dream;
only a child could believe it.

And you'd be right.
It is only for my dear and simple children.
And you'd trade Heaven for your sarcasm
against contrition, healing, and sincerity.
And you would miss the power and the glory,
the vast rewards and huge authority
I grant my children - those who suffer
as I will and share in my Son's passion."

"You do not seek to know the depth
of my simplicity.

I am the youngest child
of all. Is there not North and South
to a magnet? I am simpler than that.
Are there not four ingredients to life?
I am much simpler. Is there not matter
and its opposite? And simple hydrogen?
Is water not a simple thing?

I am much simpler.
How often do the clouds resemble
a seashore, sand dunes, or a mountain?
I am simpler. How often does a lake
become a mirror of the land and sky?
I am simpler.

When you feel my Presence
among you, in your midst - I am simpler still.
You have your books of law, your rules of order:
I am too simple for that. You have crafty doctrines
and logical sciences. I am too simple for them.
You desire to avoid suffering. I desire to grant it.
You fear injustice. I love that you endure it (yet never do wrong).
You desire knowledge. I love blind trust.
You desire consolation. I love your dark
and arid groaning, your hunger and helplessness.
You desire safety. I love your weakness.
You desire honor. I exalt a nobody.
You desire comfort. I love poverty.
You desire power. I love submission.
You love to order. I love obedience."

"I am simpler than thinking can make.
Stop thinking. You may begin then to discover me.
Stop thinking. Do not stop knowing. Learn
the difference. Mercy and Love can teach it.
Be pure. It is the only way to the Way,
the Son, the Holy Spirit, the reign of God."

I am not Religion though I bind up
souls together in companies of friends.
I am not a Book of words, nor a Creed.
I am Love. Love is wise and terrible.
I have given Man suffering in life;
vast suffering and divine silence to
endure. All human joy in things I've made,
in things of sense, at last is useless. All
is but a ladder leading up to God.
I grant ease from pain and torment, for I
am mercy. I give grace to all that is,
for I am creation's song.

Yet I hide
from Man. I am plain and simple. Still,
I hide. I tax beyond endurance, break
men down. I knock them to their knees and make
them cry for peace and beg for their salvation;
for men are hard, wicked, and cruel; or soft,
pathetic, and despairing. I destroy
the puny minds of men and smash their bodies on
the rock of time and death.

But if men knew
my love, would turn to me, how glorious
all suffering would look to them, would be
to follow when it culminates in joy
unbound and infinite. None can escape
the will of God nor overcome their dread.
My will is done. Everything is complete.
Eternity is full and time had fled
except Man waits for his fulfillment.

what mercy is and why I am humble.
I am your God yet weaker than an infant.
I am your paradox: your certainty
and your uncertainty. I make men crave
relief from puzzlement and pain through prayer.
I am the only way to joy and heaven.
I am misery itself and men must pass
through me, through fire, to be free of fear.
Who can prevail against the Lord? No one;
and yet, so many die who think they did.
How tiny, insect-like, are minds like those
who never know the Lord is One and All.
The towns and cities are full of deaf men
who babble an endless idiot noise
of selfish, proud, and puny thoughts.

My will
is done. All men shall be brought before me.
All men shall learn that they have souls immortal.
All men shall see the glory that is Love
unfurl His banner of Eternal Light.
The Son shall stand and shine and men shall shake
while saints shall sing and dance and laugh for joy.
And all are saved who will, at last, be saved.

God made me flesh. I shall feel many things.
God gave me eyes to see, a tongue to taste,
a nose to smell, and ears to hear. I have
a mouth for speech. Shall I not speak? Shall I
never embrace a woman again nor
make children from this form God made for me?
I shall indeed have life again; and taste,
smell, see, hear, touch, and know to sing a song
of love and joy. I shall know perfect grace,
and live again as I do now, but pure
in every way.

Shall I not know a breeze
and if it's warm or cool? Shall I not know
a bowl of stew with salt and pepper? Will
I not hear music? If I dance, my feet
must touch the ground and press the earth. Have I
not muscles which must know of work?

I'm not
a ghost, a spirit that may ever float
through life. I have a form and senses that
will feast on something. Someone? Yes, God
and all that God will give his children. Dream.
Yes, endless dream. Real dream. True dream. Glad dream
where flesh fits our souls without demands,
but only One commands and all is well.
Forever as a Day. We'll be astonished!

All have a place in the councils of God.
There is no hierarchy in Heaven.
There is only respect, merit, and love.
Did He who took the form of slave do so
that He might live to lord it over men?
He died and rose to save; to liberate,
not subjugate; enlighten, not oppress.
God is God: impregnable yet pregnant;
Father, yet friend; master of all, yet wife
or husband to each - each soul's dearest lover.
Can He who is not shy to lowliness
allow His kingdom to look and act
a pyramid of souls? Or rather will He not
construct a circle, a ball,or spiral for
a place where all may stand as close to God
as each close to every other one:
no one exceeding any other's reach;
all graspable, all at liberty.
Heaven has no government except love.

And the Lord said to me, "will you speak
these words to the assembly and prophesy
against the priests?"

"No," I told the Lord.
"If I tell these prophecies, they'll throw me out.
They will not listen; they will not care;
they will do nothing but call police
to throw me out. There are no prophets now,
dear Father. They've locked them all inside
a book. Nothing stings the men of power and
authority these days. They have no fear
of God and hardly fear of other men.
Besides, my Lord, you did not send me here
to fight, contend, dispute, and criticize.
You sent me here to love, to learn affection
for your children: to see them as you see them,
full of love for them even as they are.
For was I not once lost, afraid, and lonely?
Was I not a fool, a viper, and deluded?
Was not I a selfish king and god of self?"

"Well said," said God to me. "Indeed, I let
you suffer evil and commit all sins.
I did not raise one finger to destroy you,
yet, I have destroyed you - all by love.
Write down these prophecies. I'll make them true
in time. I shall destroy the priests and Rome -
that den of deluders and delusions.
I shall destroy it all by patience and by love.
Shall they persevere in evil? Yes, and do
much harm to children that I love, and yet
there'll be an end to it in time. I will guide my sheep.
The priests are liars. I never chose them to rule,
to command, to manage, administer, or speak
for me. I choose my servants with greater care.
My servants are the hidden knights of love,
my penitents who are not sad but joyful;
not busy, but prayerful; not pressured,
but kind and graceful; not vengeful, but forgiving;
not forward, but quiet; not boisterous, but wise;
not angry, but tender and trusting in me, the Lord.
How have I made them so? I have drawn them
through fire. I have tortured and afflicted them.
I have taught them all through suffering.

will teach the world as well. The priests shall die,
deluded by their lies, and face the Truth.
Then shall they weep for their cowardly lives,
their lives of fear and untruth. They shall recall
the harm they did and suffer worse for it.
But let them suffer. Let the world suffer, too,
for I AM and will be known; and will
be known for love and mercy. My justice is
to let a murderer go free. My mercy is
to kill a child with cancer. I am a flower
and a hurricane, a kiss and gangrene.

Men of reason and knowledge, of dispute
and learning, I blow away like leaves;
I burn like grass and straw. My prophets
don't pray in prose - lovers demand poetry
and who loves more than I, your God?

I do not hate the priests - I hate no one.
Their lies and vanity are simply dross
and must be purged. I called them forth to serve
but they lost faith and hope and love.
I call all people forth to grow and serve
with all the gifts I give, but they have not
learned trust or joy or truth.

Who is to blame?
I am to blame? I made the universe
and all that's in it, and I have hid
within and without all things and people.
Little children, do not fear. Although
I seem obscure to you, behold - my Son is not!
Although you lose your way, behold! My Son
is everywhere. In Heaven, Hell and
in between. Little children, has no one shown
you love and tenderness? Behold! My Son
is love and tenderness. Has no one taught
you who is God and what is not? Then look
upon my face and learn. My Son shall teach
you everything; my Spirit shall not rest
his guidance. And will I not cradle you?

I call the priests to learn the depths of prayer
but they do not. They think instead of lies
and deep excuses. They think of pomp
and ritual, sacrament and solemnity,
and do no good for they confuse my will
with theirs. They choose their wisdom over mine.

In Rome, the priests have lost all sense
of Heaven and my Kingdom. The people of
that city cry out to be led in faith and love.
What do they get? Manipulators, schemers,
liars; squirrels, weasels, and foxes.
The priests are many there and full of evil,
greed, envy, lust, deceit, and vanity.
They love, admire, and worship power.
Not my power which is weakness itself,
but strength to injure, maim, and crush my children.

Yet I preserve their lives and Rome. Why should
it be endured? Because time is not yet ripe.
Even in the cesspool that is Rome and all
its priests (that word itself a lie), I've placed
a jewel of light which goes out to all
the world and shines if any dare to look.
A precious gem of purity in prayer
brightening all life for those who want it.

Even in the manure of Roman pomp
and Roman props - buildings meant
to glorify not God but earthly power,
even in that Roman dunghill, I may
be found as in a barn full of animals
and excrement.

And for some time to come,
dung eating priests shall have their little joke:
their blindness and the suffering they cause
out of love for their lies, shall do my work.
My children shall suffer and be transformed.
The day will come to kill the priests, destroy
their offices, and burn their codes and clothes.
That day, my people shall arise and live
as friends and know how they must pray,
for I will guide them where they gather.
They shall eat my body and drink my blood,
and know that they are loved and in the midst
of love from every side. No one shall play
the lord of them, but all shall know the way
to gather, celebrate, and sing in alleluia.
Who shall preach when all may preach? Who shall
consecrate when all who love are consecrators;
when all who have suffered to know God, know God?
The men shall be men full grown. The women
shall be women fulfilled. The children
shall be children completely in awe.
And there will be no priests, no bodyguard of lies,
for there shall be one priest in one body. The Son
shall stand in their midst directing all
in a dance of communion and glad delight.

