A Collection of Essays by Yusop B. Masdal
I. THE MUSH ROOM CLOUDS
“I saw mushroom clouds in the sky, so huge and menacing, like a breathing monster that is silently heaving of havoc and mayhem.”
“God blesses those people who make peace.
They will be called his children!”
-- Matthew, chapter: 5, verse: 9
“ Those who believe (in the Quran),
And those who believe in the Jewish (scriptures),
And the Christians and the Sabians-
Any who believe in Allah
And the Last Day,
And work righteousness,
Shall have their reward
With their Lord; on them
Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
--The Quran: Surah 2: Al Baqarah: Verse 62.
I saw the symbol of mushroom clouds forming in the sky, mirroring exactly the umbrella-like formation of the resultant smoke coming from a nuclear explosion. I saw them first when I was in Manila, among the visions of angels and flying horses and many other images. Months after, while I was already in my hometown of Zamboanga, the images appeared to me again, about a couple more times. For certain, the message it invoked was insistent that it is among those that are repeatedly relayed to me. We must heed the warning signs so that mankind may be warned of impending catastrophe if the will of the Lord is not attained.
I remember Hiroshima as I gazed towards those humongous umbrellas, just as I recalled them in old black-and-white pictures as the dark clouds rose to the sky and took the daylight out of the horizon.
It is not a time for us to be unmindful to the signs of the times and we must take heed always. Dissensions and isolations creep amongst nations nowadays that we must consider taking further steps for international comity and understanding before mankind would implode by itself -- by its own mischief and excesses -- and thereon thwart and dispel the risk of earthly destruction.
In the international political arena, world leaders are continually faced by the ever-reverberating menace of conflicts and arguments; among these issues is the impending proliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear warfare for that matter. This is beside the admitted threats of weapons of mass destruction that had brought America to its latest war and caused the downfall of Saddam Hussein, a self-styled autocrat who is believed by many to be a major threat to world peace.
Let us not be foolish to think that proliferation of nuclear technology would forever be stifled as we have so far. To regulate it is the hardest thing to do, as the world becomes continually borderless that people and materials could come and go in all geographic partitions without being detected.
Years ago, computer technology was merely the domain of the few developed nations. Now, more than half of the world manufactures and assembles computers. It is not difficult to surmise that nuclear technology could have the same fate as computer technology. Especially now that somewhere beneath international attention, some nations are wickedly salivating to have a grasp of such technology.
The potentialities of this warfare are so attractive. Nuclear power is the best defense against the mischief of neighboring countries with malicious schemes. It is the greatest “balancer of power”, the most effective bluff against enemies. And yet, nuclear warfare is the greatest threat to human existence at present.
Today, nuclear proliferation is regulated with relative effectiveness while admitting that some underground trading is happening. This is mostly due to the efforts made by international bodies, mainly by the United Nations.
Let us not be fooled however by the seemingly stable peace the present world is experiencing. While we indeed desire that peace should be everlasting, we must not let down our guards. We must be continually vigilant against those who seek conflict. This vigilance shall be the crucial sacrifice that we shall make which would include protracted and determined effort to bring more understanding and cooperation among nations and among men of different race and creed; between the East and the West, among Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, between the whites and the colored, between the wealthy and the poor, and among the fortunate and the oppressed.
Let us remember clearly that the peace we have been experiencing at present is merely for a relative short period of time, when we just had the most destructive war fifty years ago in World War II, not to mention the also-destructive World War I in the earlier part of the last century.
If we study and examine human civilization, through thousand of years of human existence, mankind had repeatedly been disturbed by countless wars, huge and small, among many empires and kingdoms. There are the wars that gave rose to the empires-the Persian, the Byzantine, and the Romans among many others-as well as those that brought their downfalls, and wars among neighboring nations. There was the Hundred Years War between France and the Great Britain, there was the war that caused the colonization of nearly half of the world territories, the Crusades by the Europeans against the Arabs, the conquest of Arabs of nations in the name of faith, the North and South War in America, the Vietnam and Korean War, the war between Iraq and Iran, the Baltic Wars, the Gulf war, the war of India against Pakistan---these among many. In the end, we must realize that every war seems to be impending, that every tension may possibly explode and that every conflict may possibly escalate.
Admittedly, international comity and understanding at present help us stave away uncertainties and probable ignitions of war. The establishment of the United Nations is the greatest innovation that man had achieved in recent history for it had allowed nations from all four corners of the world to seek a forum for understanding, for redress and grievances and arbitration of conflicts. Yet, we must not stop at this for we need to promote more understanding and cooperation among peoples and nations especially among people of different religion for it is religious wars that is most menacing. A religious war connotes unimaginable mayhem and havoc. Many men readily kill and die in the name of religion.
International understanding and cooperation among all people is mankind’s greatest weapon and guard against the risk of impending wars. Let us remember always that if we do not seek “oneness of men” as early as now, decades from now, wars may be more virulent and destructive that mankind may implode upon itself and find its own apocalypse.
It is the hope of this author that men should understand that men are equal in the eyes of God. The differences in faith and religion are just circumstantial. For in Arabia people grow dates while in America they grow apples. We could not expect to be the same and yet we could be one.
And further, if every religion seeks righteousness, then let us all be righteous for those who repent and seek the righteous path shall gain eternal life but the wicked who seek the evils of the world---of violence and fornication---shall wallow in eternal punishment in Hell.
II. THE MESSAGE OF MERCY
“I saw the man clearing a canal with a long wooden pole, carefully letting water flow unhindered by any obstructions. Then I saw another man pointing his right hand upwards, dressed as a traffic officer, where amidst this image were two pathways; one leading upward to where the man was pointing to, while the other slope gradually downwards.”
The angels have come to give us the rewards of repentance, in order for us to turn around from our sinful ways, and return to Him by leading the life of the righteous-a simple life but a life righteous and free of wickedness.
My brothers and sisters, the Great Divine acknowledges our imperfection and our inclination towards the many traps of human existence that in the end, His mercy supercedes everything that He had given us, that in the end, He gives every man a chance for repentance and an opportunity to flee from the stranglehold of our wicked ways.
We must not be adamant to deny our collective guilt for man today had succumbed to the many evils that had stained the peace of mankind.
Shall we hide our darkest intentions under the veil of imperfection? To say and declare to Him that we sin because we are merely humans? Are we courageous enough to defy Him?
Let us not tolerate our excesses by invoking our humanness for it will only lead us deeper into the quagmire of sinfulness. The more we sink into the quicksand the harder for us to escape certain perdition.
We are human that is why we err. But we do not sin just because we are human. We sin because at times we forget our faith.
But men who steal in the millions and practices fornication do not merely forget their faith but are clearly courageous and defiant enough to go against the will God. They have become the followers of Satan themselves and they shall never gain their salvation, lest they repent so heavily.
Everyday we see the common thief and he is just another thief. Everyday we see men who covet lustfulness and deify the pleasures of the flesh and yet we seem to be not surprised anymore. At times, we even take pleasure by their displays of lustfulness and ravishing of the flesh.
There are many of them who savor the irresponsible call of lust and even gainfully and leisurely exhibit them in the eyes of other men; they are the most evil of all. They are like the moth that seeks the flame not knowing the flame would bring its end. They know nothing of consequences of wantonness and only live in temporary pleasures.
Evil has a way of clouding our intentions even the careful insights of our mind. What we knew of evil then, is not evil no more. What we know as improper then is not improper anymore.
Let us go back to the basic dictates of the Lord. Every religious book will point you to the righteous path-may it be the Holy Bible, the Torah, the Noble Quran, the teachings of Buddha the Enlightened One, or the Hindu scriptures. The basic evils are prohibited in whatever creed--murder, fornication, and thievery; as well as gossiping and rumormonging, warmonging and blasphemy.
Let us not be misled by beliefs and premonitions that has no basis and has no Divine Guidance.
Be steadfast against the might of the Evil One, for those who shall take rein of their lust for flesh and material wealth shall gain a life everlasting in the Hereafter. Those who wallow in wickedness shall slither in boiling mud consisting of bristling molten lava in the underground world known as Hell and their suffering shall never cease.
As we repent, we must produce the fruits of our repentance by charity and alms to the poorest of the poor for those who have a good heart shows to God clearly how Godly he or she is. Those with the greatest love shall gain wings of the widest span and shall roam the entire universe as a soldier of God.
As we repent, we shall undone what we have done wrong. We must return what we have taken improperly. We must seek forgiveness from those we sinned against while we ask forgiveness from Him, Our God Almighty.
As it is of old, how do we say that we love God whom we do not see and yet hate our brothers whom we could see? How do we profess to the greatest of faith when there are many among us who sleeps naked on the streets, infants suffering the weather for lack of roof on their heads?
We do not have faith if we remain blind to the suffering of others. And even if we have faith, they are of no significance to you unless you have works.
It is not how much we pray or how much we practice religion that would save our souls but rather it is how much we live a righteous life. Religion alone will not save us. What will gain us our salvation is the goodness of our hearts, to be men for others and not for the self merely.
In our return to the fold of the Light, we must leave behind even the commonest of evil, even the every day wantonness of our tongue to spread rumors and conflicts; so if we repel this simplest of evil the more then we repel the gravest of evil like fornication and violence.
For God the Father loves the humanity so much that He does not relent in reminding us the things that would save our souls and He offers this redemption of our sins once more. We should not be foolish to deny it.
For those who are obedient shall gain eternal life in a kingdom of peace and harmony among brothers and sisters all, where humanity shall persist in blissfulness in the arms of the Lord.
III. THE PARABLE OF THE GOLD AND WATER
“The angel pointed to his arms (brothers in arms) and then signaled another message by carrying a load on its back (to carry our brothers and sisters).”
There is the man who trekked the hinterlands, through the empty desserts and barren hills, to sought a high rocky mountain of gold. Day and night he labored like a mule until one day he had mined enough gold, more than the weight he could carry.
He was blissful of the promise of things that he was laughing inside as he walked down from the high rocky mountain. And yet he had to pass the empty dessert and the barren hills when his parcel of food and water was starting to run out of him. As he walked the miles, he became weary and exhausted and his bag of water finally became empty. He died before he reached any water well.
