Sometimes seeing and hearing someone in the flesh is more powerful than simply words. I hope you all enjoy my conversion story. God’s Blessings to all of you.
In stages of glory, I grieve for you my friend. In surprising fashion as God always is, I grieve for you in the native tongue of our Lord. It is a deep expression of who we are as Jewish people, strong, glorious, deeply bonded to Him. I can find no other way to grieve but in the beloved language of my Lord Jesus. Thank you God for giving me words in a language that is too glorious for them.
For those that have never heard Adon Olam, I have included this beautiful rendition with the English translation. God is so beautiful in His native language, when He is unclothed, available and crying back out to us. When in doubt, praise Him, and praise Him again. These are the words I have heard from Him today.
Recently in my interview on EWTN, I talked about my prayer life in Hebrew and growing up in the conservative Jewish temple. I specifically spoke about my ability to read and pray in Hebrew but my inability to understand it. Yet, I felt closest to God when I was praying in Hebrew. I questioned whether God even understood English 🙂
I have realized that in our mourning we go back to what we know and who we are. It was no coincidence for me that I attended a Shiva last night after a friend’s mom died. Even though I didn’t join the minyan, I chanted in the back. It was chilling. But it wasn’t the mourner’s kaddish that moved me, it was the Jewish liturgical hymn “Adon Olam,” a praise song. Why did that connect with me? Why did that move me? I didn’t know it last night, but right after I came home from the Shiva is when I found out Susan died. And in the morning it was Adon Olam:
|MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE|
|Adon olam, asher malach,
b’terem kol y’tzir nivra.
L’et na’asah v’cheftzo kol,
azai melech sh’mo nikra.V’acharey kichlot hakol,
l’vado yimloch nora.
V’hu haya, v’hu hoveh,
v’hu yih’yeh b’tifara.
V’hu echad, v’eyn sheni
l’hamshil lo, l’hachbira.
B’li reishit, b’li tachlit,
v’lo ha’oz v’hamisrah.
V’hu Eli, v’chai go’ali,
v’tzur chevli b’et tzarah.
V’hu nisi umanos li,
m’nat kosi b’yom ekra.
B’yado afkid ruchi
b’et ishan v’a’irah.
V’im ruchi g’viyati,
Adonai li v’lo ira.The Lord of the Universe who reigned
before anything was created.
When all was made by his will
He was acknowledged as King.
And when all shall end
He still all alone shall reign.
He was, He is,
and He shall be in glory.
And He is one, and there’s no other,
to compare or join Him.
Without beginning, without end
and to Him belongs diminion and power.
And He is my G-d, my living G-d.
to Him I flee in time of grief,
and He is my miracle and my refuge,
who answers the day I shall call.
To Him I commit my spirit,
in the time of sleep and awakening,
even if my spirit leaves,
G-d is with me, I shall not fear.
It is understandbly confusing how one could express their grief in a language they do not understand but completely understand. Every word touched me. And even though you may not be Jewish, if you listen to the words of Adon Olam, they will move you too.
There is a move of the Spirit in Hebrew that is undeniable, I can hear Jesus speaking. And as I recited the rosary this morning for my dear sister, I cried out in Hebrew afterwards to God as if I already knew the words. I think grief produces in us the ability to connect with a part of us we don’t necessarily understand but want to touch. When I look up at the crucifix, I could cry this out to Jesus, God you are my God, adonai , King of the universe, abba it hurts, it hurts abba…
But I am gratful. I am grateful for the words God wrote that I never could. I am grateful for words that flow off my tongue and have meaning besides consonants and vowels. I am grateful for the Blessed Mother who stayed with me during the sorrowful mysteries and cried with me, Adon Olam.
All is quiet now, all the tumult having died away and The Master laid into His borrowed Tomb. Now… there is… TIME!
“TIME”… that principle difference between human and angelic consciousness and thought. “TIME”… that “tick/tock” thing that people experience between one event and the next, one encounter and the next, one element of a sequence and the next. We don’t have that, we don’t know “delay”. For us, all is “sequence”… one thought follows another, like pages in a book. There is no “space” or “distance”, or “process” or “ponder”. We do not “consider” between “choices”. We CHOSE, we MADE our CHOICE, and now… for us… there is simply “discern-and-do” as to His Majesty’s will.
The other difference, a critical difference, between human and angelic consciousness is “illusion-deceit-falsehood”. We SEE, we truly see. We cannot be deceived or fooled or lied to or misled. Dark Ones cannot paint a false picture before us of specious choices, and tempt us to lean away from His Majesty’s will.
