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En route to Christ
56,1. See, as such have they arrived all together and our alleged “table servant” ask our speaker how they liked the journey hereto and what they have discussed. Our speaker says: Dear friend and brother of a certain high office, I tell you, an old adage says: Much bleating, little wool! As such it was with us. We have talked about many insignificant things among us which would all taken together, would add but little weight to the balance of truth. I reckon therefore that it would not be necessary to repeat our folly, which you could have read from our faces. Except for a subject which is certainly not important just because I have spoken it, but because it is important.
56,2. The alleged table servant asks the speaker: of what would the meaningful subject consists? Look, we still have quite a distance to cover to the palace; you can just as well tell me. Our speaker says: Best friend and brother if you want to patiently listen to me, I would really like to tell you what the most important subject to me and my whole company, consists of. You give me a gesture and say I can speak; therefore, I shall bring everything I can find in myself, openly to the fore. I had already on earth such fantastical imaginations, but they were nothing but flighty, passing fantasies which always were, as was appropriate, make place for my Catholic faith. My fantasies consist and currently exist even stronger than before, of the following: Firstly was the - for me - always so highly exalted, incomprehensible trinity, to which I was never able to lift up the love of my heart completely, regardless of what I do or want. I, in fact, fostered a pitiful fear, together with an immense holy awe. That was the extent of what I could feel for the holiest, triune Being. I could impossibly bring my heart to do more.
56,3. If I consider that man should love God above all and that with all of his life’s power and I ask myself: It is thus with you, or do you indeed like your wife, children and friends deep in your heart, not obviously more than the holiest trinity? The unambiguous answer would always arise in me that I love my wife, children and many of my friends much more than the holy trinity. Yes, I must add, to be honest, that I could not understand how it could be possible for man to love this trinity. The more I focus my love on the greatest, the more I became aware that man is not capable to muster up the love unto all the great ones. I also have tried to do this by means of various fantasies.
56,4. I once thought to myself: would you be able to love a beautiful woman if she would be the size of a church steeple? I have imagined such a woman for myself as vividly as possible and heaven would know how it happened, whether my imagination has done it, or if it was some or the other spirit - nevertheless, I really saw such an immense female figure. For what I could remember, once could truly call this figure beautiful, but instead of love awakening in my heart, a hellish fear has taken hold of me. By this, it became clear to me that the human heart is not capable to love excessively big things, but that it becomes unsettled by it, like a timid child who would see an armored hero for the first time.
56,5. I have likewise asked my heart if I would be able to love a mountain or the whole earth. I have tried to kindle all my love in my heart for it, but it went with me like a man without much strength or power, having to pick up an exceptionally heavy anvil. In this effort, I have imagined myself a great hero and thought to myself: he had to love the earth very much since he has fought so mightily to own her. But then my heart told me: these heroes did not love the earth, but only themselves; they do not want to be fathers, but only masters and rulers upon earth. When I discovered that, I had my principle confirmed, even more, that man could never encompass a too great love. Likewise, have I tried to fall in love with a star. This also did not go, for it was too far away and felt with this love like a fish on dry ground, gasping for water but not getting any. With such strange examples of love have I often investigated my heart, but it never came to anything.
56,6. As said, it does not fare one hair better with me regarding the holiest trinity; in fact, much worse. For regarding the named love tests, I had no fear other than for the gigantic female appearance. Yet I have always had an immense fear for the trinity, because I have only known the holiest Being through my faith as a relentless, strict judge, having only mercy for people during their short life upon earth on the premise of strict repentance. Once a man has died, this limited mercy comes to an end for eternity and nothing awaits man but eternal damnation and in the most fortunate case, the terrible purgatory. There is no talk of heaven before the last judgment. When it finally takes place, not a single angel would know. A long time of bliss has indeed been promised sometime after, but indeed one as we have just tried out.
56,7. If you, best friend, could bind this all together, firstly the most curious, mysterious, unfathomable Being of God’s tri-unity, secondly the unspeakable and relentless strictness of this Being as judge, thirdly the hell, purgatory and the last judgement and then also fourthly, the eternal yawn- and gobble-heaven accompanied by eternal rest, then I would like to know the heart who shall be able to embrace with the greatest effort and fiery love such a pitiable God.
