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Saturday 17 August 2013

The Dark Night Part 35: The Second Darkness

The second darkness is God Himself. He must take away all images of Him one has gathered in the imagination or even through teaching to this point. The Indwelling of the Trinity seems light and darkness because one cannot comprehend God. There is an interplay of light and dark, but the darkness seems stronger.

To make a comparison, one may look at St. Thomas Aquinas' poem, the last two verses of Pange Lingua Gloriosi,, the Tantum Ergo. The senses cannot understand the Godhead in the Eucharist. One cannot grasp the mystery of God being present body and soul in the Host. One's senses are dulled, in a mist, in a shadow, that shadow of faith mentioned in the last post. But, God is also in shadow, hidden.  I quote some of the lines.   
    Lo! o'er ancient forms departing

Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from Each eternally,

God allows this darkness to occur in order to come to one in an new way. This is why the theological virtues are so important; faith sustains, hope encourages, and love explains

Now this is precisely what this Divine ray of contemplation does in the soul. Assailing it with its Divine light, it transcends the natural power of the soul, and herein it darkens it and deprives it of all natural affections and apprehensions which it apprehended aforetime by means of natural light; and thus it leaves it not only dark, but likewise empty, according to its faculties and desires, both spiritual and natural. And, by thus leaving it empty and in darkness, it purges and illumines it with Divine spiritual light, although the soul thinks not that it has this light, but believes itself to be in darkness, even as we have said of the ray of light, which although it be in the midst of the room, yet, if it be pure and meet nothing on its path, is not visible. With regard, however, to this spiritual light by which the soul is assailed, when it has something to strike—that is, when something spiritual presents itself to be understood, however small a speck it be and whether of perfection or imperfection, or whether it be a judgment of the falsehood or the truth of a thing—it then sees and understands much more clearly than before it was in these dark places. And exactly in the same way it discerns the spiritual light which it has in order that it may readily discern the imperfection which is presented to it; even as, when the ray of which we have spoken, within the room, is dark and not itself visible, if one introduce a hand or any other thing into its path, the hand is then seen and it is realized that that sunlight is present.

For some people, this darkness of God is like a blanket one has at night but cannot see. Imagine a mother bringing an extra blanket into the bedroom of a child during the night. The blanket cannot be seen, and the child may stay sleeping as the mother places it on the child. One is aware of the blanket, keeping one warm, but one cannot imagine what it looks like. And, if it is a new blanket, one has no way of remembering it. 

From some people, this stage takes a very long time. One can be in this darkness living by faith for most of one's life. For others, especially those young saints who were formed in purity at an early age, this stage can happen quickly. God is in charge, as He made each person and knows the needs of the soul, the mind, the heart.
John of the Cross, again... Wherefore, since this spiritual light is so simple, pure and general, not appropriated or restricted to any particular thing that can be understood, whether natural or Divine (since with respect to all these apprehensions the faculties of the soul are empty and annihilated), it follows that with great comprehensiveness and readiness the soul discerns and penetrates whatsoever thing presents itself to it, whether it come from above or from below; for which cause the Apostle said: That the spiritual man searches all things, even the deep things of God.141 For by this general and simple wisdom is understood that which the Holy Spirit says through the Wise Man, namely: That it reaches wheresoever it wills by reason of its purity;142 that is to say, because it is not restricted to any particular object of the intellect or affection. And this is the characteristic of the spirit that is purged and annihilated with respect to all particular affections and objects of the understanding, that in this state wherein it has pleasure in nothing and understands nothing in particular, but dwells in its emptiness, darkness and obscurity, it is fully prepared to embrace everything to the end that those words of Saint Paul may be fulfilled in it: Nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes.143 For such poverty of spirit as this would deserve such happiness.

Nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes.

2 Corinthians 6:10

10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.
This sorrow and joy combination is what St. Therese spoke of as "unfelt joy" and what some holy people have labelled the double life. One works in the life of the virtues, being joyful but in sorrow, and giving out of feeling and being nothing.
A new freedom occurs, as one realizes that one is not doing anything, but God through one. No longer is one doing, but being. God is taking over all aspects of one's person. When one is purified, one is then taken into the Unitive State, but I am not finished explaining this dark stage yet. 

To be continued....

