My dearest Stelle,
Your devotion to seeking truth brings light amid my concerns. Perspective is such a necessary gift of grace in a troubled world. Keep the faith. Do not grow weary.
I have noticed a certain fallibility, a schism between good men and women, first appearing within each awakening every soul encounters, and then manifesting itself in society through language and belief. The melody is fresh, the song anew, but the tone is ancient.
This divide compels each to their own corner, a room in an edifice built to bolster their thinking, each entrenched by their desire to be right. Here again, I use the word “own” but now used in the possessive. Hell is full of souls who clung defiantly to the thought, “My own way.” Our Lord told a parable about a man who wanted to build bigger barns for all his possessions. It matters not whether your own way (your barn) is material or philosophical or a self-serving morality. Every affirmation of possession seeks to replace God in some way. Jesus had a name for this, “You fool,” he said to the man. You will know these people by what they glorify. I encourage you to glorify God in all you do. I pray you love God more than any possession or desire. To re-frame John Milton’s writing, “Better to serve in heaven than reign in hell.”
And what must you do? What must all good and faithful Christians do? Look to the life and character of our Lord. The looking will fill your remaining years. The soil is rich and deep. I encourage you to begin where I stated in my last letters—in mercy. Love your neighbor as yourself. And how merciful are you to yourself? Yes, much I think.
Scripture says love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor, does not seek self or is easily angered, keeps no records of wrong. Love delights not in evil but rejoices in truth. It protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. Love never fails we are promised, and if you love in this way, you will not fail and God will not fail you but give you hope.
How then should you love your neighbor but to offer light in darkness, to lift from him the heavy burden of society’s correct opinion, to remove the confusion of competing moralities, to point the way toward reconciliation with God, to tell the truth there is no theology serving mankind’s will. To your neighbor, you must reaffirm God is the only true God, there is no other. Christ is Lord and the cross means paradise for the next life, not this one. A just society, this earthly paradise, is not the end, an end only achieved with a thrust toward power, an end achieved by justifying the means. To this paradisal end, loving God and neighbor becomes blurred, subjugated and most likely omitted.
Be patient. Be kind. Love by the guidance of mercy.