Ah, children, have I upset you? Have I
spoken strangely? Unexpectedly? Forgive
my servant, my prophet. He sees much
and cannot find the words to tell of love
inside the fire that I AM.

have faith. I know how poorly you are led
and treated. I know that those I call to serve
turn into murderers of joy. I know that priests
have stolen from the Gospel all good news
and turned my joyful sacrifice into a dirge,
an accusation of sin, and an adversary
of hope. I know how my assemblies groan,
abused by men in black with hissing tongues.
Even so, I let it be. I will save all.
I torment whom I will, and console whom
I will. As often as the priests are liars, so too,
the people steeped in petulance and fear;
but of the two, the priests are worse. If they
could learn love and lead in joy, the people
would follow happily and change their ways.
Love is irresistable - so love!
Love is winsome and exemplary,
so be examples that win.
Love feeds multitudes of hungry hearts.
Love never fails. God never fails."

"Little children, I hear your cries," say God.
"I know exactly what you are suffering,
both those who are within me and those
who are without me. And some ask - why so few?
Why do I call so few, a mere remnant,
by saving grace and true repentance? Why
do I allow my word to go unheeded, and let
the multitudes ignore my Spirit?
Not only priests but many are like dogs,
the kind that feast on their own dung -
their mouths corrupt and their coats by what
they've rolled in, too.

Why do I call so few
and yet judge all? Am I not God? I have
a liberty that you can't comprehend.
I have a liberality which is
within your grasp, if you desire it.
I have no favorites, yet I favor those
who take after their Father as good sons
and daughters.

I leave you free and yet,
you are not free from me. What can you do?
Where can you go where I am not? Is there
a room where you can hide from Truth? The mad
may try to hide even from themselves. They can't
succeed. I let each soul pass through seasons
of despair. Some I rescue to perfect,
others I don't. Who can prophesy my choices?

I cast down and I lift up. I afflict
and I redeem. I hide in your plain sight.
I do not reveal my plans unless you know
the ends of love: to where all grace tends.

Don't I love you? I do love you. I was
not shy to visit you, become as you,
and die as you - victim of your anger who
is victor anyway. I have always loved you.
There is not a moment I do not love you.

I will tell you a new thing because
I am inevitable. Everyone
shall know my name. There is no land or depth
of sea and space I shall not claim as mine.
I'll cause all other names that men worship
to die: to simply fade away and die,
just as the night dies when dawn arises.
All the world shall know that I AM, and know
I am the Father, that I AM the Son, and Spirit.

The world will know its folly yet even so,
the dogs will roam in vicious packs and die
not knowing God and love. Even so the many
will say - 'all the other claims of men are dead.
There is only God: the Father, Son, and Spirit.
That alone is the only claim that lives.'
Even so, the foolish and vain won't come
and be saved. They will never reckon the need.
Because I answer the prayer of their hearts.
Little children, you ask why only few
are saved? I tell you I am just and wise,
loving and merciful. I answer prayers -
and few pray to know me and be saved. Thus
I give each soul its moment of decision.
Do I abandon? No, I follow after
every child and call to him - 'return to me.'
But they do not. And so they have their will.

And still you ask - 'why do I make it so?'
I am Love. I cannot do any less
than Love: and my love is wonderful,
gracious, all delight and serenity.
Serenity is full of happiness,
not questions. If you would be resolved
in my peace, seek my face in purity,
and you will see everything you love."

"Little children, I tell you a new thing:
the wicked and unrepentant shall be forgiven.
They, too, have places in my garden of love:
not roses, no, nor lilies, tupils, or chrysanthemums,
but violets, perhaps, or dandelions and clover.
Common but perfect as they are.

Let me explain:
imagine a child of three years. She is joy
itself: delightful, fresh, and bright.
Yet, full of sin that waits to spring in tears
and follies and battles for her own way.
If Adam, who repented every day in woe
for his great fault is saved, shall I not save
a child who for no fault is born in sin?
And if I save a child, will I throw
a criminal away, or toss a drunkard to
the demons? You are precious to me, children.
Every one of you. Between an unborn child
and a criminal confirmed in evil,
there's not so great a gulf or leap.

Yet sin,
each sin must be redeemed, will be, and is:
and each must suffer knowledge and enlightenment.
Every penny will be paid that is owed.

Pity the man who dies in his sin. He
must learn his life has been a waste of time.
And no remorse of his can undo anything
he's done. Is this not Hell?

Pity the man who lives
in sin, deluded, alone, miscreant, and vain -
the subject of demons and compulsions - he is
apart from God, condemned to darkness and torment;
not by me but by himself. Is this not Hell?

I have a prophet, my poet. Let him speak of Hell:
'Father! Did I not wander into every sin?
Did I not anxiously explore depravity?
Did I not embrace all evils, thoughts,
greed, ambitions, and lusts? Did I
not know all fears and human sickness of heart?
Into the deepest pit of Hell, into gross despair
I fell headlong - and were you not there, too?
Did you not speak my name and call me "son"
and lift me in the vision of your love?
You did. You left me there and yet transformed;
the Pit no longer black and bleak; and yet
how harrowing the climb out of the cavern.
But light, rich light increased with every step
no matter how painful it was to my sight!

In every sin you were close to me, Lord,
but I did not know it! In every action,
Father, you were nearby and I never guessed!
In every wicked thought and fantasy,
dear God, you knew my sickness perfectly.
You understood everything while I
was ignorant and blind to you. Your mercy
and compassion is infinite, Father!

And from my tour of Hell, the utter Pit,
the sere Gehenna, did I not learn to see
the heart of man in every sickness, weakness,
folly, grief, and fear? Did I not learn
the worst of life and being? Did I not see
that God and grace alone can save? And was not God
with me in Hell? Was not Jesus there?'

"Little children, do not be afraid. All is well.
The universe and everything in it is mine.
I make all things well. Behold, even now,
my Son is perfectly at peace with you.
Though you lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape, and destroy -
all is well and will be well, for I AM
and nothing can occur without my leave.
If you would know this peace, you must know me,
and seek me where I am in Heaven, not
in Hell where you are blind. Turn to Heaven.

Shall I threaten you, expand your fears,
and sow disasters on the Earth? Even thus,
I do it. Effects have their causes. I do all
and yet, children you are free. How? No words
of men can say. You are free to reject
your Father, but you will not. Love is
too great for any to refuse when revealed.

Little children, you do not believe this
is possible but I will do a wondrous thing:
I will teach you how to love as I love.
I will purify my sons and daughters.
They will raise upright children perfectly.
When the time is ripe, the leaven will
increase and make for astonishing bread.

Either I shall end this adventure or
improve mankind by subtle degrees.
I act in history and I shall end history.
How this is to be, no one may know.

Pity those who do not know me; they have
no hope and no assurance of salvation:
they have no sense of true life. They know
not beauty, truth, or peace. And all who seek
my face must come to me through the Son,
led by Spirit to the Crucified and Risen One.

I have been touched by God. Anointed by
his hands upon my feet. I am his poet.
God knelt and touched my feet with his own hands.
I will never be the same again.

did he do this to me? I don't know why.
I only know he did. But who believes?
No one stands up to say I am God's friend
and should be heard. Nobody cares at all
if I am touched by God. That is God's joke
on me: I have his heart and no one cares.
Why should they care? It isn't them God touched.
They have no reason to consider it
a cause for joy or sorrow.

Do I have
God's heart in me? If I can love, make peace,
be kind, and serve; if I have faith and trust
in him; if I am wise and gentle with
all kinds of folk.

Most people only want
to do and not to be. If God did not
cause suffering, despair would kill all men.
Despair is he who does, rather than is.
People would rather die than simply be:
make war instead of peace, live greed instead
of hope, love self instead of Christ.

I know
too many of no faith and small faith.
I know too many who cannot hear God,
nor hear their hearts. They think without
a thought of God, and feel without a sense
of holiness: they have no purity
that shines out of their souls. They have, instead,
contention, violence, and competition.
They seek triumphs in clever guises.

the world is like, faithful people know.
I leave the world alone - it has its Hell;
but of the faithful, these I wish to call
out of the world and into joy and peace.
The peace of Christ is worth the many deaths
soul must bear to grow in strength.
There is a Church invisible. It's made
of those who've learned that love is sweet and knowing.
How could Love not know when Love knows all things?
Love does not err. Love is pure. Love enlightens.
Love suffers all that despises love, yet
does not strike back or hate who hates. Love does
not force its way, or force its will - and yet,
His will is done, His way does shine, His peace
is ever beckoning, and knows that all
must come to rest, at last, in Love alone.

The Lord says:
"I am Man who is a man. All of flesh,
all things of flesh are holy, made from God.
From my hair to my toenails, all is holy.
With my senses, experience is holy.
The organs of my body, they are holy,
for I have made them so with my being.
The Son is a man today, as I was
yesterday, and will be tomorrow. In
eternity, the Son is Man and a man.

But God the Father is spirit and must
be loved in spirit, known in spirit, seen
in spirit. His will is spiritual. Let
his will be done, for Love is of the spirit.

Because I am a man, I make all things
I touch holy: the water that baptizes me,
the blood that flows in my veins, the air
I breath, the dust I walk on. Even flies
are holy in my sight. I came into flesh
and made what I created my own form.
I became man that man might become God.

Have I not wept? Then tears savor of God.
Have I not laughed? Then delight is holy.
Have I not eaten and voided what is waste?
Then food is holy and dung is a blessing.
Is the world perfect? The world was perfect
for me. Shall all things change? All things will be
transformed, yet familiar as if they were
always the same; for when the Real comes,
it is seen to have always been present.