And then there was the man who had nothing and yet he had found a water-well. He put up a tent nearby and guarded the place with his own life. Long after, he made use of the well in many ways and cultivated plants and vegetables to nourish him until he had a farm. Soon after, animals roamed his lot and he became a wealthy man in several years, although not in a day. He died of old age and lived a good life. He did not have gold but he did not perish.
A man may have all the gold that he could carry and yet without water he would soon perish.
What is more important then, water or gold?
For certain many of us chose to labor upon gold and yet we do not realize that the most important things in life are there for us in bountiful quantity. Before we seek gold, we must seek water.
And then you might ask: why would I look for water when I have enough of them? I looked for what I do not have.
For certain, we do not indeed look for what is already at hand and yet we could not deny that in the wholeness of things, we truly disregard the things that give us life and at many times kill ourselves for the things we could not have, we even risk our souls through mischief and evil ways in order that we may have the things we do not have and we do not need.
There is a pyramid of wants and desires that continue to blind us to this day--a pyramid of needs that has blinded us away from the true meaning of life. In this scheme of wants, we put primordial the things that we do not need and we put at the least the things that really give us life.
We turn in our beds and scream invectives into the night when we could not have the riches of the world when all we need to live are always at hand. We disregard the many gifts that the Great Divine had provided us, even to the extent that we forget the omnipotence and providence of the Lord.
Many seek the treasures of the world and yet they lose the water of life. They mined the high rocky mountains for gold endlessly even up to their last breath and yet they do not soon realize that the moment they are called to return to the Lord, their water has run out, that their souls have lose their salvation, and that their rewards in Heaven nil. They would even meet the flames of the Unending Fire in Hell.
We always see the gold while we are blind to the water. We find fault for all things that we do not gain instead of being grateful to the things that we have. We deny the Lord and all the good things He had given us.
There are those amongst us who are restless and impatient that once they do not gain these earthly treasures, they turn to evil ways. They kill and kidnap, they rob and cheat, they steal and deceit. They harm the peace of others in their endless pursuit of happiness. They are not merely impatient but they are also ungrateful to the Lord. They have their souls slaved upon silver and gold and they have sold them to the devil and hence they shall be the Companions of the Fire in the Hereafter and their suffering shall be without end.
They defy and ignore the commandments of the Lord. They set aside the words of the prophets and the messengers. They bark their protestations for all the things they lavish upon, upon the pleasures and temptations of wealth and of strange flesh.
Shall we ask the Lord for reasons why we are born wanting in many things? We shall not be blind for all the things we need is given us by His Providence.
If we are born without water, then it would be the moment for us to question the Lord: My Lord, why was I born and yet there is no water to be found?
If we are born without air, then it would be the time for us to protest to Him and ask: My Lord, why should I live here and yet there is no air for me to breath?
If plants and fruit trees does not grow from the ground nor animals could gain offspring then we might even ask Him: Oh Lord, why did you allow me to be born in this world and yet I could not grow food from the soil?
But shall we ask him: My Lord, why do I have no gold and pearls?
Shall we ask Him: My Lord, why should I be born and yet I could not lavish myself in lustful pleasures?
We shall be fools and defiant if we ask Him these questions.
Without air and water we shall persist but shall we perish if we do not have gold?
For the righteous man, life here in this mortal world may be a continual existence of toil and strife and yet he does not bark protestations and yet he is the one who has no heaviness in the heart, and he shall be always be ready to face every sunrise and to bade to every sunset, and he shall be the one to face the Lord with the lightest of soul.
He shall be the one to reap the rewards of the Lord-an Eternal Life in the Hereafter.
And yet, those who seek all the treasures in this world even through violence and deceit shall lose their salvation and shall gain the flames of the Unending Fire.
For it has been said before that those that are first here on earth shall be the last in Heaven and those that are last here in Earth shall be the first in the Kingdom of the Father.
IV. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN
“And then I saw three angels nearby, sitting on a roof of a building just across the street from where I sat. Their wings were high-arching as they sat there and their bodies so muscular and so well built--they looked perfect. Once also, a lady in the whitest of gowns suddenly appeared before me, with a charm and mystic so enchanting that I shivered. She had medium-sized wings. Before my amazement consumed me altogether, she suddenly disappeared.”
The righteous man is not a blind man being led by the blind, unlike the men full of wickedness led by their evil ways.
He is one whose eyes are wide-opened to the Light, the Enormous Grace of the Lord. He is one who takes faith in the Eternal Life, even without witnessing any miracles--one who has the proper mind to follow the dictates and commandments of God Almighty.
The righteous man believes in the Mightiness of God as above all other forces in the universe, a strength far stronger than the Darkness that holds down this mortal world like a monkey wrench---a world fraught with violence and of lust.
The righteous man is never boastful even if he has all the things in the world, of mountains and mountains of things. He is meek even in the greatest of success. He does not hold on to riches like a leech even if he has so much already and even if at times he faces uncertainties. He parts easily with whomsoever is miserable, even to those who are merely wanting in things. He clothes those who sleep naked in the streets, wearily bothered by the weather for having no roof on their heads.
He feels for the wounded for he is wounded himself when he sees the suffering of innocent infants crying in the night. And he may not have so much for himself but he thought not merely for himself but also for others, and takes what is merely due him.
The righteous man is blind to the color of the skin or to any man’s chosen creed for he is certain that a man is blameless for being born a Christian or a Moslem. For he knows that his God is the God of all men--the God of All Things.
He is one not to murder; neither to lie or takes God’s name in vain. He is never an adulterer or seeks and covets the flesh of any other men’s wives and daughters; his will is steadfast like a high rocky mountain.
The righteous man does not merely seek pleasures or look out for his own self merely. He is a brother’s keeper, a ready hand to lift the miserable in our midst. He seeks in paramount the righteous path, the greater glory of God.
For he knows that it gains him nothing to seek pleasures stained by the blood of innocents or by extreme mischief that only evil men could do. He has patience for he knows his rewards are far greater only if he seek not merely temporary pleasures but the ultimate pleasure of all, and that is, the reward of an Eternal Life, a life in the Hereafter where there is no more pain nor sorrow; a life of bliss amongst radiant gardens and crystal rivers.
For he knows that he loses everything if he lose his own salvation. What does it matter him to have the world and its worldly pleasures if in the end, he shall be sought by the flames of an unending fire in Hell, a fire that burns without end, a fire vengeful to the wickedness of men. Vengeful enough that men would realize that God the Father have given us the beauty of life-of water and wind-and yet many still disobey Him.
Many murder as well as to endanger the life of innocent children-of men and women-in crime and in torts-just in order for them to gain worldly possessions; of relief and luxury that excessive wealth could offer them. They are purely evil that repentance for them is even far worse than an elephant threading the needle’s eye. Even in their earthly existence, they shall have no peace for they shall be continually running away like scared dogs whose mouths are frothing. They could not runaway from their own shadows, only if they knew this. They could never hide anything from God and His angels. Every eye shall examine them and every mirror shall reflect the evil things that they have done. They shall carry their loads up to the fires of Hell that awaits them and this weight is carried even by their offspring, even by their children’s children, for the shame of their misdeed is like the world falling down on them. They shall gain their indignities for God sees everything and indeed they shall be the Companions of the Unending Fire.
They have done that is difficult to undone. They have taken what is impossible to return. They shall never bring life to the deaths that lie in their hands. They have completely closed their own doors towards salvation.
The righteous man shall never fear evil for evil shall fear him. He may suffer the weather and the pangs of hunger yet the lack of things does not imbibe him to seek the hand of Satan for he knows, that what is more important is to be at peace with God, to welcome everyday the daylight full of confidence that the graces of the Lord is with him and that he shall certainly gain his rewards in the Hereafter, of a life without end where there is eternal bliss and not a thing to worry the heart, along mystical gardens and crystal waters, among enchanting temples and white castles with red turrets, where there are trees whose fruit never ceases in any season and so tasty that one could not get enough of them . Nothing could be sweeter than a man stained not by evil things or mischief for he is ready to face the day at all times and he has the most peace in his heart and mind. He may suffer and yet, he has no heaviness in his heart, he has nothing to answer for before any men, and most of all, before God.
The righteous man shall gain wings of the widest span to become the soldier of God, to roam the skies as an angel not only in Paradise but also in the entire universe, even towards this earth that he have left behind.
Salvation is certain for the righteous man, my brothers and sisters, we must all strive to be one.
In heaven, in the company of the Lord, there is no more class or distinction for everyone is a righteous man, may he be a Jew or a Hindu, a Caucasian or African, a rich man or a poor man. Everyone is brothers and sisters to all.
“And then I saw the Angel with the dance. When its wings have spread from on end to another end, to the East and to the West, I saw its hands appear. Its arms started to make movements with its palms wide open, moving from all directions into a symmetry of motion that was beautiful to the sight-it was the angel’s dance, so enchanting and so mysterious.”
A slab is a piece of slab. You run your hands through it and you would know very well that it is a piece of slab. You would feel the contour, the roughness or the smoothness of the surfaces.
And then you smell it and to be certain it would have the same wooden aroma of any piece of slab you have ever hold.
But freedom to us is freedom without the sense of sight or the sense of touch. Freedom is never always freedom when it is not susceptible to a very particular sense or meaning, but always floating in the air. You would never smell it nor touch it. You would not be able to see it also.
It is invisible to the eye and what is invisible is always a mystery. It is aside from the forces of our senses, even outside the power of our wills.
Freedom has gained its own masters and its own set of philosophers-to be defined and classified in so many words and terms-- and yet it remains that men kill and die for their own kind of freedom as against another man’s freedom for the freedom of one may not be the freedom of another. For at times the freedom of one man means the detainment of another.
There is that kind of freedom that is harbored by men of ardent philosophies-adventurous and complicated-to reason out that man should be left alone to determine his or her own fate, to be responsible for its own action, to be independent of thought and will, to the extent that they defy not only the norms of man but even the dictates of our God Almighty. Free will had become their sole reason for being and being for them is merely to lavish themselves with the dictates of their instincts-to the most mundane and to the basest. And further on, they trample upon every reason in order to free themselves of natural inhibitions and lavish themselves in improper pleasures of the mind and of the flesh, for they say they should be left alone, for they say man is born free. They are blind to the nature of things.
They are the ones who would travel the ends of the world just in order to unearth every loophole in any man’s law and that of the laws of God. They would scream and shout invectives if they are caught upon for they deify freedom like a religion and their religion is merely their own will and that of no one else. They are like beast in the wilderness that, once caught in their own traps, would gnash with the most ferocity at their captors, frothing in the mouth, unyielding and defiant.
They do not overcome their own will, they let it flow unhindered and spoil their own souls. They open the floodgates of excesses that they do not only become merely excessive but they take pleasure in wicked things. They introduce themselves into conducts nearly bestial and diabolic. They wallow in the flood of lust and violence; truly they are wickedness reborn. They are the descendants of those who were burned in the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and their fate shall be as worse, if not worst. For just they know that man is born free, they let themselves wallow in the muck of wickedness. They soil their bodies and bring death to their own souls.
They are men wanting in faith, lacking the power of the will, and they are not patient. How could they be patient when they do not believe in the Judgment Day and in the promise of Eternal Life in the Hereafter? They have disregarded the forewarning of the Lord, through the prophets and the messengers. They have a universe centered on their selves that primary upon them is the pleasures of the body-they do not overcome their will.
Indeed, man was born free, to be able to have volitions and independence of thought and action. Freedom is the greatest gift of God to man. He is born free so that he would savor with delight the beauty of life here on Earth and yet freedom was not given for man in order that man should defy Him. Freedom is for man to live an eventful sojourn in this temporary world.
Even as a child grows into adulthood, he realizes that he has the power of self-determination, to steer his mind and body towards the ends that he desires. And yet, he also realizes that despite the independence of his will, there are many things that he could not do. He realizes that he is susceptible to many limitations---both seen and unseen. He is hindered by the forces of nature just as when he could not stay dry when a storm pours down on him while he is walking on an open field. He is also hindered by other men, that he could not for example take anything in sight lest his possession be at risk of being taken.
Despite of freedom, he could not be underwater for long less his breathe is sucked out of his breast.
Despite of freedom, he could not lift himself above ground like birds do.
Despite of freedom, he could not spit on another man’s face lest he be at risk of danger.
He could not do violence less he be violated himself. He could not take lest his possession be taken also. He preserves his things. He could not as easily speak against anyone less he be spoken also in the darkest of manner. He could not kill for he would be at risk of death himself.
Man therefore has freedom but he is not free to do all things. There is no freedom absolute.
And yet many deify freedom like a religion. They cry freedom like they were in battle and their lives were on the line. In the name of freedom, they lavish their flesh in strange lust and in violence. It is false freedom that they speak of.
Let us see the man who simply walks the streets and then he meets another man walking towards his direction. For this man, it is freedom for him to just pass by and ignore completely the man he meets. It is freedom for him not to address him nor offer comfort to that other man even if that man would be dying of starvation. There would be no law or ordinance that he would violate. It is also freedom for that walking man to greet the other man, feigning a pleasant façade, to welcome him and give him comfort even if he is at the least of discomfort. There are just a lot of things that the walking man could do in such a situation, a lot of space for freedom.
And yet despite freedom, that walking man could not just spit into the face of the other man for he would invite havoc and mayhem possibly. He could not kick or trample him unless he be trampled himself and kicked towards the ground. It is not freedom for him to shout invectives and insults and accusations lest he be insulted himself.
Men may do many things but there are things they could not do.
The Lord has not been wanting in reminding us towards the proper freedom. We have our own volitions and yet through many prophets and through many messengers, He has guided us with His dictates and commandments in order for us to balance our use of freedom as against wickedness, in order that we may be guided towards the Light and towards the righteous path, the path towards Eternal Life.
Freedom is beauty to mankind and yet its unhindered use is dangerous. It is like upon salt that a pinch shall add taste to the viand but a horde of it shall suffocate the eater.
Would you be the one who is impatient and to wallow in the muck of wickedness and in temporary pleasures, only to lose everlasting peace and blissfulness in the Afterlife?
What would you gain if you gain all the treasures in the world and yet to lose your salvation when death comes calling?
Would you be the rabbit who sought pleasure first and let pass his destination for long?
Or would you be the turtle that labors with every step and be the one to reach destination first?
Do not be impatient and overcome your will against the temptation of wealth and of the flesh for the rewards of the righteous is enormous-an Eternal Life in Heaven-while the punishment for those who defy shall be the torment of the Unending Fire.
The beauty of freedom is for us to savor the beauty of life; to breathe the breezy air; to welcome the warmest of sunrises and sunsets; to bask in the most effervescent of daylight; to be enthralled by the flowers in the garden; to be endeared by the singing of robins in the summertime; in other words, freedom allows us to have a wonderful sojourn in this mortal world as we wait for the next phase of existence, an existence more glorified and gratifying to the soul where righteous man shall gain wings of the widest span in order to roam Paradise and the entire universe.
They say to love is freedom. That freedom is love and that love is freedom.
But a man loves the whole and not merely the superficial. To love is to give and not to ask. It is to love the wholeness of being and not merely the superficiality of things.
To love is to seek the person as a whole and not merely a part of him or her.
To love is never merely to seek the flesh for it is never to love when lust is the primary purpose of adoration--it is an abuse of person. For it is to love to seek the gain of the other and not merely the benefit of the self.
Many seek love in the name of freedom that they result into excesses of the flesh.
They say it is freedom for man to seek the flesh for man is free and so he is free to be blissful. They seek wickedness if they only know this, for man is created apart and above those beasts in the wilderness.
These are men and women who see another person as merely objects; as merely tools and weapons in order to pursue their selfish and improper intentions.
It is not merely a question of what I want but also what others want and ultimately what the Lord Almighty wants.
Let us seek the proper freedom so that we may be guided towards the Light, towards the goodness of things and not to wallow in wickedness.
Those who are excessive shall never sleep tight in the night for their own shadows shall bother them and they always realize these things too late.
Be free and yet be patient.
VI. THE FRUITFUL BASKET
“Then there was a pageant of men that I saw in the sky, as the clouds formed their images, holding each others arms as an image of an angel appeared out of nowhere in order to reach out for them and led them towards a direction that pointed upward.”
Among the most beautiful and most delightful symbols that I have seen from the sky was the scene of men holding each others hands, as if they are brothers to each other, not letting go of another, while a man with a span of wings on his back appeared out of nowhere in order to extend his hand, and in order to lead them towards a place full of hope and promise.
My brothers and sisters, there is no far greater purpose in life than to seek the oneness of all men, as we are all created equal, no matter how we were created differently. Nothing far more heroic in the eyes of men and mostly in the eyes of Our Lord, than to seek the fellowship of other men, although these men may be of different race or creed. Nothing is greater than a love to one who differs from us, for they differ not of their own intentions, but merely the intentions of nature and circumstances. For the Arab is man of the dessert while the Asian is mostly of the plains.
And yet to this mission, nothing could be far more daunting, for while we seek the peace among ourselves we are continuously haunted by our unpeace. We see with every eye and we hear with every ear how we wear many shades of skins and how we speak in many tongues, we are not blind to this. We are never blind also as to how the differences in us give rise to conflicts and arguments, and even to bloodshed that in one man’s hands lies the blood of his brother.
Far too difficult this task may be and yet we do not take heed to the weaker side of our minds and hearts. We shall strive to seek peace amongst us no matter how the storms may shatter our resolve, for it is the will of the Lord God Almighty, that we seek now the Brotherhood of Man.
We must fill the basket with apples and oranges; and then we still have to fill it with peaches and mangoes; and then further, we still have to load it with mangosteens and bananas. And we shall carry this basket no matter how we realize that our load had become heavier. We must strive harder, for sooner than we know, we shall reap our rewards in the end, and savor the basket full of fruits of many kinds.
We are like the river that threads many paths and yet to end merely in the same ocean. We all must thread the same path in the name of Our Lord God, for whomsoever conflicts with his brother, also conflicts with Him.
For He is like the Father who has many children and does not in any manner leave any child to suffer the weather, out in the coldness of the night. And He whispers gently to the ears of the older and wealthier children in order to persuade them to seek out their poorer and suffering siblings, for He suffers also when one of His children suffers.
He is the Father who suffers the wounds of His children.
How blinded have we become by our prejudice? How we take others aside for lack of knowledge that all men are seen as equal in the eyes of God. He did not deem it that He shall favor some and disfavor others, for He is the God of All Men.
Could you honestly believe in your hearts that He had allowed many other men to be borne only for them to lose salvation, just because they have not come to the folds of Christianity or Islam? There are just too many of them that we could never be blind.
Have you actually expect the china man to speak the white man’s tongue? Shall the African drink wine on his daily table when he grows root crops to drink some other beverage?
Shall you ask why the Jew did not become a Moslem when all his life he was tended and made to learn his own scriptures? Could you blame anyone? Blame is never in the side of the Lord.
We may imbibe a Hindu to seek your own creed, by teaching him all the books that may be at hand and yet you could go for a thousand days and a thousand nights and you would soon find out that you were only made to imbibe a few of them, if ever there would be learners of your kind of faith. It would take a millennium for you then to imbibe most of them, a task nearly impossible.
In so long that any one remains in the righteous path, to follow the basic teachings of the major faiths---Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism---then there would be no more argument for every religion seeks the righteous path, seeks the goodness in every man.
For a Moslem is blameless if he professes to Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Omnipotent because mainly, he had been thought by his forefathers in the learned ways of Islam, until he had embraced genuinely the faith of his forefathers?
In so as the Christian, he remain blameless in the eyes of other men, for mostly he has learned in the way of Jesus Christ even from birth, and even until death comes to him.
And so is with the Jew, for he was born a Jew in the first place and learned mostly the teachings of Abraham and Moses. How could blame be upon him?
For faith can be bared to its simplest form and that is, in order for man to pursue the goodness of our hearts and to dispel wickedness. What is evil is the grave things that men do-fornication, adultery, murder, thievery, the wantonness of the tongues, the propensity to conflict, selfishness and apathy to the plight of the unfortunate. These are the things we must take issue and not the differences of our faith.
We must seek the unity in our faith rather than make war with the differences, for it is like upon seeing the rose then hating upon the thorns rather than being enamored by the beautiful red petals.
For a man may be rich in faith and yet in the confines of his own home, he is wicked and evil in his heart, faith then is of no essence to him.
Yet a man you see on the street may be of another faith aside from your own, and yet he is kind in his heart and light towards his other fellow men---his faith is of the greatest essence to him and to the whole world.
It is foolish now to believe that we could all be harbored in the same singular faith. Let be what could be let be. In so long as Evil does not reign in this world, then live and let live.
It is childish and at times foolish if we should expect the china man to speak the white tongue from his birth. We knock on empty doors if we should seek that in the end, men should speak the same tongue and believe in the same creed. Without our differences, existence in this world would be insufferable for its monotony. The world would not turn and revolve.
Our differences allow people to roam and explore the unknown, to be interested in the other. Men traveled in the past to find things different from what they have. They road the waves and braved the great ocean waves in order to find porcelains and spices in some faraway land. If spices were all abound, we would have not reached these level of understanding amongst people of different nations for men would not have traveled in the past. It was differences that brought men of different race closer together in the past and until now.
Prejudice put a seed of viciousness in our hearts that often we are led to hate and violence towards other men whose only pain was to be born different from us. To seek prejudice is to plant a seed of conflict, to seek the weapons of war, instead of fellowship.
We see the thorns and not the flower.
We must now realize that the Lord had intended it that we are born different. Our differences are for a purpose, even our differences in faith. If all religion seeks the path of righteousness, then there shall be no point of dispute.
Let not prejudice put you at risk of the Judgment Day for whomsoever conflicts with his brother, conflicts also with Him, Our Lord God Almighty.
There shall be no argument as which is the greatest of faith for even if we debate for a thousand days and thousand nights, no one could ever claim the truest faith with irrefutable evidence. The words would not end and the arguments would not cease. Let be what should let be and live so that others may live.
For righteousness is never the monopoly of any faith. In so long as we are all righteous and prayerful to the Lord God, we shall be rewarded with our peace in the Hereafter.
For those who shall make peace shall be called the Children of God.
VII. THE GREAT VISITOR
“At a glance, the image invoked no particular message, but a mere embrace, a warm welcome. I saw Him, an enigmatic figure.”
I trained my eyes so carefully as I looked for further messages from the angels when all of a sudden, as if my body was lifted above ground for a second or two, as I sat there stuck to my own chair, a bearded man appeared sitting on a huge throne, smiling at me so warmly like a beautiful sunrise as if saying to me ‘See, I have come’.”
My eyes were a little wet and teary-eyed when I saw this most enigmatic of all images. I have seen this man, Jesus Christ sitting on a huge throne, a warm smile on His face, like a warm embrace that almost I felt some trembling on my skin. A cold wind passes me by so suddenly.
It was the most enduring of all images that I have seen from the sky, a bearded man on a very huge throne, lasting for a full minute or so. It was a face so familiar for I have seen that face countless times in the past, in pictures hanging from walls and corridors, on doors and entrances, on the bulletin boards, in churches and offices, and even in public markets; it is the picture of a man so adorned by many. I could never be mistaken, I could never go wrong.
Speaking through my mind and heart, He evoked the personage of enormous Love and Caress-He is indeed the Redeemer of Humankind.
It was an image of great welcome, a stark introduction to His person because right from that moment, I have scoured and read more about Him. The image was a revelation that finally now I am certain that He existed in the past, as we know Him in those bible stories, in books and in televisions, and He will continue to exist. It had led me to search the wisdom of the Gospels, as well as of other writings. He is the Beginning and he is the End. The Alpha and the Omega. For He has been raised towards the Heavens in order to return in the End of days--to be the Judge of All Men, the Witness of God.
And He shall be the visitor that we shall all expect. We shall clean our houses then, to sweep the floor of grime and dust the windows from dirt, to put on the red carpets and prepare the best wares in our dining tables. We shall put on our best garments and make the flowers bloom in the gardens of our front yards. Make the gardens bloom my brothers and sisters for we all shall welcome a great visitor.
We shall be ready with our water of life for if He shall come, we shall prepare Him coffee and tea, and confectioneries of all kind. We shall prepare Him a drink made from the water that we have invested with our good intentions and righteousness. Let our water of life be overflowing, so we may not be lacking if the time comes. Shall we be the bride who uses up the oil in her lamp and not providing light when the time comes?
It came to me finally, that Jesus Christ---the Son of Mary, the Messiah---was the one orchestrating the great stage show that I have been witnessing in the sky, as the angels flew here and there, to invoke messages in beautiful pantomime and exhibiting groups of symbols that completes a thought-so that I may find the answers and write them and relay them to you-to you all who may be righteous and good. It is then for me to serve a purpose, a purpose that is worth trying, to say the least. I would be the servant of God, if He wishes, as each and every one of us could be His servant too. We should find this in our hearts, for nothing is more admirable than this purpose, nothing far greater of a sacrifice.
This is no time to doubt nor a time to while away precious time; it is a time for us to rekindle the flame that burns in our hearts ever since we were born, the faith and belief in the Goodness of God, the rewards of the righteous, the Eternal Life that awaits us. It is a time for us to seek the path of the Light again, and none of the road that has blinded us into evil ways and wickedness. It is a time for our spirits to rise again against the might of the Evil One, as we struggle against the influence of the Darkness, as we live in this present world haunted by men and women slaved to flesh and prone to violence; those that are easy to deceit for in their hearts is unfaith and disbelief.
Now I know the man better. He is Christ, the Anointed One, and the Son of Man. He was the one who said, “ Do not look upon another person with one eye and lust upon that person. For you have committed adultery already”. For He was the one who said, “those who come in peace shall be called the children of God.”
Let us overcome our will against the temptation of the flesh and of wealth for those who shall remain in faith shall reap the rewards of Eternal Life. Let us all be Children of God. Follow my footsteps my brothers and sisters.
For He had come now, not perhaps as the resurrection as He had promised once but perhaps to merely make a stopover, a brief reminder to us before the day of reckoning shall come. In order to ease us our minds, to reassure us that despite our toil against the many temptations that hounds these present days, there is a pot of gold waiting for us at the end of the rainbow. So that we know that after we labor in our faithfulness, we shall be rested in an oasis of love and that we shall be put into good sleep by the lullaby of hope and redemption.
We are the fortunate ones--- this generation is gifted with a vision, a clear sign from the Lord God. We must not remain blind lest we missed out on our chances. There is no other time like this again for all of us. There was a promise made in the days of old and indeed, it is to be fulfilled.
For whom among us shall say that this generation has not been lost into the labyrinth of temptations, for every side we see, we see the might of evil. Shall we not confess our sins? It has been centuries and eons ago that Our Lord Almighty has given us His words, so long ago that not one among us to deny that the flames of faith have somehow mellowed down in our hearts, like a well-kept secret, like a treasure forever lost. It is time then for us to rekindle the Light in our hearts.
And now He has come through my visions to reawaken us from our deep sleep and face a brand new sunrise. We are the lucky ones indeed and we shall never let go of this moment for we may never pass this way again. We must all be one in the righteous path for the promise of Eternal Life is for all mankind. For whomsoever walk in the righteous path shall walk in the Way of the Light. A man may spend all his life in a cave and yet if he is righteous, he had walked in the Way of the Light. And a man may live in the temples all his life and yet if he is wicked in his heart, he had turned away from the Light.
There is a time to live and a time to rest, and a time for everything in between, and yet, this is the time for us to awaken our spirits and wash our soul clean. We must be born again and like a child, we must see the goodness in every man, to expect the brightness of life, and to evade every evil thing.
Let us cleanse our spirits and wash our souls. Let us repent and produce fruits from our repentance. For those who repent may find relief in the arms of the Lord. Let us open our hearts to those who suffer, bring life to those who are sick, to feed those who hunger and bring water to those who thirst. For we have been thirsty ourselves and now He gives us a fountain of life---our water of life.
Let us bathe and drink in this Fountain of Life.
VIII. A MEMORY OF PARADISE
“In my dreams, those memories came, of old things that reminds me of the gloriousness of salvation, in countless times and in countless ways. They are dreams full of colors-of castles and temples; of radiant valleys and hills; of splendid gardens that seeing them makes the heart sigh.”
There is a form of bliss that one never feels on this mortal Earth for it is beyond imagination. It is a kind of bliss that makes the eyes teary-eyed with overwhelming gratitude-a thankfulness to the Mightiness of God.
There is the harbor of the clouds, the road towards Heaven. Above is sky so clear that it is very cool to the sight. The sight gives a feeling of enlightenment, like having been doused by a pail of ice. In the clouds, we could float and navigate it easily. The feeling of flight itself is so exhilarating that it will make you wish that you should have not waited so long to reach the place. As you flow through the thickness of foamy clouds, you would hear the sound of music, more particularly the sound of strings from a guitar and that of a violin. The moment you hear this music, a mixture of emotions enveloped you that once again you would feel overwhelmed by the supernatural form of existence in the afterlife. There is indeed a kind of bliss so powerful that one loses his or her self into it.
Then there is the white castle that we shall approach, with turrets red as red can be and you could not miss them, for it shall enthrall your sight like no other and shall amaze you, for how come there are castles in the clouds?
In this castles and temples, the angels roam. You could see them playing games and enjoying musical concerts. Everyone is up and about in merriment and joy. There are many eventful happenstances there that existence there is a continual labyrinth of celebration and joy.
Paradise is a place prepared for us by the Lord, a new Eden somewhere in the constellation apart from us. It is Earth reborn. An Earth more beautiful a hundred times over. It is the return of Eden.
There are radiant hills and valleys and forest that look like giant gardens sculptured into perfection and symmetry. There are exotic birds that roam and four-footed animals that clatters above it. The flowers are so beaming with beauty that they are like no other. They are the reddest of red and the greenest of green. Where the color yellow is the yellowest and the color blue is the most blue. It is a world full of vivid colors that enchants the sight to no end.
The air we breathe there is thicker than the one we breathe here on Earth and that every time you breathe them, you would feel exhilarated by an overwhelming joy, a feeling of well-being that never ceases.
