The Legend of Lu: Armageddon


Conspiracy Theories

Dan opened his eyes. The familiar sight startled and disturbed his already confused head. He lay now in his own bed, in the barracks at the orphanage. An interminably long room of white walls, white floors, white ceilings one’s eyes couldn’t find the end of. 

“I’m back?” Dan said to himself. The city lights were pouring in through the handful of barracks windows, which the metallic bed frames threw into Dan’s eyes, causing him to squint. “What hour is it? What day?” he thought to himself. 

Instinctively, he reached for where he thought his head hit. Nothing there; no bandage, no wound, not even a scratch. “What’s going on here!” Dan uttered, sitting up in bed, and not a little irked at not having any evidence of his fall. 

“Oh, you finally woke up! Good fellow, sleepyhead,” came a voice from an adjacent bed. Dan started, but soon relaxed to remember to whom the voice belonged. Smith, John Smith, otherwise known as slapstick Jonny, who would always go about the orphanage falling down deliberately in imitation of the handicap ward. Dastardly cruel and heartless young man, Dan always thought, but harmless as a weasel.

“Oh, it is you, Jonny. Hello. What’s the time of day,” said Dan.

“Time of night, you mean. Its darn near waking call. You sure did have a nice holiday, sleeping about here instead of going to classes at your hoity-toity military school,” Jonny said, slipping out of bed and putting on his slippers and stood by his bed. 

“When did I arrive to go to sleep, Jonny?” Dan asked.

“Afternoon. Some officials in their hoity-toity uniforms came carrying you in here. Said you had an accident at Green Grove and needed to sleep it all off. I saw one shoot you with something in your arm, probably a tranky, but I guess you would know,” Jonny said, now sitting on his bed after performing his morning mandatory stretches.

“No, I wouldn’t know. And I don’t know what accident they were referring to, either. I, well, I…” Dan was about to say more, about the extraordinary events of the past day, but felt a feeling inside himself holding his words back, which was intensified and substantiated by the way Jonny was looking at him, as if by the way his eyes peered at him, Jonny was fishing for information. “I mean, I wouldn’t know precisely the nature of the accident, as I am not a science guy, you know. It did make me tired, so I think I will close my eyes until I hear waking call, if you don’t mind,” and with that Dan lay down and appeared to close his eyes. From his half-opened slits he could see Jonny slipping off down the long hall of beds, beyond sight.      

Dan awoke at Waking Call, a hideously tedious chiming alarm, the melody of which––if it could be described as a melody and not a cacophony of metric tick-toking––pierced Dan’s ears and stirred him out of bed. Sleep had visited him since his encounter with Jonny earlier that morning, and not memory or understanding of the previous fifteen hours. 

Routine was routine, and Dan, programmed from birth, could get bathed, his uniform donned, and fed within an hour. And, though the past days adventures and mysteries weighed upon his mind, Dan’s body was moving like clockwork to the rhythms of the morning, and soon he was back in a railcar, speeding away from the orphanage to the Academy for another day of classes.  

The entrance to the Academy was of solid blue glass one hundred stories high and the same distance across and deep. A gigantic cube. Dan had looked upon its form a thousand times before, but never really appreciated how ugly it was, or how apparently at odds it was with its supposed purpose and mission being the military training center, being a shaped like a gigantic ice cube and all, representing the Dome. Though, on either side as one entered ten foot high doors, themselves of glass, of course, were statues of ancient viceroys: Bartholo the Just, and Arge the Merciful. Their forms, by contrast, were grand and strikingly beautiful, such that Dan felt uplifted and spurred on by their noble countenances. Each wielded in one hand scrolling tablets, and in the other light swords carved in glinting stone. Dan never noticed before these either. 

The morning summer air was dry and hot, but inside the Academy, the air was cool and temperately humid. The ceiling just inside the entrance shot up to the full height of the building, and inside the building was yet another building of rooms and compartments and corridors of a labyrinthine elaboration that one was very much obliged to avail oneself of the maps posted every fifty feet on the walls. Dan knew exactly where all his classes were (at least for this semester) and knew where the restrooms and dining hall was, and gymnasium was. What else the Cube housed Dan did not know, but figured there must be more to it than merely classrooms.

“Take seats, take seats. Order now,” were the directions of the headmaster, Mrs. Moonsfield, trying in her most masculine voice to bring order to a rather disorderly room. “It’s almost time for the MC2, and you know what that means. But first, let’s begin…” at this the class of students arose like clockwork figurines and started chanting in unison, “Dome is home, mother, father, brother, sister, friend: Dome is life. Dome is death. Dome is all. Dome is One. Dome is God,” as Mrs. Moonsfield looked on, with beaming approvingly from ear to ear. 

Dan began the chant as usual, heartily and earnestly, yet, also as usual, without comprehending what he was saying. Yet, his voice started to trail off at Dome is death and suddenly started to think about the morning before, as like when a dream’s recollected, parts and pieces of characters and scenes only slowly become clear, so now Dan was remembering Green Grove with Marie, and the gliders, and the path up the mountain to the cave, but all jumbled up like a jigsaw puzzle incomplete. 

By the time everyone got to Dome is God, Dan was full silent and now staring in the face Mrs. Moonsfield, who was watching him intently. Just then, the MC2 sounded, and, since there then arose such an uproar of trite platitudes and limp handshakes, Dan was able to escape her gaze and attention. 

“Now, now, settle yourself and be seated. We have a very special and surprise speaker today,” at this the class reseated themselves and pretended to be interested. “His name is Commander Vince Rutherford, but you all may call him ‘sir’,” Mrs. Moonsfield said, feeling herself quite important and powerful enforcing Academy etiquette. Moonsfield was common among the courses instructors and classroom officials. Middle aged, leaning toward elderly, unmarried, or if married, practically so by all appearances, and unwomanly. In fact, it was a rare occurrence to see a male instructor at the Academy, unless one were attending an upperclass weapons handling course or martial exercises training session. This breed of instructors was decidedly unmilitary, which struck Dan now as rather odd, since it was a military training academy and all. 

“Commander Rutherford is coming down from Central City. A great honor to be sure. He is one of the right hands of Viceroy Guth himself, all hail his goodheartedness. He should be here now at any moment. He comes to establish a new squad of elite students he will hand pick to send to Central City’s Academy to gain invaluable training, and more advanced than anything here we may offer. Viceroy Guth has been amassing many such squads all throughout the world,” Mrs. Moonsfield said with much studied formality, and went on, “I do hope one of you will be considered worthy to be selected. So be on your best, and answer Commander’s questions smartly,” and then sat down at her desk at the side of the room. 

Whispers and little voices began to fill the room as the students speculated among themselves about who they thought would be picked. 

“Ken, Ken for sure! He’s got the highest score in lightning ball to date!” said one, obviously concerned with high sports scores. 

“Don’t be such a jock! Lis is the one. She’s memorized more bodily systems model parameters than ought to be allowed. I vote Lis,” said another. 

“Darren’s for the squad for sure. He’s at the top of the class in athletic score values and charting. No doubt, it’s Darren,” said a third, and the speculation swirled around Dan like a hurricane for five more minutes. All the while he sat motionless and silent in his seat, almost oblivious to the announcement of the Commander Rutherford and Viceroy Guth’s Youth Squads and the rest. His mind and focused was on trying to recall every particular of the previous day, and strove to with great effort. 

“Surely there’s more. There must be. It doesn’t make sense!” he thought to himself. Before he could begin to put the few puzzle pieces he did hold together, a tall, distinguished man entered the room, and finally broke his concentration. 

“Class!” announced Mrs. Moonsfield, and just like that the whole population of the room arose, saluted their new guest with a pat on their breast, and said all as one, “Greetings, sir,” and just like that fell back into their seats and awaited the man’s response. 