Little children, do not hate life or flesh.
There is a way in it, a way of it
which sanctifies, blesses, and transcends.
When your spirit is made perfect, so shall
your flesh at last enjoy creation as
your souls were meant to have their purpose,
being, fruitfulness, and humanity."

"Why don't they change what they must change? Why don't
my children suffer peace into their hearts?
Why can't they accept the gifts that I would give?
Because they don't accept their Father, their God,
the One who is Love and simplicity.
They resist change just as they resist God.
Like animals in a trap, they'd rather gnaw
a leg off in a panic than be calm
and wait for their release. And having chewed
a limb apart, they're bitter with deformity.
Bitter and cruel.

Like a fat man who can't
pass through a door and enter paradise;
who will not wait 'til he is thin but goes
in search of wider doors ( when there are none);
even so are my children like this. Or
as lawyers with minds like razors looking
in covenants for loopholes through which
to enter Eden. All they do is shred
a covenant to pieces and find no
Heaven for themselves or anyone, but, oh
what mighty paper castles they construct!

It has been said before and bears repeating:
my children are like the man who rides a horse
in search of a horse to ride. They are blind.

My children, you do not respond to God
because you will not respond to Love with love.
First, you do not believe you are dear to me
and precious in my sight. You don't believe
that I forgive everything always.

How you fret that you shall enjoy your being;
so you chase after pleasures afraid
they shall not come again.

is long enough to satisfy all good
you long for. Do not fear. I promise I'll
requite all fasting that I ask of you,
all losses that you suffer I'll repay.
If you lose an arm or leg, can I not,
the maker of all that is, redeem your loss?
Can I not send a gentle helper
to compensate for this rough time now?
Should you lose your life, can I not return it?
Nothing good shall be lost. Wait and all things
shall be yours again, and far more besides,
better than can be dreamt.

Are you anxious
for something good, for justice of some kind?
Wait and it shall be yours forever.
Are you eager for things of sense, to thrill
within the body of joys? Wait, you will
discover in eternity that joy
which lasts and is far greater.

Do not fear
the loss of anything. I am your God.
I will perfect everything you need.
In fact, I've done so already. Look and see.

Children, I have great work for you,
the works of love: of loving and being loved;
of learning the thoughts and heart of God;
of becoming wise in listening to One
whose will is your true joy and freedom.
Is Heaven not great enough? Forever not
long enough? And infinity not wide enough
to know all fruitful and happy things?

The world is wounding, wicked and deceptive.
I have made it so for you. I know
the harm that surrounds your every breath.
I am not a stranger to the Earth
and all that happens on it. Every breath
you take is born from my careful grace.
I created death for you out of mercy.
I am Mystery but I am not unknown.
I am loving kindness which saves
and I am silent witness who challenges.
I have left you a way through all illusion,
the path of the Son of Man, his Cross.
Follow the Son and become free of sin,
free of fear, free of all anxiety.
Give up thinking like men. Learn to think
like God - the way of tenderest wisdom.
I am your Father, your Lord, and yet,
your mother, brother, sister, spouse, and child.
I am no boss or potentate;
no chief nor overseer.
I am who am, your creator, your friend.
You are my children whom I dearly love."

"My little children, you have such lack of faith
that you demand certainties where I
have given none. You look to priests and not
my Holy Spirit. You look to the Book and not
upon my Son who suffered, died, and rose.
You look to rituals and formulas;
to telling beads and mumbling prayers
and not to entering my kingdom's peace.
Oh how I wish that you might sing!
Sing because you have a joy that wants
to dance across your tongue. Sing because
you have sorrow you must cry out of your throat.

Children! I have given great certainty:

I have given salvation: Jesus!
I have given presence: the Holy Spirit!
What certainty did I give to Abraham?
No priest, no book, no religion but faith.
What promises did I make to Moses and
the people? Not laws, not sacrifices, not diets
but loving kindness that saves and frees.
What visions did I grant to prophets?
Not temples, not angels, not divinations,
but a wondrous, strange fire of burning Truth.
Children, I have given great certainty:
you live and can only live in me, your God.

The Lord said,
"Have I not snatched an infant out of
his father's arms and thrown him to the tornado?
If I do these things to the innocent,
what will I not do to the guilty?
Do I not visit affliction on saints?
What then won't I do to the wicked?
And if popes and bishops, ministers and priests
confuse themselves and claim to speak for me,
what torment will their sins inflict on them?
Who speaks for me without authority?
Have they passed through the refiner's fire?
Do I make priests? I do not make priests.
I call men to be holy. They bestow
vain offices and titles on themselves.
I call men to be wise. They become
enamored of safety, prudence, and codes.
I call men to have ears. Instead, they deafen
themselves in order to listen to
a whisperer who preaches that power
is given to favored sons.

I give weakness
and the Cross to favored children. Not power,
not strength, not fortune. I love weakness.

Yes, I snatched an infant from his father's arms
and threw him in the teeth of the tornado,
and there I nested him within the crown
of an oak and kept him safe from harm.
Can God not save? I can save the pure
and the impure; all who love their Lord
and turn to him humbly and in need.
All the wickedness in men I shall destroy.
Who is it that knows my mind and speaks for me?
Do I not choose my own prophets? Listen,
do not rely on the choices of men.
Discern and grow in peace. Speak to each other.
Listen to each other. Pray together.
Learn together. Help each other. Remain
in me - simply and humbly. Among yourselves
appoint your servants for yourselves, and serve
each other without presumption or prestige.
Be small and holy, not great and foolish.
Strive for perfection and fullness in faith.
"Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves."

Be friends to each other just as I am friend
to all: the wicked and pure alike.
Those who minister, do not be aloof,
puffed up, arrogant, and self-serving.
Submit to all in my Holy Spirit.
Abide as friend among friends, not apart
and separate; not isolated and reserved.
Make no divisions or distinctions
among yourselves: all are equal in my sight.
Ceremony exists to serve, not demand.
I judge the heart, not the ritual.
Are you magnificent? You shall lick
the dust and grovel upon a dunghill.
Are you arrogant and deaf? You shall scream
for help on barren plains at heedless stones.
Are you partial and closed? You shall know tears
of acid and futility. You shall
discover loneliness and helplessness.
You shall become a carrion crow and caw
at refuse and claim it for a feast
of death and nothingness and misery.
Woe to all who do not seek God's will
but live instead on human hopes and plans.

"Little children, I have given you
new freedom in Jesus: a sweet, new spirit
and terrifying freedom. Why do you
fetter and shackle yourselves to new laws
and new codes and new taskmasters? Am I
not free to do as I will? To visit whom
I please? Inspire whom I love? Can I
not come and go as the wind and refresh
whomever I like?

Listen, children, do I
not call you to be aware of me and to
respond? I call you to seek me and know me.
I call you to grow free from sin, and rich
in sweet humility, to grow in love.
Why are you afraid? Who frightened you?
What evil one has made your heart a stone,
your soul a fortress of ice? Turn away
from evil, and open your heart to friendship;
the friendship of your perfect friend: Jesus:
the son of Man whose love is infinite.

" Listen, children, listen to me, your God:
A man and woman marry. I bless them.
They are free to follow my Word or not.
I give them a child. They are free
to love this child or not.

Consider what
I've done. Into young hands, human hands
I share a Power: Creation!

I give
this awesome gift to ignorant children,
and leave them free to choose my Way of good
or their own way of evil.

that I am free and I have shared my good
with you; have put my good within you.
I give you life, children, and love's freedom.

When you strike your child in anger,

I allow it.
When you preach hatred and violence to him,

I allow it.
When you neglect and ignore her,

I allow it.
When you tell him lies and make false promises,

I allow it.
When you molest and corrupt her,

even this I allow.
I allow you this terrible freedom
to do great good or great evil
to my dearest, most cherished little ones.
If I have given Man such freedom
of flesh, family, and creation -
what freedom have I withheld from him
within my Church?

Have I forced priests
and ministers on you? Popes and Bishops?
I have not. Have I forced sacraments on you?
I have not. Have I forced books on you?
Not at all.

Did I say - do this, that,
and many other things? No, I did not.
I left things in your hands to find my will.
I gave you freedom, creativity,
and all the gifts of my Holy Spirit.
Did I say make a fetish of this or that?
Never! Did I say only priests have power?
Never! Did I say build your church, your fellowship,
with this government or that and ordain it?
I never consecrated a hierarchy.

But you have believed it, sworn it, and taught it!
I give my Holy Spirit and freedom.
I give myself in grace and inspiration.
I grant forgiveness and a Body of Christ.
Did not my Son choose twelve Apostles? Yes,
and I have chosen many more. Those first,
they chose Matthias to replace Judas,
but I chose Paul. Who was wiser? Your God,
or Peter and the rest? I am wiser.

I give you freedom and you pervert it.
I give you faith and you corrupt it.
Because you will not pray into my Being,
because you have no patience and no heart
to wait upon my Holy Spirit, because
you take such pride in your thoughts, men's thinking,
you prefer your thoughts to mine, your ideas
over my heart of love and watchfulness.

You do these things and say I have done it.
You make new rules and say I gave them.
You claim gifts and graces I never granted.
I gift people and families - not codes of law,
not offices and titles. You confuse my mercy
with my Will. I am provident to all.
Because I am merciful, you are willful.
You confuse love with ordination and
approval. You do not seek to know me
or my Will. Of course not. Then you would weep
at your presumption and for all your sins.

