Saturday, May 6, 2006

Prayers With Augustine

5 Oct 2005--Continence the pale queen of wales
If one asked to be shown the will of God and was shown the will of God in answer to his prayer, why would he not sell all he has and buy the pearl of great price? What keeps him fettered? Is it the cares of the world? Yes. The vines that choke and cling to scraps of clothing as if they were serpents attempting to rip flesh from a cow trying to make his way through a barbed wire fence, striking at him from the backside.

And they call out

Are you going to dismiss us?

For though they rip and tear, they bring with their bite the masochistic pleasure of poison injected into the system, flowing to all parts of the body, seizing the will like a frozen engine. It is injected like a drug, and becomes habit, and habit seizes down most fiercely on those trying to escape.

And so it was true that

"the higher part of our nature aspires after eternal bliss while our lower self is held back by the love of temporal pleasure. It is the same soul that wills both, but it wills neither of them with the full force of the will. So it is wrenched in two and suffers great trials, because while truth teaches it to prefer one course, habit prevents it from relinquishing the other" (VIII.x)

And in my worldly life all
was confusion.

The pleasure of poison is the pleasure of the whore, because it is so wholly opposed to the pleasure you offer us. It is in opposing your willand in that act!that we attempt to pleasure ourselves.

But for the man who has been shown the light of Illumination; for one who has been fast asleep and in darkness, the light blinds. It holds one in awe of your presence, as if you were a UFO come down from some foreign place to visit us for a brief instant. And after such illuminations it becomes impossible for the man in full conscience to full partake off the pleasures and comfort in things that differ from what was illuminated.

"And in their midst was Continence herself, not barren but a fruitful mother of children, of joys born of you, O Lord, her Spouse" (VIII.xi)

But what of the chains that bind me from doing your will, O God? Do I even strain against them so much? For if I applied half the will that I do know you would work behind me to wrench and break them to free me from the constraints of my own deranged will?

For if I came face to face with you Lord?
How could I look at myself in the mirror again?
How could I lie with a harlot while Continence herself stands beside the bed?

The hound has eyed the moon and begins his pursuit.

From me! he cries, as it crashes through the window
And vanishes into the air at the command.

* * *

And yet the will of God is insanity to men! How many saints have gone mad preaching your Word, O Lord? Is it best for us to keep our mouths silent, our words of your Truth bound tight? For men call us crazy, having drunk too much wine. But you reveal Truth to little children, who confound men by their innocence. Make my heart clean, O Lord, my innocence an ivory cloak. Hide yourself from my sins and help me to break the chains that bind me fettered and in a world of confusion. Send your saints to walk among me.

Give me Continence. But not yet.

Currently listening:
By Jolie Holland

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