A True Valentine

Will you be my Valentine?

Head on the block,

Life on the line.

Will you be

A saint for me

The heart of a dove

With a lion-heart’s blood.

Serpent-wise words when it matters the most

In the face of those ready to parry, riposte,

And meet passionate speech with a sword.

Will you be my Valentine?

Valiant heart

Beating so true

Red as a rose

And black and blue

Soul rising sweet as fair crushed bloom

True to the truth to the last.

Why not be utterly changed into fire?

 

Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said: “Father, to the limit of my ability, I keep my little rule, my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and to the limit of my ability, I work to cleanse my heart of thoughts; what more should I do?” The elder rose up in reply, and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said: “Why not be utterly changed into fire?”

—Saying of the Desert Fathers

Center Point

It seems that good often appears to be the center point between two evil extremes.

cruelty————–> kindness <————– overindulgence

 It gives the illusion that what is required for goodness is to strike a balance–and the illusion that extremes were the great evil.

 And I say it is an illusion. If good were really the balance point between two evils, then good would require evil to be relative to, in order to exists. God never gave the impression that his Kingdom was the Great Middle Ground, or the Perfect Compromise, or the Most Reasonable Balance.

This perception is understandable, and is based on the fact that no evil is an original, but rather a twisting and breaking of its origin–good seems a center point, because evil had some good as its center point:

Evil flees from good in many an opposite direction.

cruelty <————– kindness ————–> overindulgence.

And we are given to running straight past the guy holding the light and back into shadows on the other side.

Thinking we are running towards good, we are really only running away from a particular evil. What is required is not to strike a balance, but to strike a match.

And don’t suppose that I’m especially good at spotting the burning of the flame. I still see it through a veil, darkly. May God touch all our eyes.