56,8. I am done with number one; but best friend, it is followed by a not much better number two, which is the no less mysterious most holy altar sacrament. At this stage, I do want to draw your attention to a rather silly idea of mine. Look, our doctrine teaches that the “monastery hostie” (sacramental bread - translator), to infallibly and irrefutably be the perfect Godhead. There are many more churches and each church has many more monastery hosties. When various priests would read the mass simultaneously and have not consecrated everything simultaneously, friend, then it often cost me quite a struggle to imagine the actual Godly Being in every hostie, and indeed perfectly and undivided. But how do I fare with such a thought? Truly, I could not shake the idea of multiple gods from me, especially if I would think about and see with my own eyes the displayed holy of holies, in which the presence of the perfect God resided; then a still perfect God, showed by multiple priests as incarnated, in which I could also unavoidably not shake off the idea of multiple gods - more than a hundred - with the use of the full communion ceremony.
56,9. You can imagine my state of heart, especially if I would want to embrace this hostie with my love. At the sight of many, I could impossibly imagine only one; I was thus forced to love none. I could feel the most sincerity towards the monstrance since it stayed the same. This is yet the very least of my folly, but another thought wanted to take hold of me and I could never process it. I do implore you to not laugh at me if I would tell you.
56,10. Look, the problem consists of the following: if I look at such a perfect god-hostie, the doubtful thought often came to me by which I would ask myself: if this would be the perfect, true God as my faith teaches me, how is it then with the actual God in heaven? Do He have to come nether completely, or does the Father stay in heaven while the Son comes nether, or does the Holy Spirit permeates this service?
56,11. I have often enquired about it, but never got another answer than that it is an unfathomable godly mystery and it is one of the greatest sins to ponder about it and could very easily lead to the sin against the Holy Spirit.
56,12. I had to suppress my dumb thoughts as much as possible after such an answer, for I saw just too clearly that man would never come to conclusion about it upon earth and therefore I have always consoled myself with the spiritual world. I indeed did think about the words of Christ whosaid that it is His body, but not His Godhead. Even this did not help me much. I have felt the best about it when I thought about it to be the living bread from heaven, which would be food unto eternal life for the believer and I have lived with this faith as best I could, until the end of my earthly life.
56,13. Best friend, this was my fantasy number two. Number three pertains to the evangelical Christ. I must openly admit to you now that I have been honestly in love with Him just like a Magdalene. If I would dream about Him and see many scenes of His earthly life before me, then I have to tell you, would my heart ignite. I do not know if this came about and could try as best I could; yet I was not able to see Him as a relentless judge, despite the Catholic teaching. For the scene with the murderer on the cross and how He has, while dying on the cross, pleaded His Father to forgive those who insulted Him; then the parable of the prodigal son, the merciful Samaritan, the tax collector and the Pharisee in the temple and that of the adulteress and many other, have always been like a strong wall against which my complete Catholic judgmental faith could not prevail. That is why I am imagining heaven for myself as follows:
56,14. If heaven would be like a very beautiful landscape where one would have the unspeakable joy to meet Christ, be taught by Him and become active in charitable and fruitful loving activity being a disciple of Him, then it would indeed be heaven like no mortal upon earth would be able to imagine something more beautiful, more blissful and more exalted himself.
56,15. I also have often thought to myself that the simplest hut would be the highest heaven to me if I could be with Christ this way, even if it only was every now and then! Yes, I also have not seldom thought: If I only could have You, most beloved Christ, then I would not ask for a heaven or a blissful earth anymore! See, best friend and brother, these are my fantasies. Thoughts are free and therefore can everything be as God wills it! You can think about it as you like; If you find that we can learn something from this, then it is good; if not, then the will of the almighty, triune God’s will shall prevail!
56,16. The alleged table servant looks at our speaker with a smile and says to him: listen, my dear friend, your fantasies are better than you think; especially your third one is without a doubt the best. It is true, eternally unfathomable things, relationships, ways, and councils are indeed inside the Godhead, which cannot be understood be a created being, but regarding your love for Christ, a bright light shall soon arise for you. I can tell you in advance that your fantastical heaven shall indeed be you and your company’s inheritance in due time! Since we are now standing at the door of the palace, we shall enter, where you shall experience more detail.
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