“Thank you, thank you,” came a hard, cold as steal voice from the figure. Dan noticed that his uniform bore slightly different insignia than the military instructors. There was the black uniform with white stripes down the sides, and a black cap, as the others. But his cap and breast pocket bore a sign Dan had never seen before, or at least he thought. It was two white SS, laying on their sides, with a shaft of white like a capital I between them. “I am Commander Vince Rutherford of Central City Command. I am here on an important and exciting assignment, to select one of you to come with me to Central City Academy to be trained in Viceroy Guth’s Youth Task Force,” Rutherford said, and with such a formality of tone that it made Moonsfield’s speech sound silly.

“We are honored and pleased you have come, please do, do come in and be seated, sir,” said Mrs. Moonsfield, fawningly, and motioned for Rutherford to sit in the prepared desk at the front of the room. 

“Thank you. That won’t be necessary. We have made our selection already, and will be on our way once the selectee has been notified and assents to the selection,” he said, brushing off the motion to sit down. 

At this the young men and women stirred again in their seats, with whisperings across the aisles who the selectee was thought to be.

Without a moments delay, Rutherford surveyed the field of wide-eyed pupils, a sea of white uniforms squirming about like white wave crests on a blue polished floor. The room was over a hundred heads full, and each was looking up at the Commander from Central City in dire anticipation. Finally he spoke.

“Cadet Goodman, Daniel Goodman?” was all he said. A sea of eyes turned toward and crashed upon Dan in gapes of incredulity. Dan’s stomach almost imploded. His throat instantly became parched. He tried to responded at first, but coughed.  

“Present, sssssir.” There were quiet chuckles and audible snickering from among the crowd, but Dan didn’t notice. His eyes now were fixed on Commander Rutherford from Central City Command who was fixing his eyes now on him. 

“Arise, cadet. Arise young man,” said Rutherford. “Do you accept this prestigious assignment and chance to serve the Viceroy?” Dan’s heart began to beat wildly within his chest. He started to feel that same feeling he had with Jonny that morning at the orphanage, but such external pressure and the present situation made him almost humanly incapable of heeding or yielding to its warning.

“Yes, sir, yes I, um, I do, sir,” he got out, and immediately felt a strange remorse in doing so. 

“Then come at once with me. I have transport awaiting. Don’t worry about a thing, we know your needs. A travel bag has already been prepared. You are ready to depart immediately,” and motioned for Dan to arise and follow him out the door. He saluted the class, and nodded to Mrs. Moonsfield, and just as fast as he had arrived, Commander Rutherford was gone, with Cadet Daniel Goodman in his custody.                         

“The air field is not far off, now. Have you been this far, Cadet Goodman?” Commander Rutherford asked, the two now seated side by side on a railcar which was whizzing down the the industrial line which ran much faster than the municipal ones. 

“Ah, no, sir, not this far,” Dan managed to get out through his stomach ache cramps. He was going to add, “Nor this fast, but thought better of it.

“I see. I see,” was all Rutherford replied, and returned looking out the railcar window, and watched the outskirts of Metro City fly by. Mostly manufacturers and merchant warehouses for foreign trade, the outskirts of the city were notoriously ghastly and unwelcoming. The dirt and grime caked walks, building facades, and people’s faces, all of whom inhabited here were manual laborers in plants and factories. 

Dan was regaining his composure, not feeling quite as motion sick, which enabled him to look out the window with the Commander. Dan noticed a break in the scene: a vast black mass of stone slab, at least a mile square, and radiating the desert heat of the day. 

“That,” began the Commander, “is Air Field South.” 

“Oh, it is very big,” said Dan. 

“I came into Metro City this morning by way of it. Say, does the name Marie mean anything to you?” Rutherford asked, with a strange change in tone, and now looked down toward Dan, who did not respond directly, but stopped looking out the window and began staring at the floor of the railcar. After a few moments, the railcar began to slow down and make its approach to the air field platform. 

“I seem to recall I met a young lady by that name a day or so ago on a railcar, but nothing much more than that,” said Dan. 

“Nothing much more than that, you say,” the Commander inquired.

“No, nothing much more that I can recall. My memory of the past two days has been very foggy to say the least. I must have bumped my head or something, because I can’t account for my own whereabouts for the past day or so,” Dan said.

“I see. I see,” the Commander from Central City replied, as coldly as when Dan first heard his voice. The railcar had now come to a complete stop, the destination chimes having already sounded. Dan awaited Rutherford to arise and let him out into the aisle and depart the railcar. An awkward pause ensued for half a minute. Dan couldn’t take it.

“Sir, I know you just arrived, and may not know, but these railcars don’t wait for anyone,” Dan said, with a great deal of mustered courtesy and respect. 

“They’ll wait for me!” said Commander Rutherford, this time his powerful hands clenched the seat’s arm rest, and he turned toward Dan with a stare as hard as metal. Dan noticed his sandy grey and blond hair neatly combed back underneath his black cap with the strange insignia of the I and double SS on it. His clean shaven chin as chiseled as rock. And the throbbing neck veins about his collar. This was a man not to be trifled with. Dan thought, and feared, the Commander could, and might, snap him in half like a stick. What frightened Dan the most about the Commander was not his bodily stature, as imposing and dominating as it was, but rather the subtle blackness of the Commander’s eyes. Were one not so close, perhaps they could be mistaken for dark brown, but, no, Dan knew better. He was a foot from them, and they were pitch black, with Rutherford’s pupils distinguished only by their being a shade or so more an impossible black. 

“Tell me. What do you think of the Dome? What is your belief?” Rutherford asked, though with a tone not as hard as before.

“I, um, I believe what I ought,” Dan replied, glancing out at the platform, and marking the utter stillness of the railcar.

“Do you! Tell me, what are the tenets of the Profession of Belief? If I am to have you on board with the Viceroy’s secret task force, I must know I have one of us,” said the Commander. 

I believe in One Humanity under the Skies and destined for the Skies. I believe in One World, the All Seen. I believe in One Truth, that which Humanity Means…” Dan would have went on in the perfunctory recitation of the whole, but was interrupted by an impatient Commander. 

“Yes, yes, but do you believe, Goodman? Do you Daniel believe what it is you say?” the Commander’s voice was not hard in the slightest now, but almost pleading. Dan just sat there and struggled to understand what the Commander was asking him, or why. And as he did so, he could perceive a small voice or gentle tug on his consciousness and heart, and realized that he believed in the Profession of Belief about as much as he believed in the use or good of a call to Meditation, Care and Cooperation. He also recollected, in this tiny space of time in which to make his reply to the overbearing Viceroy’s Commander, the puzzle pieces lately scattered about the room of his brain, which he had been neglecting to pick up and put together.

He began quickly to put them together, even now as the Commander impatiently awaited his reply. Dan recalled how he shared an evening with the young, beauty named Marie, from the coast accompanied him to Green Grove. How they strolled through the park walks. How she showed him an old tree…

“Hang on a bit!” Dan said aloud, which visibly affected the Commander, who had been holding in custody a timid, docile and malleable youth this whole while. But these abrupt words were nothing of the kind. Dan continued without a breathing. “What is going on here! How did I get here? Last time I checked, I was half dying of thirst with a cracked cranium on the side of a mountain. Where’s Marie? Did you do something to her! Tell me!” Dan was carrying on in a frenzy, and would have continued to do so, but for the fact that the Commander had soon recollected himself, and was presently pulling a syringe gun from his breast pocket and about to administer to Dan another dose of the amnesia-inducing drug, when Dan caught sight of it, and sprung up, knocking the Commander’s cap onto the railcar floor. 

“What are you going to do, boy? You can’t escape. We are nowhere. Besides, you fly, and I’ll have a hoard of gliders on your tail in no time!” Rutherford spurted out furiously, almost frothing at the mouth, “You fool! You’re ours! You’ve always been!” Dan contemplated his position. The manual door release was four feet away. A lunge and dart, and he would have been free, at least from the Commander for the present. Dan baited the beast on.

