Re: God Help The Outcasts

“Because.” He narrowed his eyes at the man, his tone a little snarky and full of spirit as he didn’t wish to be answering this question, “I have carried her bones from across the world and I never knew of her.”

So she loved the Son of God.

“Now, tell me how did she know he was to die?”
word count: 60

Re: God Help The Outcasts

Agustin could have expected anything else but what he actually heard. How much of that could have been true, that was another story. The church had known previous scandals with false relics and he had heard about them. He didn’t doubt, however, that the young man was sincere in his belief. And if it led him to being interested in the Gospel, the better.

”How have you arrived to carry her bones from across the world? I think I’d like hearing this story too. And how do you know it’s her bones and not someone else’s?” he asked, in surprise.

His next question was not one to be replied by a mere human, be him priest or mundane.

”I don’t know exactly how she felt that. It isn’t written, and no human can know everything in this world. In her case, maybe it was a premonition. Some people have this gift from God. They can see something in the future – little or more, as much as God allows them to see. There were prophets in the Holy Scripture who announced what God had wanted from those people. There were people who were merely messengers for a short message. What if she was among those whom God told to adore the Son of God and prepare Him for what was going to come to him?”

Their eyes met again, Agustin’s serene and sincere, full of hope.

word count: 243

Re: God Help The Outcasts

Jian looked at this man like he was an idiot when asked of her bones, were not all of the Church supposed to know? Was he being tested?

“And how do you know that there is a God at all? It is the same sort of question. Why do I know of her bones and not of another?” His broken tongue of this language was poor, but he got the point across and through his black hair he eyed the man a moment to make sure he wasn’t actually drunk.

“And this gift, is it not said that it is from the work of the Hell?” He meant the ability to see the future. "Are you sure you are Priest and not I?"
word count: 124

Re: God Help The Outcasts

Obviously, given his reply, the Oriental man didn’t know that the Catholic Church had faced before scandals regarding false relics. This was Agustin’s main worry – that the man had been cheated into believing he was carrying precious relics when it wasn’t true. He was certainly not drunk – not the slightest. He was as sober as one could be, and given that he was preparing a dissertation, he had read extensively about various aspects of the Catholic faith. From this point of view, he was the ideal interlocutor.

”God exists. The proof is in the Holy Scripture, in the Easter miracle and in many others. Saint Mary of Magdala, celebrated by the Church on 22–nd of July, had existed too. I have no doubts about it. However, in the past of the Catholic Church there have been lots of alleged relics which in fact didn’t belong to the ones which were said to. Saint Boniface mentioned two scandalous priests, Adalbert and Clement, who had been anathemised by the church for having claimed that an angel gave them marvelous relics which brought them everything they requested from God. With these, they made a fortune, seduced honest women and made a scandal in the church. There had been others too. Jesus was nailed to the cross by four nails, according to the Roman custom. Still there were tens of people, if not hundreds, claiming they had those nails. So the authenticity of relics is always tested by their ability to perform miracles.”

It was an important detail the visitor should know. That the relics’ authenticity would be tested, like Saint Helen had tested the three crosses to see which was Jesus’ and which were the highwaymen’s.

”You might have liked becoming a priest, and I would have loved such an apprentice. But there is plenty to learn in God’s service, not only what you have learnt here and there,” he replied more peacefully than the question had been asked. ”It could be from the Devil or from God, depending what insight into the future is offered. The prophet Elijah was a saint who had the gift from God, who told him to go and announce that the three years old drought would be over. Also God gave him the power to challenge the heathen god Baal and his priests. Saint John the Baptist, Jesus’ second cousin, was also a prophet sent by God to announce Jesus’ arrival. And there are many others written in the Bible, who had their gift from God. Which doesn’t mean, however, that when the Devil wants to trick a man into doing his unholy way, he couldn’t pretend offering the same gift to one of his followers…”

Things have always been complicated, and this unusual theological discussion was showing it well. Christianity was a material religion. If the Son of God took on human flesh, God became human, so in this way the dignity of the human person was unequivocally affirmed. Just as Christ has died and risen, faithful Christians would too, and the seven sacraments symbolized exactly this. A deep expression of this materialist understanding of religion was expressed in the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Through them, material things became communications of divine power, as preached in the Holy Scripture: bread and wine, oil and water, became sites where the holiness of God resided. Among the early Christians the bodily presence of those who witnessed to the faith, the martyrs, came to be recognised as the place where the holiness of God dwelt, and that was wherefrom the relics had their place in history and religion.

word count: 611

Re: God Help The Outcasts

“God exists.”

