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Part 1: Catalyst
I recently read a blog that purported to report news
Of extraordinary import to us all,
That the Catholic Pope, with a new encyclical letter,
Announced to the world his conviction that there is no Hell
And that the idea of Hell itself is just a literary device,
A metaphor for separation from God’s love,
An idea now vanquished by God’s Grace in Christ….
That all men are, in fact, brothers AND children
Of a loving Father who loves us all in spite of our antics,
Not a parent that choses favorites or pits child against child.
I thought, “Am I dreaming? How can this be true.”
“The church has so long been a source of judgment,
Pitting groups of men against each other
With appeals to their vanity and attempts to separate
Believers from their hard earned cash, not to serve God,
But to enrich perhaps man’s monuments to Satan himself.”
The Pope’s imagined letter continued with vows
To abandon intolerance, even recognizing that
“Truth is not set in stone,” and that men have no right
To insist God cannot change or wisdom to discern it
If in fact it should happen, evolution itself seeming proof
That even God gets bored with the status quo at times
Just one little asteroid it seems and poof, abracadabra,
No dinosaurs, to munch any longer, on man’s progenitors.
The letter even suggested that we remain open to new
Sources of inspiration, like science perhaps,
Another good and perfect gift to man from God,
And concluded that no door open to one sex
Should ever be closed to the other, that men and women
Should all be eligible to the church’s hierarchy
And Old Testament calls for intolerance and judgment
Be seen as outdated, and contrary to the message
Of love and truth, revealed in Christ’s teaching .
Part 2: The Unfolding of Feeling
It was as if the doors of heaven itself had been opened to me,
And Christ resurrected once again from the dead,
First death on the cross, second death by those
Who wear expensive versions of His stolen vestments
Perhaps only the innocent can truly know His pain,
Well, maybe the two thieves who died with Him as well
One of which entered paradise with him the same day.
Man’s journey, our journey with God began long before
The birth of all we know, God’s plan already perfect,
Before time as we know it began, in God’s imagination,
Even the very idea of your future life precious to Him.
The paradox of God knowing you completely and your free will
Already blossoming in one of God’s favorite gardens,
Nestled in the Word of the great I AM, the holy seed of your birth,
A poetry whose rhyme, rhythm, and music only angels sing.
How many stars had to die for your awakening in His plan?
How patient and wonderful His dream for your life,
As atom by atom your complex chemistry was collected
From the vastness of the whole of His creation!
All of this preparation for you, joy in your potential,
Who is greater in His heart, my brother, my sister than you?
Yet you think yourselves beyond the reach of His caring,
Beyond the warmth of His heart, because of other’s lies.
Part 3: The Denouement
Of course it is only fair for you to question my sharing,
Indeed the heart always doubts, but God doesn’t condemn,
His Grace always so much bigger than we can imagine,
His justice wiser that than that of our ancestors.
Yes, my own witness rests on the love of another….
This witness showed me God’s love without cunning
With his heart alone he proved that God’s love is real,
No evidence can disprove what I learned that day.
May God lead you to so trust my words or your own miracle!
Do not listen, my still troubled friends, to Sunday Christians
Who imagine their church to be a Country Club for the saved,
“We have so much money God must love us more than the rest!”
Let me assure you, whatever church or faith you visit by chance,
Regardless of what they think of themselves, you’ll find a niche,
For every church is, in fact, a hospital for the sick and dying.
While you are with them do whatever good that you can.
You might be the Good Samaritan a desperate church has prayed for,
You, though a stranger to their faith, teach them what faith means.
Part 4: Epilogue
Yes , on our journey of faith the terrain is never of our choosing,
The scenery, the wells that quench thirst, the manna heaven sent,
Our strength too, but movement is always our own will.
I called or wrote many of my best friends to share the dreams
Expressed in this disarming and duplicitous journalistic prose,
And then the next day when it became clear that the letter was false
Just as quickly repeated my efforts to inform all of the deceit.
I find myself now laughing at my own gullibility,
But rather pleased at the same time that so many shared my dreams.
If you find my disappointment in organized religion laughable,
Let me share finally by echoing “The Beatles” and say simply that,
“I hope someday you too will join us, and the world will be as one!”
June 26, 2015
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