“Who? Me? Yours? Ha! Drug a kid and tell him what he wants to hear. That’s your way. Coward! As for me and my head, well, that’s mine, not yours. You can have my body as you please. Much good it will do you. I’m free, coward. Which is more than I can say for you!” and with that Dan lunged at the door release, punched it, and landed out onto the platform. Before the Commander could jump up from his seat and retrieve his hat, Dan leaped over the edge of the platform and slid down a coolant piping that ran down the side of the rail line structure. His feet on the ground, he looked up. A hundred feet to the platform he slid down. His hands and inner thighs were burning from the friction, but his head was as cool and clear as an autumn day. He looked out onto the Air Field tarmac, a veritable sea of black, which reflected nigh nothing of the desert sunlight, but all of its heat. 

“I’ll burn up if I try to run out there,” Dan said aloud. Panting from the arduous descent, taking a brief refuge underneath the rail line structure, Dan put his hands on his knees and breathed deeply, trying to find a solution to this apparently unsolvable problem. 

Just then, he noticed a glare approaching from out of the west. A fast approaching glider! 

“Oh, Commander doesn’t waste any time, does he!” shouted Dan and began running toward the opposite direction. Though Dan was fit for a chase against any animal body, having excelled in marathon racing and sprint lanes, he was no match for a glider. He was soon overtaken after two minutes, and Dan gave up the chase, and stood stout and proud ready for hand to hand combat with whoever exited the vehicle to apprehend him. He looked about him. No handy rocks, only pebbles, debris from the tarmac. 

The steal blue sky overhead contrasted brightly with the emerald green and metallic gleaming sides of the glider, which had come to a full stop, and hovered over the ground, the soundless engines pulsating off the desert floor, evidenced by Dan’s white but dusty and grimy pant legs flapping in their exhaust. Presently the hatch of the canopy was heard to release with a shot of decompressing air and steam shooting up into the blue. Dan made ready for battle, clenching his teeth and fists. 

Finally a fair form with long black hair and a friendly face emerged from the glider. 

“Marie!” shouted Dan in full-on amazement and disbelief. “Oh, Marie!” And she hurriedly motioned him to get into the glider, and off they darted toward the western range at a sickening speed.           

The Legend of Lu: Armageddon

Introducing a new addition to the CE LOG: Opining on the Apocalypse: The Legend of Lu: Armageddon, a work of allegorical religious science-fiction depicting the last days. The book will be serialized over the course of the next few months, at a chapter a week.


Before time was time, before there was a before, before light or land or sea or tree, there was Unu, the One, from which and into which all is and was and ever shall be, so be it, let it be.  

From Unu first came the Lui, the Lights or Guardians. Of these there were an untold number of kinds, such was the majesty of Unu. The Guardians, at the good pleasure of Unu, brought forth through motion every body borne of matter. All form of air, water, earth and fire was made by the Guardians, and not anything of such form was made without them. Moved on in their work by the will of Unu, the Lights harmonized the World of Worlds into a chorus and melody and rhythm of beauty and majesty befitting honor and glory to Patlui, Father of Lights, so be it, let it be. 

But some Light Guardians rebelled against the order and music of the will of Unu and the Guardians, introducing chaos and discord into the World of Worlds, where movement is not in accord with Unu and the faithful Guardians. To reclaim the order lost by disobedience, the Lui held a council to propose a commander of the faithful Lights, to whom each would swear allegiance and fealty as to Unu. This General of the Guardians was anointed with Light and named Aequinum, Who is like Unu, because his will and that of Unu were so much alike, yet unlike because of the power, majesty and honor due to Unu, so be it, let it be. Thus, Aequinum quashed the rebellion, banishing the small but destructive band of fallen Guardians, the Caduclui, from Mundluc, World of Light, to the World of Dark, Mundater. 

Between Mundluc and Mundater was Mundhum, World of Earth, which was named after the most noble body of that World, Humunum, One Earth, blessed with will and power, like Unu and the Lui, yet formed from earth, and the other elemental forms, and so not unlimited in power and will but limited by the same earth and forms. Before the arrival of the Caduclui, to Mundhum, the Earth World was perfect. Earth, Water, Fire, and Air lived in harmony, respecting each other’s power and place: The trees swayed to the song of the breeze without cracking and breaking, the lion and lamb knew nothing of blood-thirst or fear, the Air did not take Water from Earth more than was needed, neither did Water ravage Earth, and Fire was friend of all. And most of all was this harmony of forms found in Humunum, who was Lord and Protector of them all. 

But out of hatred for the Lui, the leader of the Caduclui, Ferluc, Bringer of Light, now named Ferater, Bringer of Dark, seduced Humunum, with the deceptive hope that Humunum would be unlimited like the Lui, and even like unto Unu Oneself, blessed be One forever. Humunum fell from his height and sole governance of Mundhum, and as punishment for his grasping, Humunum became Humdumum, Divided One Earth, by which the One Earth became Two Earth, so as to learn humility for his pride, he now had to share his rule. Yet even out of this discordant transgression brought about by Ferater, the Lui blessed the dwellers of Mundhum with one of their own graces of nature, which enabled the them and their offspring, to care for Mundhum like the Lui care for Mundluc. 

This grace called Lu, Light, enabled the twins Humdumum to check and guard against the influence of Ferater and the Caduclui over Mundhum. This Lu, Ferater sought to subvert secretly, and plunge the blessed Humdumum into darkness with himself, cursed be he forever. 

Ferater succeeded in his scheme, and the Lu which Humdumum enjoyed for ages untold was eclipsed by the shadow of Ferater. As a result, Humdumum became Hum and Mul, the Undefined and Indefinite, no longer living in harmony and peace, but now in strife. The governance of the world soon fell to Ferater, usurped from them, who, being in strife with one another, and even in their own members, could not impart harmony to Mundhum. The elemental forms soon followed the eclipsing of Lu, striving against each unto each, bringing death into Mundhum, no longer guided and governed by Light.

Among the elemental forms and sons and daughters of Hum and Mul, Mundhum raged in tempests, famines, and wars, as well as turmoil, hunger, and fear. Want of warmth, comfort and friendship waxed during this evil epoch of Mundhum, such that the Lui at the command of Unu, sought to tame the elemental forms, so agitated by Ferater’s wicked rule, by setting Water over all of them, even over the decedents of Hum and Mul, who themselves had long passed into Munditer, the World Between.   

One son of Hum and Mul, Bonfilhum, Good Son of Hum, along with his wife, guided and guarded by the Lui, escaped the taming of the elemental forms by Water, through the secret skill of the Lui, who taught Bonfilhum the art and science of World Crossing, which enabled him and his family to escape the judgement, which turned Mundhum into Mundac, World of Water, and flee into the World of Air, Mundspir. 

After an age, Bonfilhum passed into Munditer, and his descendants lived long in Mundspir, but by and by some longed for the home of their father, Mundhum, and so pleaded with the Lui to loosen the hold Water had, and return them to a world of solidity. The Lui relented but made Bonfilhum’s descendants promise to love Light above all, even their beloved earth. The sons of Bonfilhum so promised, and so the Lui made the waters of Mundac to disperse by bringing Mundspir into collision with them. A mighty war of elemental forms ensued, between Water and Air, with neither wanting to relinquish their claim of the middle world of forms. Finally, the Lui parted Air and Water, and set Air above, and Water below, and Earth between. As a testament of their promise the Lui set a billion orbs of Fire above the other three, visible only when all other lights go out, to recall to the minds of the sons of Bonfilhum to always love and cherish above all things the invisible Lights that govern the World of Worlds. Yet the Lui also warned that, if ever Bonfilhum’s sons failed to keep this promise, Mundhum would be turned over to the reign of Fire. 

Many generations of the sons and daughters of Bonfilhum followed, and many kept their father’s first promise to the Lui, servants of Unu, blessed be the name forever. But many did not. Soon, evil and darkness crept back into Mundhum, since the Caduclui were gaining influence and numbers over to their cause, that of usurpation, domination, and destruction. The Lui held yet another council, with Aequinum as head, who would have declared open war upon Ferater and the Caduclui, even unto the end of Mundhum, yet Unu did not will it to come to pass.  