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Dark Night of the Soul Part 34: The Two Types of Darkness-First Type Is Purgatorial Faith

There is faith in purgatory. There is hope and love-all the theological virtues. But, there is also a darkness. And, one is not comforted by or in those virtues. 

When one is in the Dark Night, at first, one remembers the past regarding sins which were not sensitively seen as sins, and failures is the use of gifts or talents. That is, one sees one's pride and serf-centeredness. One is being moved into purification

The darkness, however, is not merely falling into a forgetfulness of consolations, past deeds, or even past sins. The darkness may be simplified by describing it in two categories. This post is on the first darkness.

The first is the darkness of faith. One cannot see where God is leading one. One cannot see the path of purgation. One can only take steps as if one is walking in a mist. This mist is necessary to purify the imagination and senses. To live completely in faith means that one cannot see a road-map or plan from God clearly, or, perhaps, not at all. One walks, literally, in the dark.  Recall that in another post on the Dark Night, I said that one feels fenced in by God. That is part of the darkness. This darkness of living in faith involves a severe daily realization of one's sins.

I am going to refer to John of the Cross and his description of the souls in purgatory to describe partially what this first definition of darkness is like. The boldface type is important for understanding this first type of darkness.

The intensity of thinking one is going to hell introduces this stage, as one sees the enormity of one's sins daily, but that passes into more of a purgatorial stage, wherein, one does live in the habit of faith, hope and charity.

It is really hard for me to understand how protestants can enter into a deep spirituality without coming to some idea that purgatory is necessary-either on earth before one dies, or after death.

This is the reason why those who lie in purgatory suffer great misgivings as to whether they will ever go forth from it and whether their pains will ever be over. For, although they have the habit of the three theological virtues—faith, hope and charity—the present realization which they have of their afflictions and of their deprivation of God allows them not to enjoy the present blessing and consolation of these virtues. For, although they are able to realize that they have a great love for God, this is no consolation to them, since they cannot think that God loves them or that they are worthy that He should do so; rather, as they see that they are deprived of Him, and left in their own miseries, they think that there is that in themselves which provides a very good reason why they should with perfect justice be abhorred and cast out by God for ever.134 

John Liberto, Mt. Purgatory
And thus although the soul in this purgation is conscious that it has a great love for God and would give a thousand lives for Him (which is the truth, for in these trials such souls love their God very earnestly), yet this is no relief to it, but rather brings it greater affliction. For it loves Him so much that it cares about naught beside; when, therefore, it sees itself to be so wretched that it cannot believe that God loves it, nor that there is or will ever be reason why He should do so, but rather that there is reason why it should be abhorred, not only by Him, but by all creatures for ever, it is grieved to see in itself reasons for deserving to be cast out by Him for Whom it has such great love and desire.

Answers for Tasha on Tyburn

Dear Tasha, rather than repeating some things which are on the blog about Tyburn, here are some links. The first link is to Tyburn Convent in London, which has a daughter house in Cobh, which you can visit.

10 Aug 2013
I miss being in Tyburn, but it is not my vocation. I know this now after months of thinking and praying, and failing to make the grade. However, as Mother General said to me, we are ALL called to be Brides of the Bridegroom.
23 May 2013
Pray for the three Tyburn nuns in Nigeria. Posted by Supertradmum · · Email ThisBlogThis!
31 Mar 2013
I have one quotation from the Mother Foundress of the Tyburn nuns, the Congregation of the Adorers of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmarte. "Upheld by humility and obedience, maintained in recollection by the law ...
03 Apr 2013
Blogging in London and Tyburn. Posted by Supertradmum. It is so cold here, people are rightly wearing winter gear. Horrid. My blogging will go back to normal tomorrow night or Friday morning. As some of you know, I have ...

03 Apr 2013
The Marker for the Gallows-the Tyburn Tree. Posted by Supertradmum. This marker has been cracked for some time. It is in a traffic island across Marble Arch. It needs a facelift. We said a prayer there yesterday.
11 Sep 2012
I shall be in the Tyburn monastery for three months for a trial period as to whether I have a vocation to the Benedictines. I humbly ask your prayers. Of course, I am excited, nervous and very humbled by the opportunity.
18 Jan 2013
I could not tell you until today that the Tyburn nuns (I was just there for a few days again--sigh) have been asked by the Bishop Martin Igwe Uzoukwu of Minna to open a place of Adoration and prayer for peace in Nigeria.
03 Sep 2012
More Foundations of Tyburn. Posted by Supertradmum. Australia! Tyburn Priory. 325 Garfield Road East Riverstone New South Wales Australia 2765. Diocese of Parramatta +61 (0) 2 9627-5171 ...

02 Sep 2012
2013 (1950). ▻ July 2013 (116). ▻ Jul 26 (7). ▻ Jul 25 (7). ▻ Jul 24 (9). ▻ Jul 23 (11). ▻ Jul 22 (8). ▻ Jul 21 (7). ▻ Jul 20 (5). ▻ Jul 19 (5). ▻ Jul 18 (7). ▻ Jul 17 (11). ▻ Jul 16 (7). ▻ Jul 15 (3). ▻ Jul 14 (9). ▻ Jul 12 (2).
02 Sep 2012
And, Another Daughter House of the Tyburn Convent · Yet Another Daughter House of Tyburn (and there ar... Benedictine Series Three-a Daughter House of Tybur... Mini-series on Benedictines-Two: the new biography.
03 Sep 2012
Saint Benedict's Priory The Mount Cobh County Cork Republic of Ireland. Diocese of Cloyne +353 -214 811354. Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook. Labels: Benedictines. No comments: Post a Comment.
30 Aug 2012
Do you support WYD? Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely. Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely a blog since early 2007. Recent Tags. Our Lady of Carafa. Our Lady of Carafa Pray for us. Search This Blog.

02 Sep 2012
And, Another Daughter House of the Tyburn Convent · Yet Another Daughter House of Tyburn (and there ar... Benedictine Series Three-a Daughter House of Tybur... Mini-series on Benedictines-Two: the new biography.
03 Feb 2013
Saint Augustine Webster, prior of Axholme Charterhouse, executed at Tyburn, London, on May 4, 1535. Blessed Humphrey Middlemore, vicar of the London Charterhouse, executed at Tyburn, London, on June 19, 1535.
02 Sep 2012
And, Another Daughter House of the Tyburn Convent · Yet Another Daughter House of Tyburn (and there ar... Benedictine Series Three-a Daughter House of Tybur... Mini-series on Benedictines-Two: the new biography.
19 May 2013
The nuns of Tyburn, who adore the Ecuahristic Heart of Jesus, reminded me that all of us are called to this intimacy with Christ. All. So few of the laity understand this sublime call. It involves the total giving up of one's self to ...

23 May 2013
In Tyburn, there was not heat, although out of charity, the Novice Mistress brought me a space heater and I used a hot water bottle. It is very cold there. The sisters from Peru and the Philippines suffer. In some convents and ...
16 May 2013
I have written three poems while here at Tyburn--here is one. May 1535 for the Feast of the Tyburn Martyrs Cherry blossoms fell in muddied lanes --the bridgegrooms' path. White chevaliers on wooden horses, not stomping ...
30 Aug 2012
The "Martyrs' Way" is from Newgate, through Smithfield, to Tyburn. In an old copy of The Catholic Herald from 1936, a group was reported as walking annually on this route. The Guild of Our Lady of Ransom organized the ...
31 Jul 2013
Fr. Guillermo Marco, ex-press officer for eight years to the Pope, gave a talk at Tyburn Convent in London , and these are notes from that talk. This was on March 26th, 2013. I have tried to keep the exact vocabulary of Father ...

07 Sep 2012
They were hung, drawn and quartered on May 4th, 1535 at Tyburn. Now, also remember, that St. Thomas More saw them being dragged from prison on the hurdles, and he describe them as "bridegrooms" going off to meet ...
25 Jul 2013
Mother Adele, the foundress of Tyburn wrote that if her nuns followed the Rule of St. Benedict and if they prayed, adoring the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, they would enter the Unitive State. That the Benedictine life is a short-cut ...
25 Jun 2013
A single person must be pro-active in prayer and in serving others. As God has not given me the physical strength to join the great nuns at Tyburn, this is my call. I went to Tyburn to find Love, and He found me and sent me out.
30 Aug 2012
Martyr, born at Congleton, Cheshire; executed at Tyburn, London, 30 Aug., 1588. Nothing is known of her early life except that she was of good family and for a time dwelt in the house of a lady of distinction named Whitall then ...