I give you children whom you poorly love.
I give you family, my Church, which you
readily pervert. I give freedom
in faith from which you hurriedly flee.
When the son of Man returns, will he find faith
in anyplace on the Earth?

fear not! I hold you in my heart. Men will
despise you - people rigid, intransigent,
and scandalized by all you speak. Such will
you find, but do not fear. I am your friend!
Let us sit down and reason together
and I will show you my mind and will,
and you will be surprised and astonished
and say, 'but that's so simple. Pure and simple.'
Love is gracious and simple. Children,
let us reason together. I give you time
to learn, consider, and pray for wisdom
if you would only care to know and wonder.
I give you freedom to think and ponder.
You choose emotional beliefs and blind
intransigence. You do not love the truth.
But I will break your hearts and teach you love.
I will kill you to cure you of your hate.
I will expose you and leave you naked,
and you will mourn every thoughtless sin.
I will break your heart of secret pride.
Your self-love shall die and you shall be free."

"Many who consider themselves religious
and zealous in my service, despise me,
their Father. Why? Because I am free,
and worse - because I made man free also.
This freedom I give you is real meat indeed,
and real drink indeed, for it is born
of spirit. You are spiritually free.
You are to be a church of friends, each one
a servant to the other; no one a boss.
Your traditions must be mutable
or they enslave your children. All must have
a voice that's heard and cared for. Prefer
smallness in numbers, not greatness. The small
are weak and sensitive to suffering and sin.
The great are loud, boastful, and arrogant.
The small knows its neighbors and prays for each.
The great is indifferent, awed by itself.
Better one small group of loving friends
than a million strangers shouting hosanna.

I favor intimacy, not uniformity.
The way is not a book, an order, or list.
The way is love - the love of father and son.
You are my children. I am your Father.
Let me teach you my way of love and peace."

The Lord says:
"Children, the way of your atonement
is through the door of the Cross. You must
take on the life of Jesus, and thus die
much more than once. Baptism I give.
A baptism of fire: this begins new life,
the start after long preparation and suffering.
This start leads to the Cross: the final death.
Not death of flesh but death of self. Once dead
to self the change of flesh from live to dead
is almost nothing: a mere walk from here
to there. Not even felt or hardly so."

"I will come to you and guide you through all.
I will present myself and absent myself.
I will appear and disappear to you.
I will console and desolate you.
I will teach you everything by myself.
Like the beautiful breeze, I'll come and go.
I will teach you how to love what you hate.
Your enemies will become precious to you.
You shall learn to love all that opposes you,
for you will be destroyed: your Self
shall die. You shall become still and quiet.
You shall become perfect as I am perfect.
You shall be led through a dark desert.
You shall not know where I am until you know
I am in you. Jesus is the vine,
and the vine and its branches are one plant.
You shall be him and he shall be you;
and you may say to all, 'if you see me,
you've seen the Father;' for you will be
all that is good and All that is Love."

"Read the new Book. You'll not find a man
but a mirror. Jesus is risen. He is you.
Or would be if you'd let him. Let him.
He stands at the door and knocks. Let him in.
His flesh shall become your flesh; his spirit,
your spirit; his face, your face; his light, your light.
Do not imitate Jesus. Become him."

19 The Executioner's Song
Poor man who, with strange glint in his eye,
decides he is a machine of meat:
an engine of instincts and pressures
a little smarter than an ape, but more
surprising in his cleverness to please
himself, and get his wants fulfilled. Or make
something, someone, self - pay a toll in pain.

Oh, the little, poor man exalts his mind,
his science or arts with claims of grandeur -
to what end? The Earth and Universe
is but a forge of death, inventing
new modes of pain and loss, finality
and grief.

Little man, are you content today?
Your dinner good? Your work rewarding? Your wife
and children pleasant? Your days a gentle clock
that hardly chimes the sound - Look out! Death
is coming!

Oh, puny pawn of Carbon
that works to make configurations called -
animals with a brain - you simple toy
of chance and chemicals.

And do you shake
your fist at God and sneer - "You're not the boss
of me! You're just a myth, a dream,
a figment of fools' imaginations."

Oh shabby, little thing, your every pleasure
mere doping of cells with chemical juice.

And when you spurt two seconds worth of slime
and make a tiny copy of yourself,
do your cells, your DNA, your carbon cry out -
"Look how we persevere through time!"

How great
the Universe that Carbon can live on
through all the many bio-forms it makes.

But the humpty dumpty man hears a song.
A singer sings of love and pleasure through
a picture window; and the man applauds
and says, "now that was sweet." Except the singer
is dead, the song will die, the man will turn
to scum and rot away - his face a mask
that grins and frights the dreams of death bound boys
and girls who follow after - until Earth,
death bound, too, is lifeless.

Did someone say
to you once - "I love you?" Did you speak
it, too? And even mean it for a moment
until you recalled it was just your body
and chemical mind demanding pleasure?
And soaking in some cellular joy juice
that animals were made to feel and like?

Oh, pitiful peeper at endless wanting;
Oh, meat sink of mortal experiences;
Oh, helpless watcher of your watching,
and thinker of your chattering thinking.
I will kill you. I want you to die. I hope
you hate your living and breathing; despise
your flesh and beg to be murdered out loud -
instead of through your weakling indulgences
that try to tease happy bio-cocktails
out of brain cells and into eager nerves
that sing - "Well being is just a drop of dope
the brain can make for animals like you."

Plop. You were born. Spurt. You made a likeness.
Thump. You are dead. Hey, Mr. Vanity,
where'd you go? What was it for? Happy now,
Mr. Non-entity? Free from worries, at least.

Oh, God hating, God haunted, greed minded imp -
what newer schemes at work in you? Make cells
your friends that work for you instead, and blend
a recipe for life: a Novo Homo Sapiens!
Wind him up. He lasts a little longer,
and thinks a little faster, and looks
more like an angel than ape. Disease,
he does not fear. He comes with spare parts.
If only he wasn't so bored with himself.

He flings himself off high places for fun,
but that grows dull and stupid, too. He can't
find anything that makes him feel alive.
For he calls Life a rush of bliss that kills
his mind and floods his cells with panic.
He wants more chemical oblivion.
His women buy embryos at a store
and hatch them out to give themselves a glow
they call maternity - children as pets
to be discarded if they bite. Flush them
away - they're bad cooking of Carbon forms.

Put all the men to work making things go fast
or faster. And women, too. Process the offspring
like laboratory rats - reward good maze runners.
Only a few artistic ones are wanted
to make up sexy songs and vulgar pictures -
punish others who also want those jobs.

What can it matter? People are only things
anyway - goofy Carbon totems.
Pleasure their genitals and they're happy.
Starve them if they don't comply - who recalls
unpleasant deeds after awhile or death?
Did someone say they want to know the Truth?
Did someone hope to know God? Or to learn
what Beauty is? No matter. They'll all die, too,
and meat machines will process on.

didn't die on a Cross, but in test tubes,
petri dishes, day care centers, and schools;
on TV, in a movie, a magazine.
Jesus dies amusing bored, wanton youths
and sterile, scientific men who froze
him in a jar and called it - man god damned.

Everyone agreed. Suffering's a bad joke.
Why bother or put up with it? There is
no God who cares or loves or saves. Hope lies
in living longer happily well fed.
That's all folks! That's it, the end, how it goes.
Life is but a pastime, make it fun
'til it's done. So say no more, mon amour.
The rest is just an argument that keeps
some busy 'til they've passed their time here, too.
There is no God who talks to people,
appears, consoles, instructs, or answers prayers.

Do good because it feels good, as you like.
Or bad so long as nobody stops you,
or punishes. Nothing really matters
except what someone says matters to them.
Do what you like. There is no God to judge
or condemn. Everything is permitted.
Besides, God can't be God if vain enough
to hurt because a man didn't submit,
call him daddy, and flop on the ground.

Oh, poor, puny people who say they believe
in God. Now there's a joke. They say, but does
it make a difference? No, it don't. They chase
the joy juice rush of brain made pleasure
just the same as everyone; yes, they do.
They say there's God, and act as though there's not.
So let's not say that God is real. He ain't.

How'd it all start? Where'd it all come from?
Who cares? Dumb question when it's all about
a Carbon based creature looking for bliss
while living in a lusty, frame of time.
God is a myth, a dream, a lie, a fear.
Oh, slimebag human why fear God? Fear death.
Fear death. Not God. Death is coming for you.
Death is lurking everywhere. Death is real.
Do not fear God. Think about Death. Look there!
Death killed another. He's coming for you.
God's a joke God haters can laugh at;
while death can freeze your blood instantly.
Do not think - "what if God is in Death?
What will I do then?" Don't worry. You're a bug.
That's all you ever were in life and when
death comes - that's how it is for meat machines.

Psalm 1
In my heart there is Heaven
like a beacon in the mist.
I cannot grasp it 'though I see it
(who can grasp and hang on light?).
How painfully I yearn
for God's embrace, His full form
of clasp and presence - all His grace.
Why do I not die and hasten?
What agony is waiting
'though I love whom I love now.
Will my heart ever find rest?
When shall I suffer no more
these mortal pains and crippling wounds?
Will you never hear my prayer
and vindicate my faith?
Have I not loved enough?
Have I not wept enough?
Have I not turned my whole heart to God?
What agony is love! O Love,
you are agony indeed. I burn,
I burn in awful agony today.
And yet, today, this moment,
there is a Heaven in my heart.
O Love, I am enthralled with you.

Psalm 2
Father of all that is, hear my prayer!
Endless are your enemies that beat me down!
Awful are the arrogant who have no hearts,
who have no eagerness for truth. They have
no spirit that would follow God and not fear.