“Yes, but he have a man live inside a whale?” Jian looked at the man with every ounce of sarcasm and skepticism he could muster. He just didn’t buy it, but he was also very afraid of the water and until the last few years learned to swim.

“I am a Monk, but to the life and world around me not to a book.”
There were so few he knew that spoke of the Shaolin.

“It is the wars that we do not understand, my people on the mountain and I. Why do men have to die to keep bones safe and secrets kept?” He moved a little closer to Agustin and looked very weary.
word count: 118

Re: God Help The Outcasts

Of course God existed, but it was nice to hear the confirmation from a mouth arrived from far away. A man who had a vague idea about the Holy Scripture, with his questions.

”Yes, he left Jonah live inside a whale until the fishermen caught it, cut her belly and this is how he got reborn to the light. It was also a way to announce that after some centuries, another man, Jesus, would spend three days in the darkness of Death, then he would resuscitate. For Jonah, it was a punishment and a warning, because he was also a prophet, but he didn’t want to tell the people what God had asked him to.”

He didn’t realize exactly what kind of a monk the Oriental man could be, but he hoped to comprehend it later.

”I’d like you to tell me how you are a monk without a Holy Book. Because we say our Scripture is life too. And if you are a monk, do you understand that sometimes, the Holy Book’s words mustn’t be understood only in one way, but in several? Exactly like I said before, with the whale being not only a whale, but also the darkness and the death?”

It was a normal question about symbols. It was more difficult to be formulated, though, for someone who was just learning the language, how it was the case now. A limited vocabulary could come against a wider understanding.

The mention of wars made Agustin sigh.

”If you are talking about the many wars done in the name of Christian faith, I am not sure anymore,” he stated almost on a whisper, afraid that someone else might overhear and misunderstand it as rebellion and heresy. ”I think not all these wars come from God. Some might, or might not. But others definitely came from men. Powerful men who wanted more power. More gold, more territories, more fame. Kings and Popes are mortal too, and subject to the Devil’s temptations sometimes.”

He wasn’t heretic. He was just realistic. And learnt enough to draw his own conclusions, be they correct or not.

word count: 361

Re: God Help The Outcasts

Jian listened very intently, his attention pulled to the man, but he was also pulled in by the warmth of his voice and how close they were seated. He was tired, more so than he cared to admit, and even though he tried to fight back his yawn he couldn't help but rub his eyes.

"But a whale?" His dark hair fell around his face in feather light strands at the cusp his jaw, "It just seems so...strange." The Monk's stomach growled as it reminded him he hadn't anything to eat that day and he looked up almost horrified to make sure that the man did not hear it.

"I am a Monk of my people, ancient in the way practice and of the world around us." He closed his arms around his stomach to suppress the sounds--starved. "We believe only in the good of man and the peace that brings with it so many things."
word count: 161

Re: God Help The Outcasts

He could see the man was tired and hungry, but it seemed that God’s words were keeping him interested.

”Once it was a whale. Several times it was a tomb. And other times God made Himself known in other ways. With ten pests, for example. I agree with you, there are strange ways sometimes,” Agustin replied.

Then, the other said what kind of monk he was, for a different religion.

”Christianism should be about good of man and peace too. It is written in this book, by John the Apostle, who heard Christ’s words, that He had said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.. A few lines above that, Christ had also said I am the way, and the truth, and the life.. Unfortunately, as you have mentioned before, there had been a lot of wars too in the name of Faith.”

Following his first thought, Agustin asked him:

”For how long have you been in Venice? You are speaking the language rather well.”

With limited vocabulary, still well enough to be understood.

word count: 202

Re: God Help The Outcasts

"I have not been in Venice very long, but I have been with you people for enough to know the language. When you learn one, it is not so hard to learn them more." God this man was...was he daft? Jian thought so. Though he was very handsome and yes smart.

"Many times faith has ruined the white man and yet still they do again and again. Why?"
word count: 69
Post Reply

Return to “San Giorgio Monastery”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest