I do not understand myself at times. Here in solitude, this world of silence, interrupted only by occasional forays into the places of men for necessary provisions, I am yet conflicted in so many ways. Ways of heart, flesh, spirit and soul. Haunted by memories, good and bad, still so easily seduced and distracted by old temptations which have beset me, time and again, throughout my long history. I find in myself such contradiction, imagine myself as that double minded man of whom our brother James often spoke of to the brethren and sisters of the light.
Such a wretched man am I, knowing the good I wish to do, and yet so often, turning to things which I know hold no value whatsoever for my well-being. Perhaps the old devils of my youth will never tire in their quest, or perhaps their nefarious duty, to drag me in some way, or in any way, back into the dark caverns of forsaken debauchery. I pray in such times, that our dear Mother will in haste dispatch those better angels to rescue me from the flames of concupiscence that flit and flicker about my poor soul—hot little tongues of fire from the raging furnaces of hell.
I know, as I pen these words to you my brother, that you would tell me to rise up as often as I may fall. Especially in matters of the spirit and soul. To never surrender all to failure. And if there is any hope in my conflicts, it lies in the fact that indeed, no matter how often I fail, I do not wallow in the dust of self-pity long, and if necessary will crawl back like a wounded animal to the good ways. For in the end of each wasted day or each night of regret, we are never really alone.
Never do we have to fight alone battles in this life with enemies seen or unseen. We are children of grace. We are the offspring of mercy—all siblings in the family of forgiveness and redemption. Perhaps I should take the good and wise advice of those who consider sufferings of any kind to be blessings. One thing I know, one thing I have found to be true, in all my travels and many life experiences, is that those things learned in the school of adversity are never forgotten and are always most appreciated. So the conflict will continue, but by the grace of the Almighty, may I fall and rise with courage and wisdom, and never lose heart along my journey.
© Richard Keith Carlton