BMAR-13

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Chapter 13

THE DIVINE SKIPPER'S WORDS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF SOLITUDE. - A CONFESSION REFLECTOR FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SELF-REALIZATION.

13,1. Now I, as the kindly skipper, speak: "It may be disagreeable to be on your own for quite a long period; however, such a prolonged solitude is really most beneficial. It gives one plenty of time to reflect on one's follies, to detect them, and rid oneself of them altogether. And this is of greater value than the most distinguished company, where you find at all times more foolishness and evil than wisdom and goodness.

13,2. Although the situation appears even more desperate when, in your solitude, your life seems threatened, this is still a thousand times better than the most glamorous and best company. If your life is threatened, you can still be saved; but many real dangers threaten a person in glamorous company, each one serious enough to destroy his soul and send him to hell, from where he will find it almost impossible to escape. Therefore, your state of loneliness, though most unpleasant, was actually beneficial for your character.

13,3. For, the Lord of all beings looked after you and showed great patience with you. I am quite aware of the fact that in the world you were a Roman bishop and that, although in your heart you didn't care about them, you attended to your heathenish, idolatrous duties with pedantic strictness. However, how could this be of any value since, as you know, God looks only at the heart? Besides, you were arrogant and tyrannical and, notwithstanding your vows of celibacy, you were too fond of the flesh of women. Can you imagine that God would look kindly on acts like those?

13,4. You were also quite busy looking into the affairs of monasteries and loved to visit nunneries, where you could find many attractive novices. You enjoyed it when they threw themselves at your feet and you could submit them to all sorts of morality tests, some of which were plain lewd. Do you think your moral zeal could have found favor with the Lord?

13,5. Think of the considerable riches you possessed in the world, contrary to what Christ demanded of His disciples. Your table was laden with selected dishes, you owned a splendid carriage, and the most elaborate bishop's insignia adorned you in your lust for power. Pretending to be a messenger of God, you swore false oaths, cursing yourself if this or that were not true (which you never believed, anyhow!

13,7. How often you committed self-abuse, but in the confessional you were inexorably hard with the poor and unimportant people, whilst persons of standing were treated with utmost leniency.

13,8. Do you think that the Lord, who abominates the Roman Babel anyway, would approve of this?

13,9. Did you ever say in your heart: 'Let the little ones come to me'? Oh, no! Only the great personages counted with you!

13,10. Or did you ever take into your home a destitute child in the Lord's name, and clothed or fed it? How many naked did you clothe? How many hungry did you feed? How many prisoners did you free? .... I do not know of any! However, I do know of thousands whom you imprisoned spiritually; and you often deeply wounded the poor by your curses and damnation. At the same time, you gave dispense upon dispense to the great and rich - for money, of course! And only in exceptional cases was it free of charge - to the very important people, to impress them. Do you seriously believe that God could look with favor upon such acts and that after your physical death, you would be admitted to heaven right away?

13,11. I am not telling you all this in order to judge you, but merely to convince you that the Lord did not wrong you if He apparently withdrew from you here; and that only His mercy saved you from being thrust into hell immediately after your death, much as you deserved it.

13,12. Think this over and do not abuse your guide, but realize, in all humility, that you do not deserve the Lord's mercy at all. For, if even the most faithful servants are to consider themselves bad and useless, how much more this applies to you, who has never done a thing in accordance with God's will!"

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