Day after day, Father, day after day
I watch the fearful tread the world. They beat
down hope: first their own, then all those they can.
They run from light and scurry for cover;
they harden their hearts and live without feeling;
they murder the prophets and burn the innocent.

Age after age, Father, age after age
the fearful tread the earth and wound the world.
Age after age, Father, no relief is sent
to all your crying children; no end to pain.

Where are the saints? Where is your Kingdom come?
When shall these tears bear their eternal fruit?
Why must the wicked prosper and the vain?
Why can I not find any faith at large?
Lord, come! Lord, come and end this agony.

For one side of this world, gold is king.
For the other, religion rules minds,
and nowhere can the human heart find friends.
Oh, Father, sweet and tender Father,
merciful and infinite, what am I doing here?

Psalm 3
Ah, Father, am I not entering
the wordlessness of you? Am I, your poet,
not losing all hope of speech to speak
with you or for you or to you? Music
I make no more. Lyrics I sing no more.
What shall I sing or say or prattle on?
You are God. You are All. You are my joy.
I try to tell some things about you,
but I fail. I open my mouth to speak
of what you're like - all is in vain.
I am speechless. Your being is too much
for language, yet you have come to me
and spoken in my tongue and lived to say,
"forgive them for they know not what they do".
You are humble while I am a born fool.
Father! How soon may I enter your silence?

Psalm 4
Lord, Father, God, have I not come too far?
I have come too far, stretched past human points.
I used to think (but now I can't think) - what?
I thought of grace as bliss. I was wrong.

Lord, Father, God, what is life and living?
You are common and ordinary, God.
You are not comprehensible, and yet,
you are not so strange after all; except

Lord, Father, God, you are very strange
to every person who lives for themselves
and not for the Truth. What I want to know
I do not need to know because You Are.

Lord, Father, God, I Am, too, in your Eye.
I Am one in your eye Lord, Father, God.

Psalm 5
Before God made the mountains or the Moon, he made man.
Before God made spiders or fish, antelopes or apricots, he made man.
Before all wonders great and small, God made man and woman.
All that he made, he made for man because he made man like himself.

God is pleased to give the Heaven of himself to all.
In God, there is no wrath; only joyous mystery, eternal merriment.
In God, there is no anger, only the glorious fire of intensest love.
In God, there is no judgment, only the peacefullest acceptance.
Because God is free, in his love is the greatest freedom, too, for man.

There are disasters and catastrophes.
There are disorders and diseases.
There are deaths and tribulations.
There are sins and selfishness.
And there is God whose mind
cannot be captured whole in any human brain.
Man is not God. Death is not death. Jesus is Risen.
Now God shines forth in an invisible light.
Soon God shall walk among us again as a visible man.
Whoever seeks to know and follow Jesus
will be taught to die as Jesus died: empty and ready to be Full.
Then man will rise again and live as One.
Are there still men and women who do not know this,
who doubt not only of Jesus but of God?
Are there still people who seek after pleasure and not for God?
There are no babies born who do not love God.
Who alters their hearts and makes them crazed by self?
Who is it that corrupts children and makes them fail?

Mercy makes fools of all men. Mercy is the first cause of sin.
Let men be mad with schemes and murders. It does not matter.
Let men be thick with scorn and bitterness. It does not matter.
Let men be drunk with lust and slovenliness. It will all die out.

Without God's peace, man is a shadow of life,
a puppet show of selfish illusions,
a ludicrous imitation of deity.
God's peace is faith that grows every day in trust
until there is no faith or trust to be willed:
for only peace remains where God does not will but breathes
in human lungs - being the body, the lungs, and the air.

Where is the mind of man? It is in the brain.
Where is the brain? It is in the body.
Where is the body? It is in the world.
Where is the world? It is in the universe.
Where is the universe? It is in God.
Where is God? He is in himself. He is all.
Where is man? He is in God.
Man's body is dust. Man's self is but a dream.
Man's soul is eternity. It hides and reveals God.
There is a desert where man's body goes
to rest, and where his self goes to die.
The desert burns with invisible light.
God is at the heart of the dark, unknown fire.
God is not a destroyer. He ravishes with peace;
and peace murders the sleep of the dead.

Psalm 6
Let me marry God, let us be one flesh,
one spirit, one man, one person, one whole;
and I will be one with everything else.
All people, creatures, things, and atoms - all
are found and bound in me as I am God.

If I am not my God, instead myself
alone, then I am nothing but a thing
myself, an object of my contemplation,
an empty nutshell: unromantic. Dead.
And all my parts bury me in more death.

But let God make his force known and his will,
than I am his and I grow into Truth.
The Truth I grow into was once a corpse,
a hanged man, whose freedom bought him a Cross.
His romance brought life back to his being.

And so I am a Lover of the Truth
who makes his will my own, his heart my own,
his mind my own; and strange to any time
except sometime where heaven has its reign.
Whoever joins to God, also joins to me.

Psalm 7
I saw a leaf, and it was full of green.
I saw a sky, and it was full of blue.
I saw a sun, and it was full of gold.
I saw a child, and she was full of God.

Psalm 8
I see light. Particular light and lights.
The moon, when bright and full, looks far too white.
The sunshine of day upon the trees and leaves
looks golden as sunset or dawn light does.
An arid desert at searing high noon
appears aglow like candlelight. The light
is warm and radiating pleasant peace
like firelight. This is the way of prayer.

Then look
at a child and marvel at the beams of God
that shine out of the lamps of her eyes.
The light is everywhere; its spirit sings
out of green summer grass. How obvious
the prodigal father of infinite care
who walks in visible and invisible light;
how like an angel of patient silence,
an easy companion; how like a man
who loves all that he makes when all he makes
is lovely and good. The poet rests
on a riverbank, watching water catch
the little, silver shards of light, and sees
a flowing motion carry him away
while lying still and purposeless. The light
will carry him to heaven as he breathes.

Psalm 9
To lie with her head upon my arm,
it is like standing on a high place
overlooking a gorgeous world.

To rest with her arm across my chest
is like enjoying the play of a warm breeze
caressing forehead and face.

To gather into my eyes her movements,
the motions of her limbs, in the sway
of her clothing - how the heart is gladdened
and fondness provoked.

In the making of a child with her,
the wonder of God is invoked -
of Creator entering into Creation again -
our souls astonished and ravished by joy.

Love is always new and fresh;
the eternity of happiness occurs
in a spontaneous moment.

She is like that to me. She seems like God -
pure beauty, lovely presence, perfect grace.
My gratitude is tender, my delight is soft;
my pleasure is four fold - like the best days
of late April and early May;
like the soft, warm nights of late July;
like the crisp Fall afternoons when
the trees are bright with fiery colors;
and as in late December when we watch
snow silently fall at night through the glow
of houselights.

Her eyes remind me of the green fields
of Spring. The sweetness of her breath
and the smell of her skin is like Summer.
Her smile is merry as the color of Autumn leaves;
and the smoothness of her breasts like hills
covered in the down-like fluff of snow.

She is innocent as the child she bears and nurses.
We are gentle animals at play. Our softness
is greater than the granite seacliffs.
Endless waves cannot wear out our tenderness.
It is renewed in every breath as if
we were imbibing more God as we live.

Stars do not live as long as we do.
The galaxies are as child's play and all
great things are of less art and wonder
than the soul of any child.

I am like her.
She is like me except that we are different.
I am like God and he is like me
except that we are different, also.

Psalm 10
Orange poppies shout out from green hillsides -
"joy joy joy!"

Barging bright, white clouds sail through deep blue skies -
"holy holy holy!"

Distant mountains rear up mantled in snow -
"glory glory glory!"

While humans work like slaves and play like fools.

Canyons glow like burning coals at sunset -
"fire fire fire!"

Rivers snake in a dark rush across plains -
"live live live!"

Seas heave blue shoulders up and hurl at rocks -
"sacred sacred sacred!"

While humans curse at God and murder time.

Dawn breaks open the new day like Heaven -
"awake awake awake!"

Psalm 11
Fallen petals of California poppies
rest on earth like small shards of orange light
with text written on them saying, "Behold,
I give this color and its light to Man."

A maroon rose scents the air with lush perfume
proclaiming, "I am beautiful to know."

A gingko tree splays leafy arms at heaven
and sings, "I wave these banners for your joy."

Somewhere a child is crying out to God for love.

Mt. Shasta sheds her winter coat and calls,
"Climb these rocky, brown slopes and touch clouds."

Everywhere the Earth is shining, singing,
"I give this color and its light to you.
I give this motion and this wave to you.
I give this music and eternity to you."

Somewhere a child finds God and love in prayer.

Psalm 12
Go down to the river, Child, or down to the sea.
If you go in, it will carry you far away.
Away to where you are most afraid to go, Child.
Look, how the water flows and seems to draw you in.
Or how the waves surge up, inviting you to swim.
The river, the sea will carry you far from shore,
until exhaustion will make you fearful no more.
Then you will drown and be reborn, now free to love
as you were always meant, in holiness, to love.
Go down to the river, Child, or down to the sea.

Psalm 13
I saw a vermilion sunset -
of scarlet clouds fired with a crimson glow;
a great, burning magenta light - like an immense ruby shining;
like the beautiful blood in our veins;
like the beautiful blood of our God,
his bright blood on a cross proving that Love
is stronger than death, and life goes on forever.

God gives hope bright as an orange sun rising at dawn,
green as a rain soaked meadow in spring,
and blue as an afternoon mountain sky filled with white clouds
that puff up and shift as they drift roiling through the air.

There is a dance in the light of the stars in a cobalt blue sky
when all people awake and then wonder if all they see is for them
like an endless bounty of peace and delight.
There is a dance in the light that rejoices it lives
and lives on and on for mankind.

