|Source: Reuters / Ahmed Jadallah|
The Sword of Allah has been brought down upon the Beast
The Hunter of Ages now has become the Hunted — Alleluia!
The Rabbouni, my guiding light, my walking companion, and my greatest love, has given me sweet succour and help in the past half year. He has healed this obstinate fool, unshackled him from the weight of his sins, by a critical series of confessions. Blessed sacrament, how have we taken you for granted? How have we poor sinners shunned you, made so fearful that our falls be brought to light and embarrass us? Fool that I am, I say with confidence that the greater my folly, the greater the pleasure there is to be called out for it! If Father Robertus had overreacted and yelled at me (who was in such a fragile state back then) in the confessional box, it was only to the effect of delivering me from the maws of the Devil. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. The world only sees the fanatic thumping of chests, but it was really joy — joy and liberation.
You have heard it said among people debating homosexuality: Love the sinner, hate the sin. We have understood it to be the fine line dividing the sin and the sinner, lest they be condemned in the same breath. Our detractors scoff at it as a meaningless platitude, and I am inclined to take their side. God's mercy on me has started a fire within me, that I have come to not just hate the sin, but hate it with a burning passion, burning with a fire that does not consume. Not just a fine line between sin and sinner — may it become an unbridgeable gulf, that the torments and ensnarement of the evil ones will never again touch us! War! Yes, docility and obedience towards God who made us, redeemed us, and walk with us, but violence to sin, and viciousness towards all inclinations to sin. Through mortification we train our self-denial, and through self-denial our blows become quick, merciless, lethal. Indolence and Sensuality have fallen at the vanguard, now more hidden demons present themselves to be torn apart by our hounds. The Sword of Allah, in David's city unsheathed, has been brought down upon the head of the Beast; the Hunter of Ages now has become the Hunted! My hand, my right eye, I no longer want to keep them, but only the bleeding desire to walk in the way of Christ, to be one in will with him!
I still struggle with mercy. Mercy has been given me, but I have been slow to hand it on. I nursed a huge grudge to the ones who brought evil upon me the last summer. I fumed, I fantasized, I schemed to hurt them. But I trembled in fear at the same time, because I am aware that unless I have mercy, mercy shall be denied me, just as it was revoked for the servant in the parable who failed to forgive his fellow worker. The wound festered, dissonance took hold, and I have risked losing the friendship of a number of (other) people because of this. But, more and more, I am becoming aware of the place of those who wronged me on our side of the unbridgeable gulf. Even though my desire to meet them again is long gone, and is gone for good as far as I can tell, I have at least the pleasure to announce that their debts are cancelled. Yes, as He asks of me, and all of us! And let all these experiences set the scene for a new stage in my life.
References: Matthew 10:34 (Sword), Exodus 3:2 (Fire), Luke 16:26 (Gulf), Matthew 5:29-30 (Violence), Matthew 18:21-35 (Forgiveness).