Unu surprised the council with a favor and grace to all worlds, which theretofore was permitted to be hidden from all, Aequinum and Ferater, and all Lui, Caduclui, and children of Bonfilhum: a true daughter, not of Bonfilhum, but through a preserving favor of Unu, a daughter of Humunum, whose formal elements were perfectly harmonized and in peace with the will of the Lui and Unu. She became Tulu, She Who Bore the Light, for of Tulu came Lu Himself, unmediated by the Lui, to fill with friendship and peace an ever darkening world bent on its own destruction. Nor did Lu come through Tulu by any son of Bonfilhum, but by Unu Oneself, blessed be the name forever. Thus Lu, son of Humunum was also son of Unu, a perfect harmony of Light and the formal elements, of the will of Unu and Humunum, a harmony of all in all.

Mundhum came under the reign of Lu, Lord of Light, Who held dominion over all the descendants of Bonfilhum. But Ferater waged war against Lu, bringing many into his own dark counsels, which plotted against the life of Lu. Knowing all, Lu was not unaware of Ferater and the Caduclui’s plan to destroy Him. Allowing their wicked scheme to come to pass, Lu passed out into Munditer for a time, but to the amazement of the faithful sons of Bonfilhum returned, not bound by the elemental forms, but transcended the confines of matter, space and time. Caduclui held no might against Him. Lu’s reign was secure, entrusting it as He did to His Viceroy, the sons of Bonfilhum, before He returned to the World of Light. The Viceroys exercised the might and wisdom of Lu over all of Mundhum, not through martial force but graceful truth. 

The sons of Bonfilhum, now spread throughout Mundhum, unified themselves in great cities of all excellence of science and art, improved and greatly blessed as they were by the reign of Lu’s Viceroy, and his officials spread throughout the world of Mundhum. Through their craft these advantages of nature and grace increased the sense of self worth and confidence of the inhabitants of Mundhum, such that some began to forget where all excellence hailed from, namely, the Lui, and the Lord of Light, Lu, and His Viceroy, and His vast hierarchy of officials in the service of Lu, called the Dome, in which all faithful to Lu were called and gathered and lived.   

A great council of the inhabits of the Dome was called. Officials whose governance was spread throughout Mundhum were summoned to answer the challenge of the wayward sons of Bonfilhum, who at that time were infiltrating the ranks of the Viceroy of Lu, threatening to change the sacred norms and guides of peace and truth. These they did through crafts and cunning schemes developed by Ferater and other accursed Caduclui, bent on the destruction and overthrow of the Dome of Lu. However, unbeknownst to a vast majority of the Dwellers of the Dome and faithful followers of Lu, the Luisians, a servant of Ferater had already made his way to the top of the ranks of the Dome, to the place of the Viceroy himself. 

Headed by an anti-viceroy, the council convened would do untold damage to the sacred norms and guiding lights of peace and unity and order, thereby plunging Mundhum into a second age of darkness, to echo the first, under the reign of the same Ferater. As with the first, Mundhum fell to usurpation, domination and destruction, as the faithless followers of Ferater swelled in number to cover all lands in darkness and disorder and death. The true Luisians, those who remembered and trusted to the norms and guides of Lu and His Viceroy, soon found themselves quite alone and separated and isolated throughout Mundhum. Those officials of the Dome who swore allegiance to the anti-viceroy, neither abjuring his heinous manipulations of the norms and guides, nor holding fast to the sure rule of previous Viceroys, fell themselves into darkness and out of grace with Lu. 

Since the convening and concluding of the false council, two full generations passed and a third was beginning when the Mother of Lu, Tulu, began her work again in Mundhum, from where she reigned in light in the land of light, Mundluc, working in the hearts of the faithful sons of Bonfilhum, who still clung to her Son’s Viceroy’s decrees. She was raising up for herself and her Son an army of faithful followers who would do war with the wayward races of Mundhum before the coming flood of Fire. 

Vastly outnumbered, unknown and outcast, these faithful to Lu carried the seed of truth, to germinate into a new civilization, after the coming chastisement of Lu. They belonged to the secret order of the Servants of Tulu, known as the Tulusians, who, having bound themselves to her Son’s Viceroy’s decrees, ancient norms and guides, became to a world ever enveloping itself in darkness brands of borrowed light, to brighten a world bent on its own destruction.                             


A Walk in the Park

The sun rose over the desert valley plain, tracked and checkered in intersecting lines of metallic railways which gleamed in the light. The railcars were already busy zooming from one destination to another with clockwork consistency, when the bell towers peeled out their melodious call to Meditation, Care and Cooperation, the MC2 as inhabitants of Metro City referred to it, at the sounding of which denizens were expected to stop what they were doing immediately, and greet a neighbor and offer assistance or a handshake. The MC2 tolled three times daily: dawn, noon, and dusk, to the overwhelming disgruntlement of the majority.      

A young man of sixteen, sturdily built, well groomed and properly attired in the Metro Academy uniform––white trousers, white blouse, and blue buttons running down the front, and blue cap, was at the time of the tolling of the MC2 gazing out the window of the railcar, watching housetops whiz past in rapid succession. 

“May I be of some assistance?” said a soft, inviting voice from across the aisle. The young man turned abruptly toward the young woman who spoke. Her hair was the first thing he noticed: Jet black and beautifully contrasted against the blue and white uniform. Her eyes were a light blue, distant and yet sincere. Her cheeks were lily white, which was quite unseen in the desert valley. He tried to speak the customary reply, but somehow an attempt at the ritual seemed a sacrilege before such beauty. 

“You’re not from here, are you?” was all he could get out. Somewhat taken aback by the unorthodox reply, the young lady blushed a bit, which was all the more apparent by her fair complexion. 

“I just moved here from the Coastland. I’m Marie.”

“I’m Daniel, but you can call me Dan.” 

“Well, Dan, I believe I asked you a question. Are you going to answer it?” Marie said, in a half-rebuking, half-joking tone.

“You can. After classes, meet me at Green Grove, where the tree specimens are. You know which stop that is, right, the third to last on this line.” Dan said, in rather bold and straightforward fashion, which was not his custom. To his amazement, Marie consented and saluted him before disembarking at Women’s Wing of the Academy Complex. 

As the railcar began again, Dan looked back out his window, and watched Marie on the platform quickly becoming smaller and smaller, returning his gaze and gently waving goodbye.     

After a long succession of classes, Dan boarded the railcar that evening, as the sun was waning down over the western mountain range, the tops of which, though it was summer, were all heavily snow capped. Metro Valley ran four hundred miles north to south, with two great ranges of vast peaks on either, and ten miles between. Dan learned in his Geological History class that the Valley was thought to be the site of an ancient, massive river, which had dried up some time during the Light Wars at least ten thousand years ago, back when Light Weapons were known and used.    

“DING, DING, DING,” announced the next stop for Green Grove, which was only one of a handful of green patches of earth in all of Metro Valley. The grove and gardens, and indeed all of the Metro Valley, were fed by water pumped in from the coastland region a hundred miles west over the mountains. The grove was a living museum of horticulture and forestry by the designers, but simply a place to get away from it all before returning to the lonely orphanage barracks for the night. It was Dan’s sanctuary, for there surveillance was not allowed by city ordinance, and MC2 calls were only faintly heard and hardly ever heeded.

Dan disembarked onto the platform. The heat of the day had made the metal flooring panels pleasantly warm, as compared with the increasingly chilly desert air of evening. The car continued on its clockwork course with a low hum accelerating into a high whistle as it sped away down the line. 

Descending a stair from the platform, Dan made his way into the grove through a high gate, and proceeded to the tree specimens area, along a sidewalk illuminated by little blue lights hidden in shrubbery and flowers alongside. 

