Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Michael ~ Raising His Sword Against the Enemy of Illusion

MICHAEL, GOD'S GREAT ARCHANGEL, wielding a sword and in battle attire is often invoked and acclaimed for saving churches from enemy attacks, overcoming plagues, changing the course of rivers, creating healing springs, and winning battles. But I would suggest that the angel's real influence is interior and spiritual. 

We're more likely to hear about the spiritual danger of illusion from a Buddhist than from a Christian. Maybe this is Michael's real target as he raises his sword: to separate or save us from illusion.

What is illusion? The word comes from the Latin illudere: to mock. 1. A false idea or conception. 2. An unreal or misleading appearance or image.
  • the phrase The American People (what's that!?)
  • the speeches of the retired generals brought out at war time
  • polls and statistics to bolster argument
  • press secretary reports
  • everything is Breaking News 
  • political cliches and rhetoric
  • religious leaders who are really politicians 
  • candidates who make grandiose promises
  • agency reports that mislead or under report
  • the claims of products to make life perfect (quickly)
  • the lies we tell
  • the masks we wear
  • our arguing without knowing much
  • our hidden agenda and motives
  • falling back on power claims

Perhaps everything on this planet is illusory, because it fades. The joy of the first spring day in the garden disappears as the sun's heat increases and the first hand-blisters appear. The baby's smile is fleeting as hunger and fatigue bring on irritability.

Is illusion just fault-finding? No, illusion is much deeper than that. Fault finding is:
  • "Why can't you remember to put the bathroom seat down?" 
  • "Your potatoes are always so lumpy!" 
  • "Do you have to make so much noise eating?"
  • "You drive too fast and never come to a full stop." 
  • "You bought the wrong kind of butter, again."

Illusion on the other hand accepts or gives credibility to what appears to be real but conceals untruth. Illusion is everywhere. Perhaps we accept so much that's illusory because it leaves us undisturbed. It makes for a neat world, like the little monkey with his hands over his eyes and ears.

Does accepting the world as illusory make for a cynical worldview (nothing pleases; everything presses down)? I would say, absolutely not - at least for those who believe in the love of God - and all the more for those who know and trust God's love as it is shared with us in Jesus Christ who calls himself the Truth - the one who transcends fads, trends, fashions, innovation, the advice of experts and party spokespersons, the talk-show guests, the entertainment-news and all the claims made as the definitive and last word.

My brothers and sisters I need only add this. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on whatever is true and honorable and just and pure and lovely and admirable. Put into practice what you have leaned from me and what I passed on to you, both what you heard from me and what you saw in me, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4: 8,9)

We hear an echo of this when Pope Francis tells the bishops and others gathered in Rome now, that the Synod on the Family is not for conversing about ideals and impressing others with our intelligence (illusion) but about helping people to live their lives authentically. 

I want to ask Michael the Archangel, with his sword held high, to sever from me (us) all that's pretend, or look alike, said to be true because it's born of power, all the insignia and protocols that conceal weakness, lies that are told to protect the guilty or to keep the peace, everything that's locked away, secreted, dreamed up, cooked, fanciful and falsely reported, buried away, lost. Then I am free, and unencumbered to know and love God.

1 comment:

  1. I pray that I will know the difference between illusion and reality. It can be quite a fine line between them sometimes.