27 Feb 2012
Many years ago, when I lived in England, I worked very near Tyburn Convent and would pop in there for prayers. This convent of contemplatives was founded in France, but set-up this convent just footsteps away from the ...
23 Apr 2013
In nine days, I am going into the enclosure at Tyburn. This is the second trial, but the first "in", as I was in the guest house before. That is how the Benedictines do it. First, one is in the guest house for several months, and then ...
27 Feb 2013
The diocese has a pilgrimage yearly to Tyburn and then to Sandwich. Although I did not take part in the Tyburn Mass and prayers, I did attend the Benediction. Wonderful Latin! One of the priests who led the Litany of the ...

Egypt may be awakening out of a long dangerous stupor

The Silence of Knock

Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Knock. Knock is a silent apparition approved by the Church, and only the first apparition of 21 August 1879, has been approved. What strikes me about this apparition is that St. Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John the Apostle appeared with the Lamb of God on the altar, the symbol of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ, the Sacrificial Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world reveals a message to the Church in our time.

This is the Age of Eucharistic Adoration. This is the age of silent love.

This is why I want to have the house of adoration in Walsingham, which has not happened yet.

The silence of Mary and the saints at Knock, with the Lamb of God speaks louder to me than many messages from other apparitions.

Mary, Joseph and John were adoring the Sacrificial Lamb, the Vulnerable God in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. As usual, real visions of Mary point to Jesus.

Surely, in times of persecution, the awareness that one can move into the silence of contemplation in prayer, into the love of God, is an important message for us now.

The silence of Knock is the silence of love in a world howling with evil. 

I pray daily to be taken into the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, to be one with the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.

Silent Love.

It is too bad that so many of these modern shrines to Mary have hideous churches. The church at Knock, like the Catholic one at Walsingham, lacks any beauty and both resemble barns. It is too bad the national shrine committees could not get Duncan G. Stroik, or someone like him, to design the shrines.

Blaming Satan Two

Most Catholics I have met believe in Satan. They do not understand how he works. They do not understand how hyper-intelligent he is-the brightest angel in heaven who did not lose his gifts, but now uses them in the twisted existence of evil.

This is a mystery of evil, that our gifts may be used for evil if we are not humble, not pure.

Some commentators have misunderstood this last posting on Satan. I am not writing for those who do not believe in him but for those who do, but blame him for the fact that there is so much evil in the world.

If no one cooperated with evil, Satan would have no power.

One of the problems is that people think that those who live in serious sin are possessed. No, this is not true. Oppression can come from Satan, and many of the saints experienced daily oppression, such as St. John Vianney. But, that is Satan on the outside causing pain, such as the inability to sleep because of a dog sitting next to one's bed barking, a demonic dog, as in the case of John Vianney.

Can people become possessed after years and years and years of serious sin? Yes, but the occult is still the first door to possession.

One cannot blame a life of choosing sin on possession. One can blame a life of sin on one's own choosing to sin.

Free will is given to all. Grace is given to all. And, we need to beg for grace. But, as much as one wants to blame Satan for one's lifestyle, one chooses, and the denial of free will one of the most common heresies here in Ireland and in England.

Blaming Satan

Beware, this is a rant.

I am so tired of reading in print and hearing in speech that something evil is caused by Satan.

Let me explain that there are three reasons for evil in this world and Satan in only one reason.

One, original sin and its consequences. I realize when I walk to Mass or the shops daily in Dublin that the VAST majority of people I pass are most likely not baptized. This means that they are still bound by Original Sin and have no sanctifying grace. They are not adopted children of God or heirs of heaven.

Could they become so through special graces from God? Perhaps. But at this point, they are walking in darkness.

Second, we are responsible for saying yes or no to sin. Satan can and does tempt us. He watches us like a super-hyper-intelligent hawk, learning our weaknesses so as to prey upon us.

Do we have to give in to Satan? Absolutely not. All humans have free will.

Third, the world is full of evil and getting worse. Therefore, as in the saying, we sin through the "world, the flesh, and the devil."

Now, if no one cooperated with Satan in mortal sin, the world would look differently than it does now.