As he made his way casually to the the tree park, he noticed from afar that Marie had already preceded him and was seated herself at one of the benches, but was seemingly anxious. Dan could see her looking behind herself and at her wristwatch. He saluted her twenty paces away, but she did not seem to notice him as yet. Twilight was settling heavy on the distant, western peaks in soft purple hues, against which the bridge was becoming a colossus silhouette, dotted with a hundred pinpoint eyes peering into the oncoming night. Dan had descended into Green Grove at dusk many a time before, as it were almost routine, yet this night felt different. Was it the danger of letting a stranger in to his little world? Was it the unknown of woman that made him feel uneasy? Whatever it was, the night felt to Dan ominous and uncertain. He quickened his pace. 

Presently he greeted Marie audibly, who had now fixed her eyes on him and stood up at the same time. 

“You came! I’m glad!” Dan said, not hiding his enthusiasm to see her again. Another railcar briefly stopped to offload passengers, and was off again just as fast, which made Marie’s eyes dart from Dan to the platform not far off.

“What is it? It is just a railcar. They come rather more frequently than I would like. But they are gone soon enough.”

“Quiet,” Marie said in a very low tone, tangibly frightened. “They will hear us. I must speak quickly. Quick, now, walk by my side here,” Marie put her arm into Dan’s and motioned for them to walk, side-by-side, down the illuminated path into the trees. As they did so, Dan could sense how tense she was, and ever so often looked up at the platform and the intermittent cars coming and going. 

“Are you going to tell me what this is about? Why are you so anxious?” Dan tried to get out, but she made him know they still weren’t safe somehow, so he kept his peace. 

They walked on about five minutes into winding park path. The trees were ominously lit, he thought, with the electric blue lights of the path, and the eyes of the long, snake-like bridge curling around them. Dan was starting to sense the fear as well. 

“Now we may talk, but only briefly and as low as I am now. What do you know of this Academy that you attend?” she asked, like one who knew the question before it was asked.

“Little, other than that it is a preparatory academy for young men and woman, for service in the Dome. Adolescents are selected at an early age for their Potentials, and I was screened, and selected, and I have been attending courses there since I was fourteen, about two years,” Dan said, without ceremony. 

“Yes, but what does the Academy say of itself?” she inquired again.

“That it is in the service of the One, and that all are obliged under obedience to submit to the Dome’s orders and decrees,” Dan said, now rather perplexed at such simple-minded questions. 

“What is this Dome you speak of,” Marie asked, this time with an air of superiority not unwarranted.

Dome is home, mother, father, brother, sister, friend: Dome is life. Dome is death. Dome is all. Dome is One. Dome is God,” Dan said, quoting verbatim the chant-meditation he was instructed to recite upon waking every day and retiring every night by his instructors at the Academy. 

“It seems this is going to be harder than I thought,” Marie said to herself. “Okay, do you remember your history, about the Light Wars of 43989, of the third age of Dry Land?” Marie asked, somewhat exasperated. “Look up, if you can, and see the stars. Remember now?”

“Oh, yea, the decedents of Goodman wanted to return to the Earth and the gods burned up the waters over the earth so they could again, right?” Dan said, somewhat impressed by his recollection of Ancient History class. 

“Yes, that is about right. Well, the ‘gods’ as you call them returned men back to the land under the condition that they would keep the promises their faithful father Goodman did, otherwise, the gods would burn them up!” Marie replied, visibly uneasy about casually talking about such matters. “And do you recall who was in charge of keeping such promises to the gods” Marie questioned further.

“I am a little shaky on that point, who?” Dan asked.

“The Officers of the Dome, and World-Light’s vicar, of course!” Marie almost shouted under her breath. The wood into which the path had wound was now emerging into a clearing where a venerable specimen was not prominently displayed, somewhat out of the way in a corner as it were. It was not very big, rather gnarly and careworn for a tree. The limbs were stout but brittle looking, as if it had seen a thousand moons eclipsed in its day. The foliage was, by the electric blue hue of the path, glossy and, in a word very charming to behold. The effect the tree made on Dan was singular and almost sentimental, like the feeling one gets looking at pictures of a childhood home, where anyone else would see only an ordinary house.

Marie motioned to stop, and she seemed to mutter something beneath her breath as her head was slowly bowed. Then she beckoned Dan to bow his head, and they both approached, arm-in-arm, in front of the tree. 

“Wood from this tree,” she began, clearing her the emotion from her throat, “was hewn to make a fire to burn World-Light, as a hypocritical holocaust to Dark-Bearer,” she said. “There was good reason why you felt drawn to Green Grove. The most sacred artifact of the ancient world was here waiting for you.”

“Impossible! This can’t be that tree! Why, the Dome officials would have exalted this Grove and made this an epicenter of meditation and contemplation!” Dan shouted, forgetting himself and his sworn quietude.

“Don’t you see, Dan? What now occupies the Dome represents everything opposed to Goodman and World-Light. Can you see the stars now? No! Because Metro City lighting has obscured them! Can you see and really feel the sun? No! Because Metro City keeps everyone inside, comfortable and blind! Could you see this sacred and venerable Tree before tonight? No! because a thousand other specimens and points of interest were planted all around it to obscure it like the stars are hidden by these electric illuminations. Can you see…” Marie’s voice dropped off, and she quickly turned behind us. Distant on the path, toward the platform, through the park rapidly moving lights were silently approaching them. 

“Quick, get down,” Marie whispered, making them drop down behind a refuse-recycle receptacle. “They’re coming.”

Dan could almost hear his heart beating, but for the winding, whistling hum of the railcars overhead. Before he could ask who was coming, a blinding blast of light emitted from one of the smaller lights running down the path, which hit the Tree and burst into a billion red, yellow, and blue sparks. Shielding their eyes and faces from the light and heat, Marie and Dan only heard and felt the percussion of the light shot against the Tree, which sounded like a railcar had collided against another head-on. 

“Quick now, follow me,” Marie, who had recovered from the explosion first, grabbed Dan’s arm, and they fled away off the path toward the western wall of Green Grove, out of the lights of the path. As Dan turned back and got a glimpse of where the light shot hit, he saw the old Tree still stood still, just as it always had, and perhaps just as it always will.          

Passing out into the dark night, the city lights reflected a feeble gleam on the desert floor, which made the distance to the mountain range’s foot hills seem to increase. Marie half guessed Dan’s thoughts, looking back into his face from where she led on ahead. 

“Don’t worry. We’ll make it to the hills by sunup,” she said. Dan only nodded, and trotted along, half dazed and wondering whether the past half hour was a dream or real. The night air was refreshingly cool, but Dan was getting thirsty, his throat dry from all the running and excitement. But he figured, if Marie could handle it all without refreshment, he ought to. 

Emboldened by this thought, and sensing the mental fog rising from his head, Dan asked to slow the pace to get some things settled. 

“Sure. What do you want to know?” Marie said, obligingly. 

“For starters, where are we going? And why are we running? And who are we running from anyway! What was that blast of light! And who are you!” Dan uttered in a breathless torrent of helplessness and ignorance. 

“One thing at a time, Dan,” Marie replied calmly. “We are heading to our secret cave in the mountains, which members of the Order gather and report on their doings and progress. We dare not gather in the City.”

“Okay, but I think that just introduced ten more questions. Please proceed,” Dan said, flummoxed. 

“Get down! Here!” Marie shouted in a whisper, and pulled Dan’s hand toward a desert shrub. A bright shaft of pale yellow light streamed across the desert floor from where they had began, from the walls of the Green Grove, now about three miles behind them. The light was scanning back and forth in an ominously slow, searching manner, which made Dan’s neck hairs stand on end. 

“What’s that!” Dan asked under his breath. 

“That is the answer to your second and third questions,” Marie said. “That is a search party after me. It seems they traced my movements through audio and video surveillance, or through spies, and guessed who I was and what I was doing in the City.”

“Wait a second. Who are you? You said you just moved here from the coast, but then you said you had a secret cave in the mountains! Which is it?” Dan said, now somewhat suspicious. 