The rivers and brooks are so clear that they shine, to glow like crystals and to reflect the skies like a colossal mirror.
This is so far my memory of Paradise; a memory that is so long past that somehow recurs to me every now and then, in my dreams as well as in my mind whenever I close my eyes.
Let us come to the Garden of The Father.
IX. THE WEDDING RING
“There was the brightest star that guided me through the night in those nights of enchantment. While the angels flew here and there in order to execute their graceful pantomimes, in order to relay the Divine Messages, the bright start stood there like a beacon that somehow I knew I would never lose my way.”
There was once a common man that got betrothed and married his long-time fiancé in a simple bridal ceremony. There was the wedding ring that he bought and he gave it to his bride.
They lived contentedly although the at times life was hard on them. There was even a time that he had so much difficulties making ends meet that he had to pawn his wedding ring. His wife lamented this fact but he merely explained that what was more important is that they have food on their dining table. His kinsmen knew about this and even berated him for it and he merely said, “It is merely a ring.”
He went about with his work in his humble farm and with his other duties that it came that even if his financial means had become stable, he never redeemed the ring again and of course, he never wore them back again in his hands.
Ands so while he was with his friends and kinsmen, they all asked him, “Why is it that you are a wedded man and you do not wear a ring on your finger?” and then again, he answered merely, “I do not need a wedding ring in order to be married.”
For indeed the man knew that to wear the wedding ring is to declare to the whole world that he is married and those pretty lads from here and from nearby villages may not as much bother him no more. And yet he realizes that he needed no wedding ring in order that he may not be bothered, for he could be faithful without the ring glistening in his fingers.
And so our faith to the Lord God is at times like the wearing of the wedding ring. Many of us wear the ring and yet our hearts are full of adultery, betrayal and lasciviousness. And yet there are those who never wore them and yet their faith to their marital bow remained unshakened like a giant cliff amidst the bursting waves.
Many of us profess to faith as we pray in the temples while many eyes are watching and yet in our hidden lives, we disparage faith like a woman scorned. It is merely prayers to the wind if in our hearts is not the glory of God but the glory of lust and wealth. To pray at times is merely to honor and glorify our selves.
Foolish it is for one to let their gold and diamonds shine in their hands and yet they are full of mischief and unfaithfulness. They are the ones who seek lusts like they are merely walking in the park and they disregard the words of God as easily.
Shall we become faithful merely in the eyes of men and not before the eyes of God? There is no escape from the inquiries of the Lord and His angels, and when the time comes when judgment shall be laid upon all men, we can never deny anything.
In the basking of high noon, we hear the words of the preachers essaying the truthfulness of the gospels, the exemplar kindness of Christ, and yet as we go to the streets we easily forget these lamentations and we merely watch while some lay naked in the streets and suffering the cold wind as darkness approaches each time. They are deaf to the whining of the hungered amongst us.
Greed is at most times a vice that bothers the purity of our soul and blinds our hearts from the suffering of our brothers and sisters who are caught in the storm of suffering and desperation. How we forget the widow who gave a penny and yet she had given almost everything she had. For oftentimes, we are the tax collector who is merely noisy with a pittance of his wealth clunking on a beggar’s tin can.
The widow is like the married man who wears no wedding ring for her faith may not be well known yet her faith is the greatest.
For what if we have not sinned and remained prayerful to the Lord, shall we be perfect and assure us the Kingdom of God? We are perfect if we are able to dispel the every day sins and yet we are far from the Gate of Heavens if we are greedy although we have not sinned actively. We have not gossiped but we are grievously imperfect still if we disregard the needy amongst us. We pray to God and have not murdered and yet we are still imperfect if we retain more than what is due us. We have not coveted and committed adultery and yet if we do not heed the call of those who are sick and dying, we are blind to faith. We may not have stolen anything in our life and yet when we are greedy, we remain farthest from the glory of the Lord.
We must love our neighbor the Lord God has once imbibed us and often we forget this. To love the neighbor is not merely to love those who are physically present within us and around us but it is to love every other one who lay naked in the street, to provide water to anyone who is athirst, to comfort the sick and dying. If we have not loved our neighbor, we remain farthest from the Gate even if we have followed all the rest of His commandments. How could faith alone save us when it is works that shall purify our souls?
We merely wear a wedding ring and not truthfully married if we do not take heed to the call of the Lord towards charity and the giving of alms. We must practice alms often so that our hearts may be purified. If possible, we must have works in a week. If in a week it is not possible, we must do it once in a month. If in a monthly basis we could not do this, then we must do it once in a year, in an amount relative to our wealth.
In the days of old, it is one part for every whole of ten that men determine their alms. Even at present, this estimation is still reasonable. Take away from your profits all the expenses of your households and your taxes paid, as well as to the account of your personal needs, then whatever is left, one part for every whole of ten is reasonable. Seek the poorest among the poor for it is them that needed your helping hand. It is also of importance that before you give food to the hungered, it is primary to give life to those who are sick and dying.
Nothing is far greater in faith than a man who has nothing and yet he gives almost everything in his hands.
If it comes to you to ask yourself that although you have followed every commandments of the Lord, what it is that you must do in order to be perfect? If you have been truthful to the all the commandments of the Lord, you must further be faithful by seeking to work for the Lord, to be a man of great charity and of alms, and then your faith may be perfect and the Gates of Heaven shall be well at hand.
We must wear our faith neither in our necks as a gold chain nor in our fingers as a wedding ring. We must take faith in our hearts and a good heart is one who hears the cries of those who are suffering.
Our love to the Lord God Almighty needs no signs or symbols. It needs our good hearts.
X. A MYSTICAL POEM: THE VOYAGE
There was also one vision that I keep seeing repeatedly, communicating to me while I read in my study table. There were the images of two persons on the wall just in front of my study table. In the midst of the visions on the wall was a boat and the persons were standing on each end, which I took them to be the captain and the navigator. They relayed to me through signs and symbols that they were Angels too, taking other shape, in order to relay the messages on the wall more effectively. Their hands would signal many pantomime in order to converse with me and their heads would nod or shake whenever I confirm their messages (whether I got it right or I got it wrong). The captain was always pointing upwards, towards a destination, towards a place high up. Through signs and symbols, they made me write this poem, which is titled as “The Voyage”. Since it is of divine source, it is of the essence that all men shall read this and find the meanings in their hearts.
Come my dear child,
follow the footsteps of my symbols,
towards a voyage curved in stone,
as I have murmured and whispered to your ears from the beginning until the End of Times;
where humankind shall persist
in eternal Peace and Love
among brothers and sisters all.
Be the harbor of your patience,
like the child as you are
and grow into
the strength and courage
that I have seen in you,
as you have to your own children.
Mold them into the Light,
so that they may not be lost
in the Darkness
that you once knew.
The Heavens are for you to dwell,
and for those who believe shall be chosen;
that an enormous Love
shall make you fly,
with wings of the greatest span.
Carry your brothers and sisters
like you carry your own children
so that the evil forces shall be vanquished by the angels I have sent to defeat and subdue them.
And evil shall be vanquished indeed
by the Angels within us
and around us.
The signs on the wall were a magical exposition. Like the visions of angels, it was hard to fathom that somehow there are set of realities that are not as it were before, as they happened beyond my wildest dreams. There are things that made sense only in movies and in children’s stories, and yet these are the things that invoked to me to accept a newer reality.
“The Voyage” is a simple poem. It may be in metaphor but it does not confuse the reader as much. As we examined it, “The Voyage” speaks of things to come, of the promise that has been made known to us since time immemorial, the rewards of the faithful and of the obedient.
Each and every one of us should prepare ourselves for the voyage towards eternity and beyond. There is a ship on dock, to receive those who have done good works and men of greatest faith and obedience to the dictates of the Creator. This is the voyage that could end all voyages and we shall not let pass this opportunity to be part of the ultimate adventure towards the life hereafter. It may not come our way as easily again.
Prepare your own gears and effects. The voyage may be long and arduous and yet the rewards are great. Be patient for the destination is almost at hand. Those who shall overcome their will against the temptation of the devil shall be aboard the ship, and when he is already aboard, the road ahead is less laborious, in fact it would be a skyway to Heaven, a trip that has no stop but only destination.
Be patient so that you may have the purity of soul. A righteous man’s soul shall be your ticket to the Gate of Heaven. Do all things that are good and avoid every evil conduct. Is that too much to ask? What good does it do a man to receive the pleasures of a mortal world when he loses the Kingdom of God, an everlasting life?
Be prepared, for it is an enormous love that shall carry us towards eternity. Cultivate your heart so that you may be able to “carry your brothers and sisters like you carry your own children”, for an enormous love decides the purity of your soul. It is an enormous love to be a man for others, to look out not only for the self, but also for those who need help and assistance.
An enormous love shall give us wings of the widest span and the Heavens are for us to dwell. In the house of the Creator, there would be temples in the clouds, and Paradise everywhere. The Universe is so wide that there would be limitless geography in which we could spread our wings. There would be everlasting joy, peace and harmony. A life of music and dances, of merriment and celebrations and there would be no daytime or nighttime, neither Muslim nor Christian, neither black nor white.
To those that have not been able to prepare themselves, they shall be cast away and shall not be aboard the ship that awaits us at port. They will have another destination, downward to the road of perdition where the vengeance of eternal fire awaits them.
It is easy to prepare when patience is on our side. All we have to ask every now and then is: Would God desire to have me in His Temple? Would He allow me to live with Him and dwell with Him? Am I worthy of His presence?
Am I a thief? Am I a fornicator? Am I a murderer? Am I a gossiper? Am I an adulterer? Am I a Liar? Am I a blasphemer?
The life of each and every one of us is a voyage by itself. The voyage in fact starts now as we speak and shall end at the place and time God had promised all His children. Let us treat every day as a step towards the voyage, as a time and opportunity to prepare our souls, to carry God’s desires and wishes, to follow all His dictates and instructions.
What does it do a man to have faith and yet do not have works? Does faith alone could save him?
Be patient and be disciplined. Have faith but know the meaning of real faith. It is not how much or how deep you practice your faith but how you apply righteousness in your every day life. Not to be pious in men’s eyes and yet evil in the conclave of your homes. For God knows everything. To have faith as it is too often said, is also to have enormous love, to have hope, and to have charity. For what is faith if we do not have the basic concept of goodliness? What is faith if we continue to do abominable things?