Somehow, all that… both “time” and “falsehood”… are bound up with physical matter. Since we are utterly “spirit”, those subordinate orders of being, those things that depend on material substance and comparison to have meaning, simply don’t. They have no meaning or hold over us.
It was in Eden, in the Garden of Eden, at the beginning of material Creation, when His Majesty and The Master began to weave together the spiritual and the material, the substantive, when both “time” and “falsehood” were realized from the potential to the actual. We angels can “observe” such a state of existence, and we can even “participate in” it from time to time (at His Majesty’s bidding), but we do not… we CANNOT… fully experience or comprehend it.
Facility in both spirit and matter are Divine attributes. His Majesty, The Master, The Radiance… they can all create in both spirit and matter. We cannot. But Man… Man, now… Man is fashioned in His image, can enter fully into Him, and in Him can create in both matter and spirit.
What has all this got to do with the horrendous events that have just passed? Well… EVERYTHING! They have EVERYTHING to do with it!
Because we angels are truly “sons of God” created at His hands… yes. But we are purely spirit, we made ONE and only one “choice” (to embrace Him or to repel Him), and we live apart from material time or illusion, in the Eternal. We are, therefore and fully, “servants” to Him and His will.
Man, on the other hand, lives in the material (though with fully spiritual faculties), is subject to material time (the tick-tock kind), and can be deluded and misled. Therefore, MAN lives in a state of moment-by-moment CHOICE regarding His Majesty and His will. Every moment, man gets to choose to embrace His Majesty and His will, or to repel Him.
And THAT… is EVERYTHING… about these momentous and horrendous events these days…
I wrote last of the exit from the Passover Supper into the Garden of Gethsemane on “Thursday night”. From that exit, and the separation of Judas from the group, The Master knew and tried to prepare His (now) “friends” for what the next 18 hours would bring.
So many things occurred in such a “brief” (humanly speaking) span of time… a person could spend years tracking all the threads of all the drama there. The fears, the ambitions, the delusions, the agendas… The Romans, the Politicians, the Religious Leaders, the Pious, the Exploiters, the Voyeurs, those seeking “Entertainment” (as at a train wreck, a public hanging, or a bloodsport), the confusion.
But we angels saw it all a bit differently. We don’t see all the “bells and whistles”, the “flash and sparkle”. I cannot speak to what others saw, but what *I* saw, with intense clarity, was an astonishing sequence of “choices” made by just a handful of “principal actors”, whose decision sequence summarized what happened throughout the region in those hours.
- The Master
- The Disciples/Friends
- Pontius Pilate
- The Crowds
I will not go through all of that here right now. The “feelings” are yet too fresh and even (odd to say) “painful”. I’ll get more detail down in entries to follow. But all these entered into a series of “Choice Chains”, sequences of decisions where they could follow their conscience (embrace His Majesty and His will), or they could yield to temptation of fear, pride, or avarice (repel Him).
Judas… his “choice chain” is so short and clear. He is likely to be vilified and condemned for millennia as they iconic “betrayer”. And yes, indeed he was… but look at him, his concerns, his decisions and choices, up alongside Peter… and there are just a couple critical places where they are distinguished.
Anyway, enough for now. More entries later. We yet wait and see what will unfold. At this moment, nearly all are consumed with despair and disappointment. The story seems ended… ended behind a huge stone in a hole in a cliff… and the great Kingdom Story wasn’t supposed to end like this!
More to come…
Journal Entry by — Makarion Nous, Angel 3rd Class, General Duties
If you have read much of my writing, you know that I have realized that for me, in my conscience, “sin” has acquired a fairly simple definition. “I ‘sin’ when I treat any sacred person or object, as less than sacred.”
Well, while reading through the tale of Paul/Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, God stopped me dead in my tracks at the words, “a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’“ (Acts 22:6b-8)
And I tried to move on, and the Lord stopped me time and again… “No, Little Monk, you missed it… look again.” And so I did, over and over. Until finally the words began to light up for me… “persecuting ME“… “I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.”
It struck me how very strange… how wrong… this seemed. Wait… Jesus was already ascended. Saul never saw Him. Never spoke with Him. Never persecuted Him. Saul was persecuting FOLLOWERS, BELIEVERS… Saul was persecuting what we like to think of as “The Church”, an institution… a corporate entity…
“No,” Jesus replied. “He WASN’T… He was persecuting PEOPLE. He THOUGHT he was attacking an institution, a corporation, a movement… he called it ‘The Way’… but he was helping arrest, try, convict, condemn, and execute PEOPLE. He killed them, trying time and time again, to kill ME.”
