Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Two, IWTV. Lestat appears.

And so Lestat appears. He drinks Louis's blood just when Louis had no will to live. Even he did not know what hit him and though he had a stroke. I wonder how many people around the world falsely believe they suffered from a stroke when all they'd been was feed for a vampire?

But right after being victimized by a supernatural predator, Louis became prey to an evil that's all too human and all too common. The priest. At first he opens up to him, bares his heart with honesty, and admits to his guilt. In a way, don't we all just want someone to fully witness our pain, and by quietly listening, to soothe it?

But then the priest dismisses Louis's experience. Instead he has all these Medieval explanations as to the death of Paul (Louis's brother), and accuses Louis of being self-indulgent. Yes, this is injurious. And it happens far too often. Priests, or people of spiritual authority, tend to do this. But laymen tend to do this, too. We fear facing the unfamiliar, so we resort to superstitious, superfluous explanations to keep our world spinning in its place.

Louis almost murders the priest. I feel some sympathy for the man. But Louis was out of reason.

Is it really easier to believe in the Devil than in a Good God? Does all the evil in our world invalidate any evidence of a Benevolence? Louis calls this egotism: the inability to accept that sanctity had come so close, and actualized in someone else apart from ourselves. We can't bear to become play supporting roles in someone else's life. Is that it?

I think there is a huge difference in how the West and the East think. In Manila, thousands of people flocked to Agoo in La Union because they said the sun danced there, the Virgin made apparitions to a  young boy named Judiel Nieva. Judiel, with the priests who perpetrated this scheme, said the Virgin ordered him to make gold medallions to sell to the people. Anyone wearing these gold medallions at the point of death will instantly be granted access to heaven. Each medallion costed P1,000.00. Now Judiel is a woman. She has garnered enough money for a sex change operation.

In the movie Himala (starring Nora Aunor), which was later turned into a musical starring May Bayot, we witness the same. Thousands believed in the Divine, though it was a lie, and people made money out of it. The Divinity was huge business. Is this, too, egotism? Or does the East treat spirituality as a commercial enterprise?

When I was younger I believed in the Gospel as taught by the Protestant Church. We were conservative evangelical Christians. The Catholics were not brothers, but lost sinners as we once were. We know the truth now, and hold the responsibility, in fact, the God-given mandate, to evangelize the world. The goal of life for a true Christian is Christ-likeness. To be like Christ in all ways. We asked ourselves, What Would Jesus Do? in every situation.

In a way, though, I was farthest from behaving the way Jesus did. I fell into many debates, and lost many good friends as a result. I felt I was spiritually superior, and though I talked a lot about grace, I dispensed none.

I wonder what brought about the change... this cracking open of my mind and heart. Is is growing older? (I'm 33 now.) I still continue to go to church. Must I have only misunderstood the teachings?

I strongly suspect it was the trials that went on in my life, that showed me I didn't really know anything, and that if I knew grace, that was enough. And sometimes grace means just sitting down and breathing, and that is enough. And that soon I realize that salvation is not based on a person's religion, but on Christ alone. God will not ask what religious institution you belong to before he opens the gates of heaven. Christ died and rose again, and the gates of heaven already are open. God instead examines us: do we love His Son? Do we hold on to grace?

Loving Jesus, and living by His grace. I think this is what the Gospel really is in a person's life.

But does this mean that we should react as Louis did? Mauling every domineering priest almost to death? No, or else we'd all end up in jail. But if your inner know-it-all priest does show up when you see homosexuals hold hands in public, or Muslims at malls, or Mormons at your door, then by all means, kill that "priest" inside of you. Bash his head against the wall. In the meantime, you take a breath, smile, and acknowledge God's love in the other person.

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