I may not be perfect and yet I am imperfect without committing any sin. As a man, I am often envious and frustrated by anger, and jealous and yet I would not let my envy and anger consume and stain me. I may have nothing what others have but my lack of things would never lead me to steal. I may have the instinct of lust and yet I recognized that I have been given a heart and mind to dissuade me from bestial acts.
It is not to be perfect in order to come aboard. It is only to be good and disciplined that is required of us. Not to be perfect but merely to be righteous.
Let us go aboard my brothers and sisters. The voyage has just started.
XI. PURIFICATION OF OUR SOULS
“ A soul rose up towards the high heavens, reaching the darkening clouds when a horned creatures suddenly appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the soul and led it towards a direction. As the soul was being led away towards the eastern side of the sky, slowly downward to its perdition, three angels appeared in their most valiant forms with immense swords in their hands, and took away the lost soul from the hands of the dark creatures. There is a battle between good and evil and the battle is also within us.”
Man is born into the ruins of humanity fraught with temptations, that while he was born sinless and pure, he is bound to sin after all. No one is left unscathed and no soul is given rest as the hands of evil continue to dissuade us from the path of the Light.
But the Light never rests and never withers in order to make our burdens lighter and our load lesser. That even as darkness sometimes consumes us, there remains a flicker in which we could hold on to, even if it is fainter than the farthest star and yet it remains that the Light shall illuminate us only if we seek for the truth and not the untruth that blinds us.
And yet, Darkness continues to perturb us.
Even as a child, we succumb to our imperfections and that as we have grown, the temptations become harder to contend. Nobody is sinless and no one could escape sin, this is one of the mysteries of our existence. Even as the Lord instructs us to be perfect and yet we struggle with every footstep that we make, we stumble when at times we run too fast.
We are the lost sheep at most times waiting for the shepherd to come for us in the wilderness, to show us the way out our mires. It would be fruitless to be the least of candor and deny these things that perturb us. We must see the Light again, to open our hearts so that we may see, so that we may be awakened from our deepest slumber. One is not awakened if one has not slept and one may not see the Light if he did not see Darkness even for once.
We must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God, as Christ had once invoked us in the days of old and in these times of greatest temptations, it is one great notice that is most beneficial to us. It is one message that is of great weight. No one shall be ready to face the Lord except that he had made steps to purify his soul.
For like a child, we must see everything with good intentions. Every child is sinless at most times for their hearts are pure and devoid of wicked intentions. They see things in great hope and honesty. They trust truthfully and can easily be trusted with all the truths. We must see the world like a child again.
If you would be the one to give great thought to the salvation of your souls, listen now for it is of the moment that we must be reborn and be purified in our souls. We must embark on a spiritual awakening; into a voyage that would lead us back again into the arms of the Lord. The road may be difficult and arduous for many amongst us, and yet the rewards shall be enormously worthwhile. If only one could know how heavenly is the promise of Paradise, how bliss is pure in the Hereafter for those who shall be worthy, one would even give up everything in order that one may gain it. For once it was said that in the Kingdom of God, there shall be no more sorrow and pain, there shall even be no more second death.
We must see our failings within ourselves, for us to know ourselves better, for at most times, it is us who knows ourselves the most and nobody else. Nobody is awakened unless he had been asleep and nobody shall see the Light unless he learns Darkness for himself. We must dive into the recesses of our persons and examine every nook and crevices of our hearts, every facet and every feature; this is how we must relearn our own persons. We must not deny our failings and open our hearts to Him, the Lord Almighty and be honest for it is the most beneficial for us to be of truth and not of denial. The moment we see those things that stains our hearts, then it would be easier for us to untangle the darkness of our soul. How do we change if we do not know what to change?
We must confess our sins to Him and take oath to never commit these grievous things again. This is the way to our salvation. There is no other road towards salvation except through the repentance of our sins and repentance does not occur whenever we chose to remain blind and continue to deny our failings. And nightly prayers shall calm our fears like a balm upon a heavy wound. We pray even when the moon does not appear in the darkened sky. How do we know we failed Him if we continue this blindness of the soul, and further add blight to our impure hearts?
Do not be like Judas who kept his failings in his heavy heart that in the end, only a rope would free himself of his own shadow.
At times, worry comes to us at midnight and yet we remain heedful to the greatest of faith. When silence encompasses us, this is the time to unload our misgivings, in order for us to confess our sins. Sit and be strengthened by His presence and kneel so that He may be honored and revered. Pray until your hearts welcomes the Lord and pour out all the things that bother you. For we have been lost and now we are found again, there shall be no more hurdles that shall distance me from the Gates of Heaven. I have found the Lord again and shall remain faithful from now on; to remain prayerful until the end that Eternal Life shall be mine again.
Let us talk to the Lord and lay open all the grievous things we have done, to those mischief that we have committed openly as well as those we have hidden from Him. Let us seek Him in the temples and the churches if need be. For to be purified again in our hearts, is to be cleansed from our previous failings. And the Lord shall certainly be heedful to our pleas, for His mercy is endless to those who seek Him genuinely.
There shall be no blindness again if you take faith in Him and you shall never fall again into the temptation of evil, into all the stains that hounds this present world. Let goodness be the captain of your hearts that even when the ocean is trembled by countless storms, the Light does not fade away from your lives. If we are now made to see by the Lord, to be able to find again in our hearts that salvation and Eternal Life is almost at hand, shall we let this chance slide away again from the grasp of our hands like it had slipped away before as a result of our mischief and erroneous beliefs?
There shall be no other time again like this time when we are made to see again by the Lord with the clearest of signs. To disregard the murmurs of the Lord is extreme foolishness and pure folly. We are made to see and yet we chose to remain blind.
Do not let our faith be like upon a business contract where we sin now and repent later for this is doubly malicious and the Lord never fail to see the malice in our hearts. We could not hide even the motives that are locked hidden in our mind. There are things we do not see and yet the Lord and His angels never fail to see.
This is the time and there is no other time to be reborn. The sinful ways is like a quicksand, the more you sink into the quagmire of sin, the more that it is harder for us to escape sin. The heavier the sin becomes, the further we are from repentance and forgiveness of the Lord. Repent while the sin is light, for a heavy sin is at most times difficult to undone.
Let us remember that to the modern man, the road that lies between the Kingdom of God and us are temptations so numerous that there had been no other time in the past like the present time. In every corner we turn, our patience and discipline are tested by the many temptations that our hearts desire. If we have none of the greatest of faith surely we surrender easily to these desires and then we become farther again from the Lord. Our faith is like a plant that needs constant watering and attention. If we become neglectful in a matter of days, this plant withers and dies.
For many of us, to keep the faith strengthened is hardest of all, for we admit that the practice of faith requires extraordinary perseverance and discipline. But if we gain perseverance, the reward is greatest for there is none other fruitful to our sacrifices than an Eternal Life in the arms of the Lord.
Do not heed the heckling of those who disparage faith, saying devotion to the Lord is something impractical in this modern world and seemingly out of time. Their apostasy shall make them weep in a river of tears, when the Lord finally calls upon them and found them wanting of faith. For a man without faith--without prayers and works--is like upon an ant lost in the middle of the Saharan Desert.
Take a time for your own souls and retreat into a spiritual awakening. For men are born into sin, no one shall be saved unless he is born again. To be born again is not to find another faith, but it is to be able to be honest to ourselves, in order that we may be able to confess all of our sins before the Lord and His angels. We must outpour our heavy hearts before Him and ask for His forgiveness, and then we shall start to trek again the road that we have lost. We must find our way again into the way of the Light. The angels have come in order to relay to us this important message, among many others. We must be born again. We must have a spiritual awakening.
XII. THE WAY OF THE LIGHT
“For several nights, I saw a shapely woman dressed in a bridal gown, so perfectly enticing, moving slowly and gliding across the sky like an angel should be. There was the bride adorned in the night sky.”
For Christ Jesus Our Lord have appeared to me in one enchanting vision, we must see the way he is leading, the way to the Light, into the path of righteousness. He once said that the Kingdom of God is like a bride adorned for her groom, and so with the clearest sign from the sky, our salvation is now at hand, as had been promised to us since time immemorial.
Let us relive again this path that Christ have shown, a long and winding path and yet a road that will for certain bring us back to the Father and towards Eternal Life in Heaven. In the present days, this road had become least traveled for too often we forget the Light, and accept Darkness like it is the truth.
Let us seek the Light again for whomsoever shall seek Him, shall seek the salvation of the soul. We seek the Light in the path of righteousness for no one shall enter the gates if the heart is full of doubt and unbelief, full of wantonness and mischief.
To my mind there is no more doubt for the signs of the Lord are clear as ever. He does not fail to remind even when we have lost Him through our own mischief and disregard. He is ever loving and ever merciful. It is unlikely that the common eye would see the bride in the sky and the symbol of the bride adorned is meaningless to one who is full of unfaithfulness and disbelief. This is no time to doubt for the time may be at hand, for the signs of the times is not blinding us, but reminds us that whatever the Lord had promised before shall be fulfilled, and whatever was prophesied shall take place. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
For whom to say when the day of His coming shall be? These things, only Him shall know. Yet, who’s to say that the time may not be at hand? Shall we be surprised upon our wits if the time comes when we expect it the least? Let us take heed for even the sign of the mushroom cloud continue to permeate.
And so we must seek the righteous path now for the time of reckoning may be at hand. It is the way of the Light that we must seek and none other.
And then it comes to our mind, what path is the most certain towards righteousness? Do not be misled for righteousness is in the hearts of any one who is full of good intentions and encompassing a forthright spirit.
The righteous path is never in the hands of a measly few, but shall be achieved by any one who is truthful to their own consciences, to follow the basic judgments of the Lord.
In truth, those who follow the way of Christ Jesus Our Lord are in the righteous path--towards the way of the Light--and he or she shall not be blinded by the Darkness, lost and wandering in the wilderness.
In truth also, any one who lives a life of righteousness shall also be in the righteous path, regardless of his creed.