“I have just arrived from the coastland. I am an operative commander there, and was relocated here. One thing at a time, Dan. It is much to take in. Perhaps we can rest now, now that that search light has been turned out. I don’t think they know we came this far or are going toward the mountains,” Marie said, sitting down on the ground, motioning to Dan to do the same. 

“Okay, so who is chasing us and why?” Dan asked. 

“They are the officials of the Dome, in the service of darkness. They are chasing me because I have been in the City to recruit soldiers for the Lady of Light’s army,” Marie said.  

“How did your recruiting go?” Dan asked.

“Not well. I had only a handful I was to make contact with, and of those only one turned out to be receptive and open to the truth,” Marie said, visibly saddened by the accounting. 

“And what are these recruits asked to do? Do they get weapons?’ Dan asked, not abashed at his boyishness poking through. 

“The recruits are asked to do what they have always professed to do, be good and believe, and get others to do the same. There are weapons, but we would rather not it came to that, though it probably will in the end,” Marie’s grief sharpened a pitch at this last thought.

Dan just sat there, not knowing what to say, and feeling a little silly for asking about weapons. The night air was chilling off even more now, and both started to shiver. 

“I think it is best we start off again toward the cave,” Marie said, standing up, and brushing off the dust from her white uniform. 

Marie led the way with a quickened pace, but Dan’s legs were rejuvenated from the brief rest, though his mind was labored and grappling with Marie’s words and what it all meant. Her pace prevented him any more questions presently, though he had so many more. 

The two journeyed on through the night in silence and in brief stops here and there, until, at last, the first light of the morning was beginning to glow dimly along the eastern range, outlining their peaks and contours.   

“Do you see between those two peaks, that a line falls down between them? That line terminates at the base of the mountains. There is where our path to the cave begins. It is marked by boulders strewn about apparently at random, but if followed leads to safety and truth,” Marie said, looking up and gesturing for Dan to do the same. 

“Yes, I see it,” Dan said. 

“Good. I must ensure you get their. It is almost morning. They will have searched the City this night and realized I did not return but took my chances in the desert. They will be out at first light in search of me. I must ensure they find me and not you,” Marie said determinately. 

“What on earth are you saying, Marie!” Dan said, frightened. 

“You are more important than you know, Dan. If you are captured or killed, more will be lost than you can possibly imagine. You asked me who I was, but the better question should have been, who are you? Follow the path, and you will get your answer,” and with that Marie turned back and ran the way they had come. And, as Dan looked on half amazed, she disappeared in the distance. He motioned to run after her, but heeding her wisdom, and wanting answers, he let her go.

Dan turned back to the rising mountain range, and found the path leading down it again in the growing glow of morning light. Afraid for Marie, weary of mind, thirsty to death, Dan’s spirit was failing and falling within him as he looked upon the path he still had to traverse. 

As he began to climb the rough terrain, Dan thought about what Marie had said before she left him. Who are you? Oddly enough, that question never occurred to Dan to ask himself. At the orphanage he did what he was told. At the Academy, he took orders without question. He was comfortable at the orphanage, and well provided for with all his necessities; at the Academy, he was pleasantly amused and fulfilled with his studies, and with the exercises and sports, and, though he was somewhat of an outcast cadet, being without a family, he was sociable when called upon, and not quarrelsome. But to ask who are you never crossed his mind, perhaps for want of imagination, perhaps contentment, Dan didn’t know. But the question lay before him now like a mountainside, and he wasn’t sure which was more difficult, climbing the mountain on the verge of collapse, or finding the answer to his question. 

After a half hour of climbing in the increasingly brighter light, Dan looked back for the first time to see below him the desert floor far below, stretching out toward the distant Metro City skyline. The sun had not yet crested over the eastern peaks, but was close to it, and throwing its rays westward over the valley, which was filling in red-orange hues. The western range burned with the first fire of the dawning sun, and Dan was heartened by the sight, and resolved to quicken his pace toward the cave.

As he ascended, he observed here and there massive boulders with strange rune script hewn into them, patterned as like a design within a message. One script on one rock was particularly striking in the rising sun, which made the characters sparkle and accentuate their curves and angles. To Dan’s amazement, as he stood there next to the rock and rested, and gazed upon the surface moving his eyes over the unintelligible writing or drawing, he began to understand, or at least he thought he understood. It was directions, or a map, or both, Dan did not know which. The rock communicated the location of the cave with images in his mind formed by sounds like musical notes. He heeded their direction and proceeded with assurance he was on the right path. 

“I sure hope I can get a drink when I get there,” Dan said aloud, surprising himself by the sound, for the mountainside and lower foothills had been still and silent all morning and, except for the crunching and shifting of pebbles and dirt beneath his feet, he heard nothing besides. He carried on, his throat now parched beyond endurance, and presently throbbed with pain from the dryness; yet he carried on up the path.

Boulders with markings like the ones below where now less prevalent, but consistently led the way up. The mountainside was starting to warm up now, as the light of the sun was cresting over the ridge top. The heat became an unwelcome and smothering blanket, which Dan wished to throw off. 

“How far? Directions didn’t show,” Dan remarked to himself, now somewhat stumbling than walking. He lumbered on, leaning on one boulder for a second, then stumbling forward to the next. Presently he tripped over a rock and fell down to the ground and lay there a while. As he did so, Dan looked out again over the valley far below. It was now nearly in the full light of the sun, the earth-red floor reflecting back the yellow light of day. He noticed the glittering metallic rail lines in the distant City, which slashed through the background western range in streaks of silver white light. Then Dan’s gaze fixed on another sight. A formation of what appeared to be gliders was racing out from Metro City, into the desert plains.

“Marie! Marie!” Dan shouted, which echoed throughout and down the mountainside. Dan managed to lunge up to his feet and steady himself on a boulder and looked again down to the fast approaching search party. “Nowhere to hide, nowhere,” Dan uttered beneath his breath as he desperately looked down upon the situation. The gliders changed formation now from an arrow line to that like a pack of dogs circling their prey. “They found her!” Dan shouted again with terror. In a frenzy of emotion, he leapt forward from where he was resting against a boulder and tripped again and, striking his skull against a rock, blacked out. 

The formation of gliders finally encircled their prey, and, as they began to close in, all of a sudden a bright flash of brilliant red, yellow and blue light filled the region of the desert floor where Marie had been just moments before. Dan still lay unconscious and bleeding on the mountainside, as the sun slowly and silently wheeled overhead.    

The Church Hyperion

I have never had the pleasure of visiting the Redwood forests in California, with their steeple-like trunks jetting up in dizzying heights to the blue beyond; but if I ever do get a chance to walk through that true forest primeval, there is every likelihood that, if I walk long enough, I will stumble upon the tallest recorded tree in the world without knowing it, because the tree, Hyperion by name, is kept secret for fear of its destruction. 

What irony it is that the tallest living thing should be practically invisible in the obscurity of a hundred thousand things that resemble and surround it yet differ from it in glory and honor! So it is with the Church. The Church Militant on Earth, like Hyperion, is the most glorious and honorable living thing, but is made to dwell in the obscurity of a hundred thousand things superficially resembling and surrounding it, and precisely for the same reason: She is kept secret for fear of Her destruction! And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Look around and count the sects if you can. The Protestant sects are about as numerous as the stars in the sky, and about as bright as them in the light of truth compared with that of the Sun, so leave these aside. Count the “Catholic” sects. There’s the full-blown apostate sect headed by the Vatican, the Pachamama worshipers and suchlike. Then there are the liberals who, though they would not necessarily say they worship Mother Earth, they are very comfortable with sacrificing their unborn babies to her in a ritualistic murder no less diabolical than the Aztec human slaughter house. Then there is the conservative sect who get squeamish about worshipping demons and sacrificing their children to them, but who are cool with worshipping with those who do worship demons, as in the Assisi prayer gatherings, or who embrace the endorsement of demon worship in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

Then there are the traditionalists. These are about as untraditional as the Pachamama lovers, if not more so, because they deny the very foundation upon which the Church was built, namely, the papacy. They say the pope can teach heresy, which is a denial of the dogma of papal infallibility, which preserves Church doctrine from error, and the dogma of papal primacy. They say the popes have taught heresy (which is a lie from Hell), and so they can ignore their teachings in favor of their own interpretation of tradition. 

