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I’ve been reading, recently
In the confessions of St. Augustine
About the nature of transcendence
And purity
About the desperate reachings
And fallings
In a search for morallity
That he couldn’t admit
Were simply a part of humanity.
I turned through pages thought inspired
That he created to reveal the accessibility
Of the divinity,
And was left waiting
For the catch- fraught with reality.
He, as a sinner, asked me to have faith
And his hope and my experience
Left me somehow faithless.
Dworkin told me about Tolstoy
And how even this man revered as holy
Couldn’t relinquish the sins of the flesh—
If even he could not hold tight to chastity
How dare we mimic apostolicity?
We ordinary humans become nothing but
Sick caricatures of Gods that we claim
To affirm and to do like—
In such an insult to Perfection,
We distort Their scripture to a size
We can fit in and claim
Ourselves righteous.
Even if we could seize perfection for a moment,
As an infant at birth,
A lamb before slaughter,
We’re daunted with the inevitable reality;
Eve and Adam fell.
And therein lies the problem of morality;
It slips through your fingers
Like air tumbles out the lungs;
You just can’t hold on for very long.

She falls softly down from towering pedastools...

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The following comments are for "Confessions"
by shefallssoftly

But it's such a pleasant fall...
I have a good friend, one of my best friends actually, who keeps coming back to this idea that morality -- Christian morality of the type that I'm always yacking on about -- only makes sense if you believe in an afterlife. A classic, medieval afterlife. One that rewards you for your moral choices. One that somehow "proves" that all the "good stuff" you "gave up" for your morality was worth it. Now you get the prize. You get to go to heaven, and don't have to spend eternity in hell.

I don't buy it.

Christ didn't say, "Blessed *will be* the meek." He said, "Blessed are the meek." Today. Right now. The pay-off starts every moment of every day that we make the choice of good over bad, love over hate, mercy over justice. When we choose to believe that grace is possible. That though we are, as you say, Casey, "Sick caricatures... of Gods..." at least we are looking towards Him as a source for what we should look like.

We have fallen. Adam, Eve, original sin, the nature of man... whatever you want to call it. Yes. We are evil. People suck. I see it and hear it and believe it and live it. Every day. But we are also so, so lovely. Especially when we try so hard to be better. Not that we can ever be truly "born again" in the flesh. We will never be spotless, clean and innocent. We never were to begin with. And we will never be without sin.

But we can, I believe, have grace. We are, I believe, forgiven. And that gives us the power to forgive others. And to allow us to be not just recipients of grace -- winners of the prize, both in this world and the next -- but conduits of grace. Tunnels and tools and engines of mercy and love. When we know it for ourselves, we can be it for others.

Dirty, yes. All of us. Filthy sinners. Foul, craven, evil and full of hate and petty, rancid crud. Falling, falling. But we can look up as we fall. We can tell the difference between the light above and the darkness below. And we can choose. And when we look up, the light shining on our faces helps others know it is there.

It hurts. Yes, it hurts. But there is ice-cream, too.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: February 12, 2006 )

I must say this piece will stick with me throughout the evening. Your words are deep and speak whether they want to be heard or not. You caught my attention. Nice to read you again.


( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: February 16, 2006 )

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