Psalm 14
The fields of red poppies wave in the wind
of Earth's cool breeze that breathes of the springtime.
And orange poppies glint in gold dawn light
opening sun-like petals with the sun.
The azure roof of heaven fills with clouds
whose blinding whiteness deepens all the blue.

Why is man sad? Why is man lonely? Where
is happiness and the promised joy?

It came and went with the scarlet sunset.
It came and went with the meadowlark's song.
It came and went with the child that grew up.

Clear waters cascade over stones in arcs
of silver endlessly rippling a stream
while someone also murmurs, "God is here,
but why can I not speak with him and he
with me - heart to heart - man to maker - child
to father? Why am I left all alone?"

Psalm 15
There is no needful thing as death for man.
Why should he die, become a corpse, embrace
the dust? What rule? There is no rule or plan
that states this is the fate that he must face.
Except, of course, that all that lives will die,
although that need not be - or God isn't God;
for possibility makes death a lie
of sorts: other paths could be tried or trod.
Think, man! Love and Wisdom do not depend
on death for revelation. God does not
need murder to impress or make us mend
our minds, and heal our hearts, or curse our lot.
With God, there need not be one way of life
or death. Why so if heaven has no strife?

Psalm 16
I have seen the beauty of a woman:
the softness of her smile and voice, the fall
and tumble of her hair, her tender eyes.
I have watched the sway of her hips, the dance
of her feet, and swell of her breasts as she
proceeds along a path, around a room,
across a strand of sandy beach with child
in hand or babe wrapped in her arms.

I've seen
her pray, prepare and serve a meal, and put
a house in order. She has woven cloth
of finest silk or linen dyeing them
with colors fast and brilliant, warm or cool.

I've contemplated the line of her jaw,
the point of her chin, the arch of her brow,
the flare of her nostrils, smoothness of cheek,
the shape and color of her lips - that I
can only say I am in awe of her;
for she is beautiful and radiant.
I marvel at God who created her
for himself, for herself, and me; who made
the woman I should love, in whom to know
and always find my bliss in her embrace.

Once I saw God, my father, face to face,
and I knew unsurpassing joy. One time
I felt the Spirit strip me of my flesh
and lift me into heaven's love. And once
I watched the son of God anoint me while
I trembled sick with my impurity,
and joyfully humiliated by
his mercy and compassion. I have known
God's kisses and his tenderness that saves;
I've been exalted, yet, I've also seen
the beauty of a woman - that I know,
existing glad, she's glorious of God.

Psalm 17
There is an hour of a summer evening
when God is breathing, breathing, breathing.
A soft breeze sifts the leaves of oaks and elms
for God is breathing, breathing, breathing.
The sky is dusky with red western glow;
from the east, planets shine amidst blue darkness
as ripe, green leaves turn to black in silhouette
while God is breathing, sleeping, dreaming.

Father, I am here. Where are you? I call
but you deny me hope - an answer. Any answer
except silence will do. I suffer. More than I
can bear. Where are your mighty promises now
when I'm in need the most? Where is that
light and easy yoke you gave to bear?
Where is the healing you held out to many
but not to me? Why do you torture me?
What did I ever do to you? Could ever equal
all this misery you thrust on me when you
threw me into this fallen world and false flesh?

I call and call. You do not hear. I cry
for help; there's no one else can ease my pain.
What does it take to get a message through
to you? Are you deaf! Is your heart so hard,
so calculatingly cruel? You say trust
and persevere. I trust and have endured
but you still toy with my compliance somehow.
Lord, I'm angry. They say that you will nothing
that's evil but merely allow it. What kind
of game is that? Is this your universe or not?
You say you came and died for me and took
my sin upon the cross. But where is Heaven now?
Where is the consolation for distress of evil now?
You say you'll never leave me but when I cry
from pain, you're nowhere to be found. And don't
pretend you're suffering with me or for me
because I don't have that fact revealed
in my distress. I only know disease and
sickness. Not any grace or glory
or joy or peace. Who is guilty, Lord?
Who is guilty that you call affliction - love?
Year after year I suffer to no avail.
Year after year I pray and plead my case.
And year after year you deny me balm
and succor.

What does it take to be heard?
I've abandoned everything for you. Given
everything I have. Held nothing back
in my devotion; yet you torture me.
Why? Why? Why? How long is enough for you?
How much must be borne from you? You
show me nothing good from all of this
that I suffer except more disease. You've made
me a victim of heavenly wrath. What have
I done that I should pay for others' sins,
as if my own were not enough? You
make life too hard even for saints.

I cannot bear it any longer. I'm way past my limit.
I can't take any more misery. When will you
relent and ease up on me? I want to die.
I curse my birth into this sick'ning world.
I hate my flesh and all my breaths in it.
My flesh burns like a thousand demons
striking it with pins of fire. Lord! Lord!
Come to my rescue. I can bear no more!
Don't leave me exposed to demons and misery.

But even so, here I am. Where can I go?
There is nowhere to go except to God.
Even as I curse, I bless. Even as I cry,
I cry to someone else. Even by your silence,
I'm wearied, falling down to rest,
yes, even rest in your unseen arms.

But Lord, Lord, this life is hard. Come soon.
Kill me or cure me, Lord, but come soon.

Lord, in your name have thousands taught. Yet none
but one have taught me truly. Of your servants,
none speak of what I know. They speak
of you as good yet fail to mention misery.
Afflictions piled upon afflictions on those
who love you most.

Perhaps I lie. Perhaps
I think I love you yet am barren as sand;
without true faith and love. Perhaps
I cry to much, complain to much, lament
my state too much as babiest of all
who have been called. But I think not.

Some say that Christ endured all things for us.
I know. But he is not the only man to suffer.
I am tortured constantly, consistently;
and Christ is not relieving me of any pain.
I ask, why is that, Lord? You promise peace
and then torture most of all those who want peace.
What kind of deal is that? If I am saved,
then let me know salvation. For if not,
then how am I redeemed since I had misery
before your call, and I have misery since?

I obey your word. I practice prayer and love
to all. I glorify your name in all my work;
I seek to be as humble as I can and call
upon your grace to die to self - and this is what
I get - more misery than before. Is this just?
It must be just if you ordain it, yet
I plead for mercy. Relent. Call off the devil.
Have some pity on my suffering. No man
can be as Christ, can bear the cross as he,
can measure up to him. That's why he came
since none could save us from our sin.
Have mercy, Lord. Why is that too much to ask?

I want to hear no more the words of those
who claim to speak for you - all grace and light -
all suffering bearable, no temptation too great,
all's well for man redeemed - for all's not well
with me. I cannot pray and sing and love
while I am cursed upon a pitiless rack of fire.
Is this holy wrath? Am I that evil
to be blasted by hellish indifference?
You call us to love you but do not let
your love be known to us except obscurely,
remotely, dimly, and rarely. Why? If I am lost,
a child of yours, should I not be found?
Many say our lives are short, but life
in pain is not brief. As Jesus said - how long
must I endure you! And he well knew
his end was soon to come. What hope have I
of sweet release from misery? Lord, why
do you afflict me that I want to curse you
for branding me with suffering? Why do
you kill my hope in you, my joy in you,
my love for you? Why do you want me crying,
far from peace and consolation? You even
make faith in you unbearable.

Who, when knowing
such report that you will suffering on us,
would want to love you? Yet, it is your way.
And you are God and none can argue with you,
or fly from your purposes. You are God.
I have no other hope but in you, Lord.
I have no other choice but enduring life, for there
is no death, no hope of an end, an out,
a way away from present being now or later.
I know my redeemer lives. O would he deign
to live to comfort me in my distress. O would
you let my Lord have mercy on this little one.
I know I shall live in Heaven, Lord.
O let a little Heaven come right now
and give me joy amidst this awful woe.

Who knows but Christ the agony and terror bound
within this flesh. Let not your servants speak
of what they do not know themselves!
But teach them love that does not speak at all
but offers grace and mercy, kindness and compassion.
Yet, they flee in fear, afraid of losing faith,
accusing miserables of blasphemy,
or making light of others' agonies; not knowing how
to pray for stricken, victim souls.
For the poor bear cost of sins for many who are fat;
and sickened ones bear penance for vast multitudes
of shallow-hearted souls that they may be saved.

A wretch cries out that God has cursed him
and the people flee believing wrath is just,
deserved, and owed to miserables.
It is not so, Father. You are just. Not venal.
The miserables are suffering not just their sins alone
but also many others' that the more are saved.
The miserables seem damned in order that
the damned are saved from their blind pride.
Why is this so, why must a few be tortured
for the many; only you, Lord, understand.
Not I, who in the midst of agonies, cry out
to no relief but spiked upon a cross
remain uncomforted, alone, and helpless in my pain.

O that these words might teach! Might show
the greater truth of misery that men must bear:
the unbearable afflictions souls receive
that seek the glory of eternal joy:
the honor of salvation from our sinful selves
and freedom from the prison of this Satan's world.

I went to the man who called himself my priest.
I said, " Would you be my friend?"

He said,
" I can't. I'm a priest. I lead, you follow.
I order, you obey. I'm your shepherd. Do as I say."

Then I went to my neighbor in the church
and said, "Would you be my friend?"

And he said,
"What do you mean? I have my family,
my relatives, and lots of friends. I have
all that I need and more. Thanks but no thanks."

Then I went to a child and I asked him,
"Would you be a friend to me?"

"Who are you?"
he asked. "I have my parents, my brothers
and sisters, my classmates and teachers. I
have no room for any other friends."

Then I went to Jesus and I told him,
"I did as you suggested. I went in
the church and asked to be friends with people
who said they worship you. But they did not
accept me. They rejected me. They said
they had everything they needed. They were
polite about it, nor meant any harm.
I tried to worship God with them in the church
but I wept silently alone in prayer.