Let us find again the truth in our hearts for it is a time that men should follow the same path of righteousness. We must spread the words not only to a measly few, but let us extend our hands to all the children of God. For God loves all men that He had sent many prophets to many nations. And every man who heed the call of these prophets shall be led accordingly towards Him, for righteousness is universal and not trapped into the fold of some chosen few. We are all the creations of God.
There was the man who lived his life virtually in a cave. He was born of wilderness and the jungle is the only world he knows. He died without a creed for no missionary had come to him. And yet, despite of his ignorance, he led a virtuous life, not having killed or maimed any other man, not having coveted, and not having stolen. You could say he was more sinless than more than half of man living in the cities. He was a righteous man, and he trek the path of righteousness, the path towards the Light. For whomsoever follow the way of the righteous shall follow the way of the Christ.
To be in the way of the Light is not to be defiled in our hearts. It is of no essence that we are faithful in the eyes of men when in our hearts are full of mischief. Jesus had once said that what defiles a man is not to eat with an unwashed hands; what defiles a man is the evil in their hearts—fornication, covetousness, thievery, murder, blasphemy and grievous lies. It is not to defile a man to be of different creed for it is not of his own liking, but what would defile him is if he ever would commit the evil things that stains the soul.
For whomsoever is prayerful to the Lord, to believe in His Might and the guidance of His angels, to follow the commandments of righteousness, to believe in the judgment of the soul, and the promise of Eternal Life, shall be one who is in the way of the Light. Let no man be the enemy of any other man, for the real enemy is the evil that haunts this world. Let no one man claim the love and caress of God for himself merely, for every man was born into this world in the grace and love of the Lord Almighty God, for only Him could give life, and every life had come from Him.
Faith is of no essence to us if even if we are prayerful in the temples, and yet we are tainted with greed and lust. Hypocrisy is the enemy for it shall lead us towards great tribulation, towards the underground cages where an unending fire shall torment those who are full of disbelief and mischief.
XIII. A GOD OF ALL THINGS
“ The middle cloud exploded like dust and then suddenly a wide gap opened up in the sky, like a gate, where lo and behold, three white winged horses trotted gracefully among each other, in beautiful circular motion. Their wings fluttered and their bodices swiveled in tremendous elegance that the vision is one that as very mystifying.”
In Heaven, in the company of the Father and His angels, mystical creations shall continue to enthrall us and bestow our eyes with so much delight and glee. There would be the winged horses that we could ride upon and we could journey into eternity in one magical ride.
The angels shall welcome us with great trumpeting and jubilation. The red carpets shall be spread before us as we prepare to enter the Temple of the Father.
He had made everything possible that even as we depart this mortal world, a promise of new life shall await us for the obedient flock shall be rewarded with life eternal and unending bliss in Paradise. Nothing escapes Him where nothing is impossible to Him.
No man had seen Him, not even the prophets and messengers that came in the times before us. He is the Light that shines alone even before the universe arose from the dust in His hands.
In my mind the Light appears and continue to shine on me, in three circles that appear inside my head, whenever I close my eyes, in order to rain the greatest of His Wisdom, and manifest His inspiration.
He is the One mostly unseen and yet He is the One that is the most Present. He is the Most Mighty and yet He remains the Most Mysterious. This greatest of mystery somehow perturbs our faith, for even as imperfect as we are, we continue to grasp the meaning of God in our lives, as we grasp the meaning of everything that is unseen. We are like upon to enter a room so steeply dark that we grasp for both the way in and the way out. We often waste the hours in search of Him.
Men of different faith clashes often in the tarmac of debate and arguments in order to present the kind of god they each believe in, and yet the hours would not end and the words would never find a conclusion, that in the end nothing is concluded in their arguments. They often present their own god as different from the gods of others. They are far from the clearest sign when they do not see that the God of Abraham is the God of every man. He is the One in Might and nothing equals Him that only He that gave rise to every breath of every being in this world.
The disputes shall last into thousands of dawn, and yet not one shall carry His greatest of manifestations. If we continue to seek the unseen and labor to take hold of what is invincible, our pursuit shall be in great naught. We must seek Him through our hearts for at times; the heart sees what the eyes would not. Despite of the unseen, we must strive to dispel any doubt and we shall seek Him in the Mightiness of His signs. Let us trek the path toward His presence. We shall walk slowly and carefully until we find our destination, step by step with great prudence and thought, and open our hearts away from the blindness of prejudice.
In the morning, as we prepare ourselves towards another day, the morning sunrays illuminate us with the greatest of radiance, a light that gives life that the leaves of the plants in the field would also rise up and welcome the day. It awakens every life that comes from the soil even as we become alive by the effervescence of a brand new day.
The morning mist serenades our waking breath as the flowers in the garden blooms into myriads of colors and scents, and they feel our hearts with glee and wonderment. The sun strengthens our bodices and allows us to meet the new things that must be done and the old things that must be redone.
The daylight shine further into the hills and valleys, into the forest where the animals roam the earth and the greeneries littered the landscape while the trees gently sway to the lulling of the wind, the lullaby of Nature.
If the clouds darken at some other moments, it is rain that shall bring us strength instead, and life begins further as the fertile ground thirsts for water and the rainwater quenches the callings of the dry land. When the weather softens, the rainbow seeks our senses in hue of colors not easily replicated by mortal hands, as the sky explodes in the softest blue that the eyes could ever see.
We hear the laughter of the children playing above the welcoming earth, the earth that brings life to countless vegetations and let beasts of many kinds roam and multiply above it.
When the night comes, the stars and riveting comets make us wonder what great causes are there in the heavens that allow them to shine and remain like fireflies in the sky. The moon is like a giant lamp that illuminates the sky and we are made to see our way even into the darkest of the night. Below the sun and moon, the atmosphere encompasses every living breath of every living being that without the wind that carries the air, we are frigid like stones and lifeless like dusts.
The sun and the moon do not bear the language of man and yet they relate to us in the most enlivening manner. Without them, life would not matter. The flowers in the garden and the grasses in the fields would never speak any word, and yet they become the companions of our soul by serenading us with the beauty of nature. The wind does not whisper to us like the way the ladybird lull us with her heartrending song, and yet it is the songs of the wind that we need the most. The sun, the moon, the flowers in the garden, the trees in the forest and the wind that gently passes us by do not have names like any man has, and yet they are the greatest of our companions. We may not call on them always like we call upon those whom we seek always, and yet without them, we are without the very life that the Lord had bestowed us through His Providence.
The Great Divine had given rise to Nature in the most careful of manner that no mortal mind could gain enough intelligence to equal His. Life on earth was intended to be a great cycle where every species of being exists with a purpose to carry, that without which being, the purpose disappears and existence of life becomes gravely altered and even endangered. The sun and the moon take turns to bring the proper illumination. The sea dries up and yet the clouds shall make them full again. The trees are cleared at times so that food crops may grow. The fishes in the lakes are eaten by the fowls in the air while beasts in the wilderness take these fowls for their sustenance. And man takes these beasts for their supper when the night comes.
There are swooping creatures that spread the seeds from faraway places, and there are creeping creatures that disturb the soil that makes these seeds grow without the intervention of man. Life is one great cycle that is well planned and well designed by the Great Divine. Every creation is of purpose that the end of specie means the alteration of Nature, and ultimately the end of Nature.
The creations of Nature are all beyond the grasp of the ultimate human mind that in the end, neither humans nor spirits could replicate fully these creations. There is no wind that is the manufacture of man. No nation could create water.
The planets revolved around the sun in mysterious ways and yet they move in coordination with the moons around them that without this coordination, they would collide with each other and life ends.
It is of no doubt that some Being of the most ultimate of power is behind the magic of life. Some may argue vehemently that Nature was a result of accident. They fill their ignorance with strange wits.
Look and examine the tree. It is a work of great engineering feat where the mighty roots establishes its enormous weight strongly to the ground, and would scurry and spread underground towards the end that water and nutrients would be sipped upward towards its trunks and veins. The leaves are of intricate workings of veins and stems that the water would flow into them. The branches are covered with thick barks in order to protect it from waterlessness and then flowers in mystical colors would bloom from its topmost region. If they are felled to the ground, they build houses and they light the cold night in flaming campfires. Accidents happen and yet does the tree arise from accidents?
Look at man itself, the most central of all God’s creation, is he a bastard of mayhem or is he the result of the greatest of all schemes and designs. Man moves intelligently and has the power of knowing. Every aspect of its body is of essence and purpose that the absence of one would lay him unnatural at least and inutile and lifeless at the most. Every organ is of great intricacy and some is of the most superb of symmetry. Is man a product of accident?
Let us see in our minds’ eye about a carpenter about to build a house. If he gathers all materials—all the wood, steel and cement, including nails and screws— and throw it into a particular place, with the intention of building a house, then what we could see would be an ugly mayhem of objects, pieced together by accident. One way or another, it may produce a roof covering here or there or a wall accidentally nailed to a leaning wooden post. The cacophony of things may bring some shelter from the night wind but for certain it would not be a fine shelter. But if the carpenter would gather all the materials very carefully, with planning and design in mind, and nail each wood into its proper place and smoothen every surfaces with the appropriate tools, to wet the cement with the right amount of water, and to dig into the ground to make the wooden posts most stable, then we would gain ourselves a real fine shelter. Is Nature a shelter of materials thrown indiscriminately into a place or is it a shelter of the greatest of all schemes and designs? We must all see this simple truth and not be blinded by the radicalism of some men with strange wits. Nature is the greatest evidence of the existence and the Might of God, it is a divine manifestation that we see every day and yet every day we forget His Providence. We do not often stop to see His creations and be grateful to Him and in the end, to be obedient to Him and be fearful.
Nature is the creation of the “most careful of carpenter” and one that is the most intelligent that it would tire our mind of thinking how Nature was created in its simplest form. We may know that each creation is made up of molecules, atoms and electrons, but no one knows exactly how electrons came upon in the first place. Even if we argue that in the coming times, far into the future, man may discover more and more knowledge, one thing would be sure, he would never find the key to the dusts of life, from which man was created.
Let us honor the Mightiness of Our Lord, The Father in Heaven, the Creator of the Wind whom in His Greatest of Providence, He had made life from the dusts of life and gave us Nature in its most magical form in order that we may have a fruitful sojourn into this mortal world.