Finally, there are the sedevacantists. These have their own pet heresies, like the material-formal thesis which denies the teaching found in Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, which teaches that a heretic can never become pope. But what really separates these from the others is not so much that they muddy Church doctrine as they murder Church law. To understand how this is, one would need to read studies and articles on the subject. This brief blog post could not do the subject justice, so I direct you to a couple resources to get you started, here and here. 

These sects, and all those sub-sects which belong to them, are the obscuring agents of darkness HOMEBASE speaks of. Just as it is not Hyperion’s fault that he is surrounded by lesser entities, and which conspire to obscure his greatness before the eyes of men, so it is not the Church’s fault She is obscured by these sects. But is it doctrinally sound to say that the Church is in obscurity? The short answer is yes. The long answer may be found here and here.

The Church is in the desert as St. John envisioned in the Book of the Apocalypse at the end of days. He who withheld the Gates of Hell for two thousand years, the pope, was taken out of the way, to make room for the Antichrist and his Antichurch, and to usher in the Great Apostasy. The three attributes of the Church, authority, infallibility, indefectibility, without which the four marks of the Church, unity, sanctity, catholicity, and apostolicity, cannot fully exist, are guaranteed by divine promise to one Church alone, the Church of Rome. Since the death of Pope Pius XII, that Church has been without a head, without a bishop. Subsequently, the universal Church has been without a head as well, and its visibility has been considerably dimmed.  

But I argue that the attributes of the Church, and subsequently the marks of the Church, do exist, not in their formal cause, in the pope and the bishops in communion with him, but in their material effect, in that which they left behind, in approved catechisms, and papal teachings through encyclical letters, even in canon law. These, along with baptism (which anyone may receive from anyone) are sufficient to make a man a Catholic. 

There are so few Catholics left, one is tempted to despair that the visibility of the Church doesn’t mean anything. But this is a mistake. The visibility of the Church is not dependent upon numbers. Was that the case in Noah’s epoch, who was one just man among millions upon millions, called out of the world and into the life of grace and salvation? That massive Ark on the horizon was visible, yes, but only to those in the immediate area.  For most of the world, Noah’s Ark wasn’t even talked about let alone seen. So it is today with the Church. The only difference now is that, instead of one lonely, gargantuan boat swallowing up all the kinds of animals in the world, we have tens of thousands of boats pretending to be the Church of Christ. 

What is a believer to do? How can one be saved in these times, one who is of goodwill and wants to belong to the Church, but cannot locate it? I confess I do not know, apart from the divine call of grace. For many are called, but few are chosen. But, as a comfort, I do know that the Church teaches one may belong to the Church either in Body or in Spirit, those members of the Body being outwardly visible, whereas those who belong to Christ in Spirit, are invisible. Thus far I have spoken of belonging to the Church in Body, in believing in everything that the Church teaches, in participating in Her sacraments as far as possible, and in wanting to be governed by Her lawful pastors. But membership in the Church may be through belonging to the Spirit of Christ as well, in desiring these things, but not knowing how or in what they consist.  

To make the position of CatholicEclipsed clear, the Catholic Church is not invisible, only existing as the Spirit of Christ on Earth. The Body of Christ is visible in its members who profess the Catholic Faith, partake of Her sacraments, and would willing subject themselves to lawful pastors were there any to be subject to. These Catholics are not invisible. I know a handful by name and have had regular correspondences with them. They do not belong to any sects, but hold to the undiluted, unadulterated, undefiled Faith of their Fathers. They are visible for all the world to see. Two such Catholics have websites of their own, which is a way to publicly profess the faith. But owning a website is not required, of course, just a willingness to profess your Catholic Faith, before family, friends, or the postman if he’ll listen to you.    

A big part of the mission of this website is to make the Church more visible in its members for the world. Through a tireless production and promotion of videos and articles on social media, I look at myself as another St. John the Baptist—minus the holiness, honey and locusts—crying out from my keyboard in the wilderness:…make straight the way of the Lord, like a gigantic Redwood reaching to Heaven!

The Fool in the Court of the Cosmic King

There’s a story of popular legend about a juggler who became a monk. Now, I don’t know why a juggler should want to become a monk. Then again, I don’t know why anyone would want to become a monk, save for the only reason that comes to mind: the absolute love of God and no love of the world. 

Anyway, this juggler turned monk, as the legend goes, wasn’t very scholarly or artistic. He couldn’t translate Greek or work out the theological puzzles of the universe in the scholastic method, and knew even less about sculpture, painting, and stained-glass works. He was an outcast among the other monks, and assigned to the most menial labors of the monastery, to which he opened not his mouth.    

One fateful day, just before the hour of morning prayer, our juggler-monk was scouring the stoned floors on his knees, and while he did so, he stared up at a beautiful statue of our Lady with the Child in her arms. And, looking upon the beauty of the statue, he was saddened that he could not please his Lady and Lord with such art as the other monks possessed. 

Then, almost as an instinctual impulse of some past life, he tossed the brush into the bucket, and started tumbling up and down, side to side, back and forth before the statue. He had never somersaulted so superbly! But just then, the other monks started to file in to the chapel, and, on seeing the juggler-monk flipping and flopping to and fro, gasped in utter shock and horror, and thought to themselves, “The sacrilege! The blasphemy!” No sooner had the monks began to murmur amongst themselves, that the Mother and Child statue miraculously came to life, with the Christ Child still giggling over the juggler-monk’s flips and falls. 

Now this legend, or forgotten page of The Lives of the Saints, has a sequel in this website, at least in the essence and antics of the tale, not in the holiness and miracles. Just as the juggler-monk felt called to leave the world and serve God, so did I. The problem, though, is that, just as the juggler-monk had no talents the world recognized as worthy, so neither do I. The best thing he had going for him, is the best thing I have going for myself: a willingness to be made a fool of. There are a number of ways I am trying to accomplish this great and heavy task of being made a fool of for Christ’s sake. Let me mention a few. 

To speak the truth about the Faith, to disseminate information which is only sourced from the magisterium of the Catholic Church, and to do so without qualification, diminution, ellipses, or unauthorized explanatory commentary, has all the feel of a make-believe melodrama. “That’s ridiculous,” people often say. “How can the Catholic Church not have a visible head for over half a century!” Others say, “Oh, I see. You’re one of those Homealoners. Buzz off, fly!” Or, “You live in fantasyland. Grow up and live in the real world!” These kinds of replies I receive on a daily basis in Twitterland, which, were I more holy, I’d account as my daily bread. 

The other way I have been trying to be a fool is through my Sect Spect Report, though I confess I’ve been failing miserably at it. The first few reports have too much seriousness about them, and not enough humor. You see, I take myself too seriously, and that is my downfall. I must script out every word, but were I more like our holy juggler-monk, I’d flip and fall out of an instinctual habit of saying what’s on my mind, which is always better than reading from a script––especially when one doesn’t have a teleprompter, and so looks down from the camera as he reads! I shall work on that, which will probably make more people say, “See how he jokes around about such serious matters! He doesn’t take the Faith seriously!” That’s my goal, anyway. 

Finally, I received one deriding comment which asserted that I couldn’t be taken seriously for all the Star Trek and space stuff. I find this objection to be just sad. That people who call themselves Christian have lost all sense of play and wonder is a great loss indeed, almost as tragic as apostasy. For these unfortunate people, Christianity is something to be talked about in full business attire, clean-cut webpages, and memes as pious as they are puritanical and as sacred as they are saccharine. 