How I wish to die. How I wish to kill
myself. I am worn out with heartache, sickness,
deceptions, and uselessness. Where is good
for me? And rest, where's that or hope?
Why should I praise God? I am miserable
and all because of him. God is more cruel
than a million satans. God is serene
and unperturbed. The fish thrashes on the hook.
God doesn't care how it dies or when.
He throws two infants to the tornado.
One he saves miraculously, the other
he doesn't. Who can question his ways?
Who has a hope of knowing anything
of God? Know and pretend to know, ye fools!
God will dispose of you and all your fond
beliefs. The Lord is unaffectionate.
He operates without anesthesia.
He lets demons feast on flesh and soul.
Cry out, and he will save you once. Cry out
and he will save you twice. Cry out again
and he'll leave you dangling like a hanged man
in hell. All that is evil, God has made.
Come, brothers and sisters, let us pray to God.

I don't worship God. Nor do I love Him.
I do not know Him. Once, I thought I did.
I thought I knew Him a little. But now,
I don't. I don't know Him at all. Nothing
can be explained, for I don't understand
why anything is as it is. The pain
of life is perennial, while joy is brief;
and now - never known at all. All is dull
to me and lusterless.

I had a day,
a very good day not long ago;
a day of pleasant and gentle peace;
it was a day at the beach. It was paid
in blood later on.

The simplest delights
cost days of pain. There is no consolation.
I am at peace. My heart is torn and battered,
yet I am at peace. Nothing makes sense.
No one can love a God who makes no sense.
I can only love a person - not a ghost,
a shadow, a memory, an emptiness.
But I endure. There is no other choice.
Where can I go? I cannot die. There is
no escape from God or His misery.
God afflicts those He loves; and, my dear friends,
He loves us all. Everyone of us. Though few
perceive His presence or wish to this life.
Human beings can't stand much reality.
God is too much. He is unbearable.
Jesus could hardly bear Him. How can we?

It doesn't matter if we can or can't
because we shall - all shall suffer being saved.

As we learn to love, we look for love
and find we cannot love or be loved
as we hoped. Ascending to God is hell.
It is darkness. It is fire. It is death.
It is war. It is terror. It is pain.
It is fear. It is madness. It is sorrow.

Sweet songs about God have their place.
It is possible to be miserable
and at peace. God is the only answer
to every question. He demolishes why.
Terrible beings with flaming swords guard
His sanctuary in the human heart.
It is better to be afflicted, afire
with love - with Who He Is - than live a fool,
an idiot without a thought of what
is real, of who is real; of destiny.
Selfish pleasure is a brief toy, but what
will come to pass beyond seems never; so
we dance like devils - driven, yet afraid.

People look at me and are appalled.
They say, "that one tells lies, for God is good
to me and is my happiness." Or they say,
"Who cares for God? It's just a game of words.
And death? So what. I'll take what I can get."

It doesn't matter. I will die. The world
goes on and on. God is not angry. God
is not just. God creates and leaves us all
to suffer until all suffering ends
in God. It does not make sense. It is God.

The Nations seethe and Peoples rage. Let them.
The Lord sees it all and smiles unperturbed.
He will save everyone who listens to him,
and walk with those who repent all their sins.
Every mouth shall be fed, every need met
for those who turn to God and follow him
without fear or doubt to hinder their steps.
To all others, they receive only mercy.
Not hope, not joy, not peace, not truth, not love.
They nest in uncertainty and despair.
The tornado destroys their homes, and floods
imperil all their goods. They guess at fate.
But those, the rescued and redeemed, he builds
a wall around, shielding them from horror.
The Lord does not explain the hurricane,
but places his faithful into its eye.

Let Nations and Peoples seethe. It's no matter.
Wars, diseases, disasters, or famines
do not disturb Heaven. One sinner who
repents, lives contrite and broken of pride,
that one is what matters most to the Lord.

1 The Parable of the False Christian

To the murderers of spirit and hope,
hear this: you shall feast on your sins and die.
You shall suffer the violence of evil,
and slaughter yourselves in your ugliness.

There was a man, a priest, a pretender
of faith who hated the people he served.
His message was always the same: "Do better.
Try harder."

Everyday, every week
Mister Do Better Try Harder informed
the people they were always useless to God.
When Do Better Try Harder saw a family,
young people with children to raise, he said:
be poorer for God's sake."

He never saw good
in people's lives - only weakness and fear.
He could not hate openly, so he hated
secretly. He had a gentle manner,
a charming condescension which spoke
sincerely, tenderly "try harder to
do better." Everyday, every week.

And people loved him for his easy way
of saying, "Do better. Try harder."

They thought
him kind and patient with them: Fatherly.
They thought that God was like that, too; as One
dissatisfied in everything with them.

Do Better Try Harder never sang
for joy, wept in sorrow, made a friend,
or saved a soul, but polished well
his way of saying, "do better, try harder."
Almost everybody said: "he's so sincere",
and "isn't he nice", "a true man of God".

Yet everyday he said he hated them
and found them useless, vain, and stupid
because they always failed to "do better
or try harder." They never pleased him.

One day Do Better Try Harder will die
and go to God and learn about his wasted years
when he could have sung about the peace
in God's love for all his children; when
he could have shone with the light of salvation;
when he could have wept for sin and laughed for joy.

Do Better Try Harder will die one day,
but won't be happy to face death or God,
the One he never knew. He will say, though,
" I did my best to be encouraging."

2 The Parable of the Cruel Father

A man had four sons. Everyday
he went to the first son, struck him hard
and said, "try harder to do better." When
his first son grew large enough, he struck back
and then fled in fear and rage. Thereafter,
each time he saw his father, he wished
to kill him. He lived an angry life
and died in his sins.

With the second son,
everyday the father struck him but less hard
and said, "try harder to do better." Soon,
when the boy was big enough, he ran away.
He lived sensuously and died in his sins.

With his third son, he struck him too,
each day, and said the same, but did not strike
as hard as the two sons before him. When this son
grew up, he worked for his father and did
everything he was told but lived a life
of tears and shame and died in his sins
never knowing saving grace. He'd been a slave.

With the fourth son, the man merely tapped
his cheek each day and gently said,
"try harder to do better." This son prospered
in believing his father loved him best
of all. He thought himself blessed because
he was not beaten like his brothers. Instead,
he was only lightly cursed by his father
and he took such escape from worse as a joy.
This son proclaimed his father's goodness far
and wide, and many agreed the father was
gentle to the fourth son: a good father.

The fourth son grew old boasting how loved
he'd been and how fortunate a son was he,
but he too, died in all of his sins
because he never knew he was a fool.

Let the people understand:
Wisdom is vindicated by her children.

3 The Parable of the Sniggering Priest

There was a man, a priest, who loved his God
whom he kept in a little box on his person. He
would show his God to people. It was a small wafer
of pressed bread.

The priest would say, " See this?
This is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is God."
One would ask him, "How so?"

The priest replied,
"I say some words over this and it becomes God.
Just like that!" And he snapped his fingers.
Another said to him, "Prove that it's God."
The priest said, "I can't." And he seethed inside with rage
at the man.

Another man said to the priest when
he showed him the wafer of bread, "So what if it is
or isn't? If it is, what am I supposed to do about it?
Bow down and worship it or something? If it isn't God,
though, you are more than just a mouthy fool,
you're a crazy man."

Again the priest burned with anger.
Didn't these people know and see? This little thing
of bread really is God and man, Jesus Christ.

One day this priest encountered a group of people
and he showed them his God and said, " Look here.
This is God." The people invited the priest to
a meeting they were going to have with their God.
The priest agreed to go with them. At their
meeting they sang, prayed together, shared their woes,
worries, and gladness. Anyone could see that these people
knew each other, cared for each other, served
each other, and had much affection and peace among themselves.
They brought out bread and wine. They all said
some words for the bread and wine. They ate and drank
and more life entered them and they had peace and joy
in their assembly of the Body of Christ.

The priest
sniggered in his soul and thought, "Deluded fools!
Don't these people know only my line of people
can turn bread and wine into God? Don't they guess
how empty and meaningless their little group is;
how vain and silly they are?"

The priest laughed
and laughed in his soul and went home pleased
with himself and with God who made him special.
But everyone from the small assembly went home blessed
as those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
were filled, and Jesus went out to the world in them.

4 The Parable of the Selfless Father

A man and woman loved each other. They came together
in marriage to make their joy more fruitful. The woman became
pregnant, and they were delighted. Although it was possible
for things to go wrong they hoped and prayed for the best.

Alas, things did go wrong. A child, a boy, was born to them,
and he was crippled. The man and woman rejoiced anyway,
for to them a son was born and they loved him.

The child loved them in return, but as he grew he saw
that he was different from other people. He couldn't do many of the
things that he saw others do. This caused him to feel sad
and then to grow angry.

He said to his father, "It is all your fault that I am crippled.
If you hadn't been selfish and greedy for children, I would not
have been born to suffer this misery. Look at what you've done
to me."

The father looked at his son and agreed with him. If he had
not been greedy for the joy of marriage and fruitfulness, he
would not have produced a child who suffered as few others
suffer in life.

He said to his child, "Son, I cannot undo your life nor heal
you of your affliction, but here is my back. Relieve your anger
on me who am to blame for your misery."

And so the son beat his father and released his rage and fury
on him. The boy soon tired and dropped his arms. Looking up,
he saw his father's back, bruised and bloodied, and he was

'What have I done?" he cried out. "Father! My dear, father!
What have I done to you?! I love you, father. Daddy, I'm sorry.
Forgive me, please, I beg of you. I'll never do this again. I promise.
Oh, daddy, forgive me!"

