LENT is a season of Christ’s teachings, which are presented in a thousand pulpits across the nation — self- righteously, mournfully, nasally, coldly, feebly, flamboyantly, blandly, and violently.

If I were asked about the rationale of my faith, I’d say: First, I believe in a grand universal order and meaning and in a power that is both greater than us and within us.  I believe in a God I could worship formally wherever I am, in a God that answers, that guides and shapes, that comforts and chides (oh, yes!). When you really come down to it, he is benevolent and all-seeing, being built recognizably in man’s image.

And more than that, I believe in the God invoked by our public characters as an ally in righteousness.

I  believe with passion, in justice, kindness, decency, humility, courage and honor.

I see it revealed equally in a raindrop, in a gentle caressing breeze, in the shape of a leaf, the palpitating body of a tiny bird or the swell of a cumulus cloud? What of the chorales of Johannes Sebastian Bach? What can a preacher give me that Beethoven cannot? What can a sermon give me that I cannot find in a Shakespeare sonnet or the line of great philosophers and the metaphysical poets like John Donne and company? What can church rituals give that a great dance or ballet cannot?

In all these creative acts that lift and enlarge man, timeless artists create beauty and unlock mysteries, who serve truth and never make wars because they supplant compassion and make pettiness go away, like a painting of Van Gogh that sings like a thousand violins.

Can anyone imagine what it would have been to interact with the lord, who knew your every thought, your every word?

I will come very prepared, read religiously, not browse, on the dogmas and every theological attribute I could muster.  But I will still be so intimidated!

If I could have a one on one with Jesus Christ, knowing that He existed, I will ask these questions.

Lord, given the fact that you have bestowed life that dies, why did you give us death? Since we are born, why should we die?

I will ask Jesus about everything, from the Virgin birth to the betrayal of his friend Judas Iscariot whom Dante Alighieri in his Divina Comedia Inferno Canto Uno he put at the deepest layer of hell, for that offense of treachery and betrayal.

I would ask about Good Friday, Easter day and the Rise and “free will.”

My Lord, why did you give Adam and Eve free will, but banish them for their sin of disobedience they were predestined to do?

Lord, on Good Friday, I don’t know why on the day on which man denied God should be called good?

Christ, who was both “Man” and “God”, had to experience man’s refusal of the spirit, so why is man unperturbed by what he did and does?

Lord Jesus as a Man, you knew God.

“I am “Man” and “God” so it is with each of you.

I struggle to understand that, we do not really know what we mean by “God” or  “Man” and the drain of its contradiction and resolution is everything.

The Blessed Virgin: The Great Matrix

One of the pleasures of age is reading books long forgotten like Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and the Prarie Queen, which alluded to the Blessed Virgin Mother.

I’ve read the great flowering of trust in the Virgin, of the glorious building in her honor, of the consummate artistry and rich harmony that flourish on every hand.

“Lord, why do men feel such need with showing it.  We are galled, distorted, mortified and forever puzzled by it. They have gifts and style we lack, achievements are theirs, who do they need to give us flick of pain at our being, we, who are their mates and mothers?”

But the Blessed Virgin was loved for her mercy, beauty and gift of inspiring creation in others, love above all for her generosity and power.  She both gave and forgave.

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E-mail Mylah at [email protected]

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