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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 144 - The splendour and size of the house. ‘Does Jesus Christ live here?’ The souls yearn for the Lord. Miklosch’s premonition.
1. Bathianyi and the Franciscan join the stranger on his right and left, whilst Miklosch walks behind him, leading the rest of the company.
2. Approaching the house, they progressively not its grandeur and unspeakable splendour. Close up, Bathianyi can no longer contain himself, saying enthusiastically: “Friends, this could not have been built even by the angels, or the wisest spirits from all the stars, but only by God’s own hand! Such majesty, coupled to supreme aesthetically consistency is not to be compared to anything. Ah, this is more than any of us shall ever grasp! Well, if this house of all houses is already so unspeakably marvelous from the outside, how shall be its interior fittings!”
3. Says the Franciscan: “You are right! – Beg your pardon, milord Count, meant to say ‘your highness’ are right!” – Says the count: “Friend, stay with ‘you’! I never want to hear titles again. From here on we are brothers.”
4. Says the Franciscan: “That is nice, dear friend; I had wished this all along! But to the point – you are right. Did I not see the church of St Peter in Rome, together with the thousand-roomed Vatican. Yet it compared like a snail-shell to this palace! On modest calculations, this gigantic palace could accommodate the Earth’s population a hundred times over. Does it not go into infinity, left and right?! And as for height, the moon would almost have to knock the rooftop, as the height would have to be measured in miles1. Ah, this is something to drive you crazy!” 1 German miles, 1 German mile is approximately 7,5 miles.
5. Says the Count to the stranger: “But tell us, dear friend, does perhaps the Lord Jesus Christ dwell in this worlds-sized building? For its size would be too great even for several blessed and greatest angels.”
6. Says the stranger, unfamiliar only to that company: “Indeed, indeed, He often dwells in such houses, and hence also within this one, among His friends and children! Yet He is not inside at present, but once you enter, He shall probably be in attendance there. But you shall have to watch that you recognise Him then!”
7. Says the count: “Christ, oh friend, by God, if only I could see Christ once, I would ask for no further joy! But mind you, the real Christ and not some Roman charade.” – Says the Franciscan: “Indeed, I too ask for no other blessing!”
8. Another from the crowd steps up, saying: “Oh, I also beg to see Christ just once! And if possible, also holy Joseph, as he was my patron saint! But no matter if not possible – then only Christ!”
9. Says the stranger: “Well, tell me, why are you so eager to see Christ?” Says the speaker: “Well, that needs no explanation! Whatever one likes most, one also want to see above all!” Says the stranger: “That sounds fine, but why do you like Christ so much?” Says the speaker: “Ha, that is obvious! Christ is God and has saved me from hell, and because He was such a good Saviour!” Says the stranger: “But what are you going to do when you see Christ?” Says the speaker: “Oh, I shall shout ‘Eljan Christ’ for joy, and if I am allowed, to hug Him around the neck!”
10. Says the stranger: “Well, I can see that you really like Christ! But what if Christ did not like you as much as you like Him” Says the asked one: “Oh, that is of no concern, because I am not worthy of being liked by Him. This shall not upset me!” Says the stranger: “Dear one, go back to your colleagues with the assurance that Christ shall perhaps like you even more than you like Him.”
11. Joseph returns to them, and the stranger says to the Count: “Hearken, this one has spoken with his heart rather than the tongue; he also is the most innocent among you and did not deserve his earthly death penalty. I shall have to take special notice of this person! – But we are at the entrance, so let us enter this house’s chambers!”
12. Says the Count: “Dearest friend – one more question! Should Christ arrive with maybe a million angels, how shall we recognise Him?” Says the stranger: “Just leave it to me! I have already told you that He fully resembles me. You only need to look at me, and when you see someone like me then you know it is Him.” Says the Count: “Thank you for staying with us, that way Christ the Lord shall not escape us without our noticing Him. Excellent!”
13. Says Miklosch at the back: “Friend, it seems to me that we are still rather blind. I tell you I have a strange premonition!” Says the Franciscan: “Well, what is it?” Says Miklosch: “I say nothing further. But you too will shortly feel and say: how could we have been such blind oxen! Do you understand me? Oxen like that!”
14. Says the Count: “Dear friends, we are already at the entrance, to which neither sun, Earth nor moon has anything to compare. With this entry, completely unsuspected life-conditions are bound to be connected. Since this entry could be of decisive importance, I would suggest that brother Miklosch ought to be more specific about his hunch, which could be useful. Hence oblige us with an explanation, brother Miklosch!”
15. Says Miklosch: “Well, my dear friends, my suspicion is a peculiar one, but I cannot describe it. I seem to feel like the two disciples once journeying to Emmaus, when the Lord Himself walked in their midst without being recognised, in spite of His instructing them wisely in all things. I would almost bet that this joyful hunch is not clutching at empty straws! Time shall tell! It shall ultimately transpire!”
16. Says the Count: “Go on, pious dreamer! Christ the Lord is going to just descend with His glory from His highest heaven to us crude sinners, the way He descended to the hard-hearted Jews as the Son of Man. Look what you are heading for! Consider what Christ is and what we are, and your hunches will move on. Your suspicion is no more than a lovely Christ-castle in the air, of which I used to build plenty myself in my youth. How did this impinge on reality! Yet I almost prefer your castle in the air to this house. Christ may be ever so good and condescending. But I strongly doubt whether He is going to make it as easy for us as our idyllic Christian castles in the air. Am I right?”
17. Says Miklosch: “You are right, yet I can’t shrug off my hunch. And verily, my heart quakes within me!” Says the Count: “Golly, mine too, and how! But this stems from this portentous entry into this house of God, coupled to the uncertainty of what we may encounter.” Says Miklosch: “You might be right, that is probably it!”
18. Says the stranger: “Well, have you finished your debates?” Says the Count: “Friend, we are back on even keel! It would be interesting of course to get your clarification on this as well. But the doorknob is already in your hand. Hence we may find an opportunity inside to enlighten ourselves.”
19. Says the stranger: “Indeed, there shall be plenty of opportunity, but now the thing is to enter. And so open – portal to everlasting life!”
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