XIV. THE SIEVE
“The angel pointed his hands towards his arms and proceeded to signal that he was carrying a load in his back. We must all be brothers and sisters in arms and we must learn how to carry each other.”
Let us be reminded for all times that a man without his prayers is like an ant lost and wandering in the middle of the Saharan Desert. He is alone and grasping for direction, he has no compass in his hands and the road ahead does not tell any clue about his destination. He has no map in his keeping and the path that he threads is dark and winding that no signposts would assist him in his journey towards Eternal Life.
Our religion and our practice of faith are part of our spiritual life that without the benefit of its ethical codes and guidelines, we would meet the hardest of times in coping with the disputes of the modern life where in every corner we turn, the temptation to sin and to do wrongful ways are ever threatening. Our faith is the sieve that shall purify us out of our impurities.
When daylight comes into view, we must remain before Him in thoughtful prayers for a new day is about to come and we need the beacon of his never-fading light, His ever-permeating wisdom and guidance. When dusk appears, as we ready ourselves in bidding farewell to another passing of day, our prayers shall be in gratitude for the wondrous gift of life.
While we know in our hearts that faith alone could not save our souls, it is of no wisdom to dispel completely our practice of faith and to disregard the power of our prayers. We must conform to the habits that give meaning to our pleadings before the Lord. We petition Him in many ways and our faith shall provide us the avenue for our supplications. Faith and works shall go hand in hand like hammer and nail for without the other, one alone would be fruitless at most.
We must seek the calmness of the churches and the temples at least once in a month so that we do not forget faith. We must establish regular prayers in the conclaves of our homes for to forget the practice of faith would redound to forgetting the Lord God and the things He desires us to be. We must not harbor apostasy for the flames of the unending fire shall await those who procrastinate.
Our act of faith is also our language of obedience. As we attend the ceremonies of our churches, we are declaring in effect that we are in full obedience to the Lord. How else could we show Him our greatest of faith if we just sit in the corner of our room, without prayers and without seeking the harbor of the churches and the temples?
Our path towards the Kingdom is often fraught with the many traps of sins and errors that whomsoever says he or she is without need of the churches is one who trek the perilous road, without a map in his or her hands, without a lamp that shall light the ways.
Without our prayers, the heart becomes inundated with discontent and sorrow that Satan knows always when to take the proper opportunity. When we are at our weakest, it is the very moment that the demons come to disturb our minds, and take advantage of our human frailties, to examine and study carefully our desires and wants, and then to reward these desires if we commit folly and mischief, upon their commands and biddings. When we are the weakest, our hearts desires the most things, even the things that we should not desire.
The demons come into us like water into a vessel. The moment they notice a man whose spiritual conviction is weak, they tempt him like a child reaching out for a candy. They would notice a desirous soul miles and miles away, like snakes in the mountain who seek their prey in hills miles and miles apart. There is the imbalance in a man that makes him an easy prey to the demons, and makes him fall on the wayside, and that would be the end of his spiritual balance. When a soul moves farther and farther away from the churches and from the harking of the priests and the preachers, the soul languishes in neglect of faith and becomes the slave of wanton desires and would be the most fragrant prey to the snakes in the mountains.
When the demons come, we often do not notice them for they come in the name of deceit and their masks are not easily uncovered. We only realize their grievous influence when it is already too late, when remorse finally fills our hearts. If they come often because of our lack of faith, there would come a time that the hearts does not feel remorse anymore that the soul and the demon becomes already one and the same, and salvation of the soul becomes the farthest.
We must shield ourselves from the snakes in the mountain for even if we are miles apart, we could become prey to these demons if we are the least in faith. We fortify our stronghold through our habitual practice of faith. The more we become closer to the men of God we become shielded the more. We must hear the preaching of the knowledgeable ones, and we must strive to fill our hearts with the verses of the words of God and be strict in our obedience. We must read the words frequently for they are like balms to our wounded soul. We must gain our shield against the menace of the Darkness and we must fortify our faith. In daily prayers, we are brought into the most righteous path and we shall not be like a lamb lost in the wilderness.
Religion, and the practice thereof, is like a sieve upon sandy water. It sieves away the materials that make our hearts impure. We go on sieving the water again and again in order that that the sands may not stain the water we drink. Is it not that the more we sieve the water, the more it becomes pure?
In our journey towards Eternal Life, we must be vigorous in sieving our souls, to chase away the many impurities that haunt the spirit. No one escapes sin and therefore no one shall boast that he or she will need to sieve no more. Our acts of faith are our compass, the maps in our hands. If we are without the signs that lead our voyage, we are easily led astray into the darkness of sins and soon our path would lead to the lake that burns with an unending fire.
We have faith that is why we do works. We should have no faith alone or works alone. We must have both faith and works. We must do both for the two must come like hammer and nail.
XV. OUR SIN IS LIKE UPON A QUICKSAND
“ An angel held a huge sword in his hands and was about to vanquish a demon that was fallen upon the ground. The angel then signaled to me that in order to eliminate the demons completely, the sword had to be trusted right into its very own heart. We must vanquish our own demons into their very own hearts.”
In the scorched ground of the desert, one must walk not only having in mind the harshness of the blistering sun or the ever threatening sand storms that always brings havoc in the cold night. To journey upon the desert, one needs an extraordinary care for something that is often unseen yet the most fatal. It is not the danger of the scorpions or the treacherous snakes that I am speaking of but the lethal trap of a quicksand.
The man walking through the desert must watch out carefully for any hint of soft sand along the way. There is just no other way to foresee danger brought about by the quicksand except by the keenest of foresight. When one is caught in it, the fastest to any hard ground must be sought otherwise the sand would soon eat up towards the level of the knees. When the sand goes up to the length of the knees, others must throw a sturdy rope to the sinking man so that the sand may not reach the level of the waistline. If the waistline is already sunk into the perilous sand, a mule must be had in order to pull the man out of his quagmire. If the neck is already threatened even the might of a camel might not be able to save the sinking man.
Our sinful ways is oftentimes like upon a quicksand that the more we get sunk into it the harder we are able to pull ourselves from certain perdition. Like the man sinking slowly into the sand pit, the sinner must free himself at the earliest possible time for any wasted moment could mean the end of life.
This is the nature of our sins, they often start as trivial matters and ends up us grievous infractions. They are propagators of habit that the more we wallow into the irresponsible pleasures they afford us, the harder we could stay away from them. There are even those among us who thrives on sin that without sinning they become restless and impatient. It is most wise and ultimately the most prudent to anticipate every sin even when they are still farthest from us, that long before we meet could them along the way, we must change our courses immediately and evade them. It is of wisdom to be farthest from sinful ways even from the beginning.
When something wicked comes along the way, we turn the other way lest wickedness may abuse our weaknesses and we become wicked ourselves. If our eyes are threatened by indecency, we must cover our eyes for a little while until lewdness has already passed us by. We see no evil if we turn farthest from it. In the days of old, Jesus had once said that if one would look upon another person with one left eye and lusted upon that person, he or she has already committed adultery that it is better for one to pluck out the guilty eye rather than all the members of the body be thrown into the fire.
If men along the way shall speak something harsh, it is better to cover the ears for a little while until wicked tongue have already pass us by. We hear no evil if we refuse to hear or heed the words spoken by evil men.
If along the way, we at times feel the desire to speak evil things against a fellow man, it is better for us to close our mouth for a little while until the indiscretions of our emotions have already passed away and then we evade the inanity of gossips.
There are times that we become the child who drools upon a candy after gulping down a bagful, and our elders would reprimand us for our excesses. Thereafter, we would speak like our words become engraved into stones and promise not to take another candy. And yet, the stone cracks easily when no one is already watching and we break our promise as we go right back again into the forbidden ways.
At times, the sinful ways is like the huge ball of rock that Sisyphus had earnestly push towards the top of the hill over and over again only to fall back flat towards the ground every time he nears the peak of the hill.
For at times our sins starts like a ball of snow falling innocently from a steep Himalayan mountain until the kindly looking ball of snow gains more and more mass and weight and grows into a deadly avalanche.
There are grievous things that we do that started merely as daily errors. As we repeat them they grow into an avalanche. We often hear about the man of many small sins who one day finally committed the most heinous of all transgressions.
The thief would surely feel the heaviest of remorse the very first time he commits such grievous sin of taking away another man’s possession. The second time he commits the same wrongful act, the remorse may still be there but it becomes less and less in weight. When he repeats the act over and over again, remorsefulness would finally become a stranger to him that his conscience had already become stunted. Until the day that he takes the largest of all sum and feels no remorse whatsoever. He is the thief that is caught in the quicksand of his soul.
And so is with the grave murderer. The first time he commits the act of taking away another man’s life, he would turn in his bed until dawn comes and sleep would not visit him for a great number of nights. And yet, the second time he commits the same transgression the heart would feel a little less of remorse. And when the act becomes repeated over and over again, the remorse would fade away and become absent and his heart slowly becomes not that of a man but that closer to a wild beast.
And so is with fornicators and those who are adulterous in their passions, lavishing themselves in the irresponsible pleasures of the flesh. The man would wallow in lust for the first time and he would be like a child wounded in the heart and his eyes would be a little bit teary eyed for remorse would remind him heavily of his misdeed. But when the call of lust comes harking again, the man forgets his previous remorse and goes right back into the irresponsible pleasures of lust. When he becomes lustful at all times and always fail to heed the call of his conscience, remorse would become absent completely that committing these lustful sins becomes merely commonplace for him. He is already trapped in the quicksand of his bestial instincts.
For sin is a like a deceitful serpent that approaches us from the back, under the cover of darkness, while the wind is very silent in the stillness of the night and we are deeply lulled into sleep. When we become caught in the promise of a sudden but temporary onset of pleasure, the kind that our sins could provide, we become like upon a moth caught in the spider web or a journeyman who is caught in the certain peril of a quicksand. If we do not become heedful and vigilant, the sand may go towards our neck and we may not be able to get ourselves back into harder grounds and our souls would meet its certain perdition and lose the promise of Eternal Life. We must repent while the sins are lighter still, for the heavier the sin the harder would be the road towards a fruitful repentance .