That was the breathtaking, heart stopping, realization here. “Me”… Jesus… King… Lord… not THEM… not Church… not movement… not follower… not even “precious child”… but “Me”.
If that were true…
If that’s what Jesus really meant in His cry to Saul…
If Jesus meant… JESUS… in Saul’s attacks…
Did that mean that when I offend another… when I attack them… when I injure them… when I belittle, or demean, or judge them… that it is not only THEM I hurt, but JESUS?
This was not a happy thought. I did not like this thought. I sought to push away this thought… and rather than help me with this, Jesus instead just “piled on,” reminding me of Matthew 25:31-46… that whole “Sheep-Goats-Judgment” thing, reminding me, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Do you see it? Do you see it too?
Now, Jesus never EVER whines to or at me. But sometimes, not often, but sometimes from time to rare time, His voice will tend rather to ‘yodel’ with excitement or frustration, when He says something like, “WHY, Little Monk! Why don’t they see, why won’t they hear? I am PERFECTLY clear here… but even YOU are only now starting to see My words, that are and were perfectly clear for centuries. I am NOT being ‘figurative’ or ‘poetic’! I am not exaggerating… I am THERE… IN THEM… and yes, when you hurt or wound any, with your actions, attitudes, silence, or words… yes, you wound ME! Any questions?”
“Nossir. No questions. I need to process this for a bit, though, if that’s ok.”
“Sure thing, Little Monk. You process away!”
To all of my beautiful friends and family- I am asking your prayers for my dear blogging friend Martin whose sweet Rebecca Ann passed away on November 4, 2015. I hadn’t caught up with Martin for awhile until Rebecca Ann’s post showed up again on my feed. My heart is that we will come together as a community for Martin. You can comment on other posts from Rebecca Ann’s blog as I believe comments are already disabled on this post. Martin, we love you and are all here to pray for you and encourage you.
“Does the master break down doors to enter his own home?” Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe
“The Lord remembered her,” (speaking of Hannah, 1 Samuel 1, Old Testament)
Sometimes, all we want to feel is that we matter. Our work goes unnoticed, our family forgets us and our friends sometimes expect more of us than what we are able to give. Next to happiness and satisfaction, what I have found most in my journey is that people are looking to be acknowledged, and loved. That may actually be a part of happiness and/or satisfaction but generally I find it separates itself somewhere between Italy and Switzerland.
Sometimes as Christians, we are guilty of misinterpreting the “I must decrease and he must increase, “it’s all Him and none of me,” or “I must totally empty myself of myself” way of thinking. Yes these things are all true, even for people who are not Christians but subscribe to a servant’s lifestyle of doing things for others, but sometimes we forget about ourselves in the process. There is a fine line between the two, not so much for the desire of accolades but for the desire to be acknowledged and loved for what and who we are.
I pondered this thought as I stared at a picture on the wall of the Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps bordering Switzerland and Italy. Oftentimes referred to as “The Mountain of Mountains,” many have tried but miserably failed to climb to its summit. There is in fact a cemetery somewhere near the bottom which serves as a constant reminder of those that have tried the climb and lost their lives. The cemetery features memorial plaques and the graves of approximately fifty climbers that have made the attempt. The “Grave of the Unknown Climber” is also located in the Mountaineers’ Cemetery which serves as a memorial to the more than 500 deaths which have taken place on the Matterhorn since 1865 as well as the missing and dead, who could not be found or completely removed after their fall.
I don’t know what makes a man feel the need to risk his live to conquer the summit in a physical sense, but I can imagine that many of us understand it in our spiritual beings. We desire the accomplishment, the journey and hope that someone, anyone may be watching.
In our basic humanness is our need to be loved. Without divine love, we search for that in other places. Most of us operate in the temporal, from this to that. But eventually, like most of the climbers of the Matterhorn, we ourselves aren’t able to sustain the journey on our own.
It’s ok to feel the need to want to be loved and acknowledged. God is present and real in the human beings he created, and He doesn’t make you climb a mountain to find them. For some, yes the mountain is necessary, the ascension is a tool to grab a hold of something bigger. But as Teilhard de Chardin says in his book Hymn of the Universe,
“I thank you, my God, for having in a thousand different ways led my eyes to discover the immense simplicity of things.”
You may feel like you’re climbing a mountain in order to gain the love that you need. It may not manifest itself in the physical journey, but it certainly does in the emotional one. We are part of the “look at me!” culture and all get swept away by the need for acknowledgment. But when our souls are truly married to the creator of the universe, we are able to find that acknowledgement in Him alone.
If you’re climbing the mountain, it may be time to find a sherpa.
Click on the Mountaineer’s Cemetery for more information about the Matterhorn