The father turned to his child and said, " I forgive you, son.
I'm glad you don't want to hurt me anymore. I can't fix you,
but I dearly love you. Love can be enough for both of us
if you want, my blessed child."

5 The Parable of the Drunken Disciple

There was once a young man who was full of life and spirit.
He had courage and joy and he wished everyone to feel as
full of hope as he did. He called out in joy to God and said,
"Lord, let me be fruitful above everything else. Let me be fruitful
that I might share all this happiness I have in you."

The man married and began to have children. At first,
he was joyful, and often proclaimed his happiness to
his neighbors because it was so great.

His neighbors looked at him and envied the greatness
of his happiness, but they said among themselves, " such
joy can't last. Just wait and see."

As the man had more children, the burden of supporting
them began to weigh upon him. Not having any friends
in the world, he grew morose and afraid. He started to drink
but always tried to remember to thank God for all his blessings.

Eventually, as more children were born to him, he became
a drunkard. He was given to violent outbursts. Everywhere
he looked, he thought he saw disrespect in the eyes of his children,
for they had become afraid of him. When he called them to
come and embrace him, they hung back for they feared his temper.
This infuriated him, also. He'd beat them, rant and rave against them,
and threaten them with even greater punishments.

As each child grew old enough, he'd drive each son out into
the world and demand support from him. But he'd tried to hold
each daughter captive to make her care for him and his household.

Each son, though, was hopelessly inept and could barely support
himself let alone his father. In their shame, they often turned to
drink and became evil.

Each daughter, too, tended to be stupid and lazy. Those that didn't
run away and become lost, stayed and became dull and apathetic.

As the father grew older, the younger children began to tease
and mock him. He'd chase them in a drunken fury, but they were
hard to catch. Once in awhile he'd snag one though, and beat the child
nearly to death.

His neighbors gloated at seeing him become such a miserable case.
They were proud not to be like him.

Everyday the man cried out to God against his children and his
neighbors. He would shout, "God, God, why have you cursed me
with this burden of weak, useless, and disrespectful children?
And why have you made me a laughingstock to my neighbors?
Must I beat my children to death in order to have peace? Then
I will beat to death as many as I can catch, and I will then
have peace in my house. All the world will come to me, then,
to learn. They will say that I am wise to the ways of children,
and that I know how to master them, for I make them respect
my authority or I break them with my authority."

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

6 The Parable of the True Lover

At one time there was a young man. He was a plain
and average seeming person. His trade was as a musician
and tunemaker who made his living performing in his country
at weddings, dances, and funerals.

The time came when he decided that he wanted to marry
and raise a family. He had it in his mind that he wished
his wife to be a very beautiful woman. This fancy was fixed
in his mind and he could not alter it. It went to the point that
he rejected a number of women who would have made him
an excellent wife and mother to his children.

Nevertheless, he persisted in his desire to marry a very beautiful

One day, he and other musicians were hired to play at a dance
for the richest man in that country. They arrived at the great man's
estate and were shown where they were to perform.

As they readied to perform in a magnificent room, a fair number of
people appeared and began to occupy tables and chairs. They were
all handsome and fair to look at and were beautifully dressed for the
occasion. But of all the fine and delightful looking people that appeared,
there was none to compare to a young woman in a brilliant white gown.

The young man was stunned by her appearance and could not take
his eyes off her. Even so, the group began to play for the dance
and he performed as hired. The woman's table was near the stage
so that during breaks for the band, he could look on and eavesdrop
on the woman and her companions.

Doing so, he discovered that she was the daughter of the great man who was throwing the party for her and her friends. He also discovered that not only was she the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, she was was kind to the servants and her friends, she was merry, and tender hearted in conversation. She was noble in spirit, it seemed to the young man, and yet humble in manner.

He fell completely in love with her and knew
that he had found the woman he desired to marry.

When the party was over, though, he despaired, for he knew
that he could never marry her. She was too far above him,
and too good for him also, he felt. She seemed to be goodness
and beauty itself, while he knew himself to be nothing of the kind.

Having seen her, though, he realized that he could marry any
woman now, because it didn't matter. Any other woman he chose
would always be the lesser of his greatest desire.

And so he did marry a good woman and together they raised
a family. Thirty years later, after all the children were grown, his wife
died. The music of his youth had passed and he only worked at
funerals for the most part because of the manner and soothing style
of his art.

It then came about that he was hired to provide music
at that great, rich man's estate again. He went and performed his
quiet music for a small gathering of people. There he learned that
the woman he loved, had always loved since he'd first seen her, had
never married and she seemed more lovely to him now than he
remembered, and he felt even greater love towards her if that
were possible.

After the small party when all the guests had gone, she spoke to him.

"Your music is very soothing to me and I enjoy it very much," she told him.

"Thank you," he replied.

"Would it be possible for me to hear this music every day?" she asked.

"I don't know," he said. "I live at some distance from here and a daily journey would be difficult to manage," he said.

"Is there anything to prevent you from living here, on my estate," she asked.

"Well, my wife is dead and my children are grown, so there is no reason I couldn't live here," he said.

"Good. You will stay here, then. You may play for me as much or as little you like and enjoy all the benefits of this estate. Is that satisfactory with you?" she asked him.

He was amazed and overjoyed. To live on this estate and to see her as often as he wished was an unexpected blessing and dream come true.

And so he lived there and made music for the Lady, as he called her.

The more time he spent in her company, the more he loved her until one day in the anguish of love he put down his instrument and told her he loved her, and how long and why he loved her. He felt certain that his confession would exile him now, though, because he had spoken out of place and must appear a nuisance to her.

But the Lady did not rebuke him. She simply told him that she would not marry him although she knew he loved her. She asked him to continue living there and making music though, and he happily agreed.

In time, his hands could no longer perform the music but the Lady did not send him away and he saw her often. Gradually, his body failed, too, and he could no longer enjoy the use of the estate and all its parks and gardens, art and treasures, but he could sit in the house and the Lady would attend on him from time to time, or he would watch her in the near garden as she liked to work there herself.

Then he became blind and could no longer leave his bed.

One day the Lady visited him and he wept in her presence for he could no longer see her.

"I am old, blind, poor, and useless," he cried. "I am nothing. I have nothing, and I am good for nothing," he told her.

"Yet, you, Lady, are still kind to me and take an interest in the most worthless of all your servants."

She took his hand and her touch thrilled his soul.

"Listen," she told him. "I will marry you now."

"Why, Lady? Why? I am good for nothing, now. I am nothing at all now."

"All my life I have had everything," she said. "All that I have ever lacked is a man who has nothing. That is the man I have always been looking for," she said.

And so they were married, and the man died shortly thereafter.

7 The Parable of Purgation

There was a man who lived a fairly long life on Earth, who then died. Not knowing God nor having any purity of heart, he did not know what to expect from death; and so, he passed from life to death and found himself sitting in a chair in a very beautiful place. Around him were tempting foods and places of view which promised vistas of awesome beauty and wondrous life. In the distance he saw people passing by or engaged in interesting tasks. They were exceedingly lovely to look at, and seeing them made him yearn to go and speak with them.

So he arose from the pleasant peace of his chair and stepped forward. Just as he did so, a hundred hideous faces appeared like great evil insects attacking him and stinging fiercely so that he cried out and fell back into the peace and safety of his chair where he was left alone. But his flesh stung from the attack and each wound seemed to open a memory of past evil he had done in his former life on Earth.

Time passed for him, days and nights, and the nights were as splendid as the days in that he saw in the distance marvelous things which tempted him to leave his chair and dash out to them.

Though perfect and beautiful the world around him seemed, every time he rose and left his chair he suffered awful attacks again and again. He cried out in anguish to God. He was frustrated beyond endurance. Was he to sit and suffer this forever?

God made no answer to him, though.

Time passed. How long? Years, maybe centuries, for time went on the same. He cursed but could not die. He swore he hated all the beautiful and wondrous things around him but he still desired them greatly, and from time to time could not keep himself from jumping up and going toward them only to be stung again and again.

Gradually, though, the man learned to be still and meditate on God and his past sins. Eventually, he gained confidence in prayer; enough to venture at leaving his chair and to take some steps without being attacked. He was rewarded by sights, sounds, and tastes of ravishing delight. But the attacks of evil would come and send him back to his throne of safety.

More years passed. The man became proficient in prayer. He began to understand himself, his life, and God. The demons arrayed against him diminished greatly in number, and their stings diminished in intensity, too. For longer and longer periods, the man could wander the paths of paradise without fear or exhaustion until one day there was nothing - no paradise, no past - only God. And he arose and was in company with others and all people and things were in, through, and with God; and his new, true life began.

8 The Parable of a Prophet

A prophet walked among his people
to fetch some water. They cursed at him because
he could not heal the sick, nor feed the poor,
nor promise pleasures ever after.

And so his people cursed at him and spat
upon the ground as he walked by. He could
not please and so he was reviled.

There was
a time, when full of God's light and glow,
he spoke to all he knew of what stupendous love
that they were loved by God.

People said, "Good,
but what about my health and wealth, and wish
for many wives in paradise?" The prophet
shrugged. "Of that, how should I know; but let me
tell you once again that you are loved. Like
a future king and hero of the world,
we have a destiny of peace and perfection
that makes this world's gold look like dust."

"Give us
that dust and we will have the rest," the people said.
"Then you shall truly die. No good will come
of all you wish. Not even death will bring
you peace. Yet shall you live - the walking dead."

And so they cursed and spat. They said, "This man
does not speak for God but for the Devil.
He has nothing good to say or do for us.
Let him go to hell. He is a curse to all."

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