But this is a mistake of tactics, if conversion or fostering religion is the aim––which I have my doubts it is; probably more like fostering more followers on Twitter. Real people look through these things for what they really are: feigned religion. The really religious man does not merely express his religion in tweets of fine art or scholastic argumentation. The really religious man expresses his religion in everything, but most of all he expresses his holy belief in God and his Church, in his hobbies and interests.   

God is a God of personality, because He Himself is a community of Persons. God loves personality, as is evidenced by all the personalities He’s called His friends down through time. Pick out anyone you like, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a bore among them. Why is that you think? Why is it that the saints seem to be inflamed, not only with a holy love of God, but also with a holy love of life? Why are the saints so interesting? Because they let their Faith in God sanctify everything about them, their habits and interests, that’s why! Look at the mind of St. Thomas Aquinas, which was great before it was saintly; where every minute question excited him, from the wings of flies to the wings of Seraphim. Look at the manual labor of St. Isidore the Farmer or the vast learning of St. Isidore the Scholar; St. Catherine of Bologna and her artistic abilities, or Saint Ignatius of Loyola and his militarism which he turned into spiritualism. Look at any saint you please down through the ages of Christendom and what will strike you is, not how holy they were, but how human. Gratia non tollit naturam, sed perficit, as Aquinas would say.    

One would think, though, from all the Catholic tweets going around, that piety and holiness and a living Faith consisted strictly in religious paintings, prayer cards, and verses superimposed onto landscapes––you know the kind with the words Trust in the Lord with all your strength over a Grand Canyon sunrise and a silhouetted rock-climber dangling from a cord. St. Thomas Aquinas, with his crystal orb of a brain, saw the Light of lights reflected in everything, which is why he studied and spoke about everything, from rocks in the dirt to the Angelic throng in the Empyrean. But we, dimwitted and dull in our souls, can only see God and His glory and truth in theological manuals or pious art or in Bible quotes. Our piety lacks personality, lacks perfected nature, and it shows.          

I am the fool in the court of the cosmic King, taking what few worthless tricks I have to please Him, perhaps make Him giggle, and only secondarily please and make you giggle. I do this by taking what interests me and seeing it anew through the lens of Faith, letting grace spiritualize it and so perfect it. Spock, taken by himself, is a hopeless rationalist, but if his character––or at least his costume––could be harnessed for the Faith, with his logical disposition toward facts, and unemotional thinking, I believe he and his pointed ears and powder-blue uniform could do some good in spreading authentic Catholicism, and be entertaining at the same time.

My mind draws me back to one whose love of God was great,  who happened to think highly of space stuff while not thinking too highly of himself. He said somewhere: For I will behold thy heavens, the works of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded. What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Funny, he also was fond of making a fool of himself, dancing in the court of the presence of God.            

Snipe-Hunting for the Endangered Species Ecclesia Catholica

Can You Spot All the Magical Mythical Monsters

In the past week I have received a firestorm of replies on Twitter which accuse me of holding to heresy, to the idea that the Church has defected because I don’t know where it is. A typical example runs, “With all due respect, you believe in a church that has defected and is not visible. I believe in an eclipsed Church, that has clergy and the Sacraments but is not as easily found as it once was. You do not know where the Church is, it’s not eclipsed for you, it’s gone.” 

Were the accusation true, I would be a heretic, and would be obliged to do a Sect Spect Report on myself, which would prove somewhat awkward. But, happily, it is not true. I do not believe that the Church has defected. In the Twitter thread, I stressed to my interlocutor the importance of abiding by the philosophical and commonsensical maxim: proceed from the known to the unknown. The reason for doing so should be obvious to anyone at the age of reason, but an example may help to illustrate.  

When I served aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), I heard stories about how new recruits in the engineering department were tried and tested, or else just hazed. The recruit was given a sack and a flashlight and was told to go down into the dark engine room and search for what was called a snipe. He did so without hesitation to prove his readiness to obey all lawful orders of a superior. The result was, though, that the credulous recruit fumbled in the dark all day in a vain quest to find what didn’t exist.

I’d Rather Be Snipe-Hunting

If the unsuspecting sailor just exercised some commonsense, he would have understood that one cannot find what one does not know. To know what a thing is comes before the knowledge of where it is. If the sailor simply asked, “Is it bird-like or cat-like? Four legs or two? Large or small?” then the snickering superior probably would have been tripped up so much the whole joke would have been exposed, and the new recruit, saved from the embarrassment by his sound and questioning mind, would have gone on to enjoy his day spent in a more happy pursuit––like sipping a frozen margarita in a San Diego bar.  

So what’s the point of this delightful digression? I contend that, just as the sailor didn’t know what a snipe was, but was enthusiastically willing to find it, so the Sedevacantist congregant doesn’t know what the Church is, but is enthusiastically willing, not only to look for and find it, but to bag it, run back to Twitter and pull it out, hold it up as a valid and legitimate specimen of the endangered species, ecclesia catholica, and condemn as doctrinal quacks anyone who doesn’t concur.  

Shall we go snipe-hunting ourselves, then, and see what we find? Let’s, but the first question to ask is what does the the Church say the Church is, because we don’t want to spend the next decade in the dark of some sect because we didn’t think things through and ask that question first. Let’s try to trip up those who would see us hoodwinked and beguiled into believing the Church was here or there, before we know what the Church is.

The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth was given to the Church for all time to teach all mankind the revelation of Jesus Christ and the good news of salvation. The Teaching Church, the pope and councils of bishops in communion with him, promulgated catechisms for the religious instruction of the Church Faithful, or Believing Church. As such, these catechisms are the ordinary and universal magisterium to which the lay faithful owe their divine and Catholic assent of faith. 

With this firmly held in mind, let’s read the answer to our question in the Baltimore Catechism:

“The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible Head,” (A.489), and “By ‘lawful pastors’ we mean those in the Church who have been appointed by lawful authority and who have, therefore, a right to rule us. The lawful pastors in the Church are: Every priest in his own parish; every bishop in his own diocese, and the Pope in the whole Church,” (A.494).  

So now that we know what the Church is, we can start hunting. The Conciliar sect is not the Church, because it doesn’t profess the faith of Christ, denying almost every single dogma of the Church; the Recognize and Resist sect is not the Church, because it doesn’t profess the faith of Christ, either, denying, for instance the attributes of authority, infallibility, and indefectibility of the Church, among a host of other dogmas. What about the Sedevacantists, are they the Church? According to the universal ordinary magisterium of the Baltimore Catechism, which was given to us lay faithful to learn and be able to answer such a question, the answer is an emphatic, “Not on your life!”  

Not only were Sedevacantists bishops not appointed by lawful authority, I don’t think any claim to rule within a diocese or parish––a neon sign advertising that they are only flirting with being lawful pastors, but they lack the pluck to try to do so. But let’s assume they do make such a claim. We’ll question them further with the help of our handy-dandy book of codified infallible universal ordinary magisterial teachings. 

A Constellation of Signs

With bag, flashlight, and catechism in hand, ask the Sedevacantist clergy, “Do you possess the three attributes of the Church, namely, authority, infallibility, and indefectibility, without which the four marks of unity, sanctity, catholicity, and apostolicity could not exist, which attributes and marks the Church must have, because Christ said so? ” (Cf. A.519, A.520 and A.522). 

“Further,” you’ll want to add, “If you do claim such attributes and subsequently such marks, could you prove your apostolic successional authority, by showing that you received it directly or indirectly from God? Could you also direct me to the laws you have promulgated for the common good of the Church?” (Cf. A.507, A.524). 

Did the Sedevacantist bishop answer your questions, or rather quote canon law, theological textbooks and commentaries, Greek terms, Latin precepts, or nothing at all? Did he tell you how silly you were to rely on so simplistic and unsophisticated a text as a catechism to determine what and where the Church is during these times of extraordinary emergency?

My Twitter interlocutor set out to find the Church, without asking first what the Church is. He believed the Sedevacantist bishop’s claim to be the Church, before he even knew what the Church was. Is it any wonder, therefore, that he found a magical mythical monster instead of a member of the species ecclesia catholica