Sin corrupts us, the culture, the society, the nations, the world.

Notice, that we need to cooperate for Satan to take over a nation, a society, a culture, a life.

People are still reeling from the passing of the abortion bill in Ireland. Men and women who have been making immoral choices for a long time and who have not conformed their consciences in accordance with the teachings of Christ and the Church voted for that bill and all its consequences.

The last time I look at the list of assenting names, I did not see Satan, also known as Beelzebub on the roster. 

People, please stop blaming Satan. Stop blaming a party. Stop blaming the hierarchy. We all have enough grace to say NO.

This bill is the result of generations not passing the Faith on down to the children. Satan is working hard to bring down the Church, but we do not have to cooperate with him.

Friday's first reading:

Deuteronomy 6:3-9

Hear, O Israel, and observe to do the things which the Lord hath commanded thee, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayst be greatly multiplied, as the Lord the God of thy fathers hath promised thee a land flowing with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength.
And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart:
And thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising.
And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes.
And thou shalt write them in the entry, and on the doors of thy house.

See also

Blaming Satan Two, and below, Blaming Satan Three

Blog Fairy Tale Eight-The Lady of No Tears

There was a woman, neither old nor young, who lived at the edge of a copse of yews. She could see the sea if she walked a mile from her small house. She always wore green and had flowers in her long, pale hair. When she walked, the animals would follow her in silence and wait, as when she smiled on them, they had courage. 

The woman lived alone for many years, but the children in the town nearby watched her grow flowers in the garden that was bigger than her small cottage.

The cottage was made of white stone, and everything inside was white or pale. The floors were marble, which was odd, as the cottage was simple and looked like a fisherman's cottage from the outside. But, inside the house, all was white and fine. The children of the town would come and look in the windows. Some robbers did too, but there was nothing to steal, as the woman had only three books, china for her small suppers, a jug and two small candlesticks. The robbers, who had expected great wealth, thinking that she was a princess in hiding, went away disappointed.

The children would come and take fruit from the garden-pears, apples, grapes, oranges, everything grew in the woman's garden. She allowed the children to take things,but they never saw her, as she hid when they came. There was one small boy with blond hair in his eyes, and blue eyes who came, but never took any fruit. The woman watched him and saw that he was sad.

The woman was not alone. There were two creatures of light which the children saw, but which adults who came to visit could not see. The sad boy could not see the light creatures either, until something happened.

The two light creatures looked like pillars of green, pale light. But, sometimes the light was brighter than at other times. When the two creatures walked with the woman in the garden, one on her left and one one her right, the light was pale and shimmering  When the woman went to sleep at night, and she rarely slept, the two creatures stood by the door with a light so bright it would hurt a person's eyes to look at them.

Sometimes, some of the children could hear a faint type of music coming from the creatures, but when they told their mothers of this, their mothers said they were imagining this. But, the children talked among themselves, and knew the musics was real, though faint.

It was strange music, sometimes sounding like voices and sometimes like waters, and sometimes like birds high up in the hills far away behind the cottage. But, when the woman and the creatures were in the garden, the only sound was the sound of hundreds of singing birds. All the birds in the area, from the sea to the hills, came to the garden in the early, early morning to sing together. Then, the birds would leave. When the birds came to sing, the woman and the creatures came into the garden and listened.

One day, the little boy with the blond hair and blue eyes did not come for fruit with the rest of the children. The woman went into her white house and the creatures followed. After awhile, one of the children saw one of the creatures leave, like light shimmering in water after a storm.

The children followed the light and came to a large castle near the path of the valley through the hills. Then, the children saw the creature go through an open window high up in the castle walls. The children waited. In a short time, like two breaths of a baby, the creature came out holding the sad boy with hands of light. The creature rushed through the air and all the children ran after it and the boy, who was crying.

The creature took the boy into the garden where the woman had planted white roses, which were heavy with dew. When the creature put the child on the ground, the roses made a soft sound, as if they were crying as well. Then, the light creature left, flying over the children who were hiding in the hedges surrounding the one side of the garden. In a minute, the woman with the green dress came into the garden. She saw the boy, who had stopped crying. She came over to him and put out her hand. He took it, shy at first. Then, the boy saw all the little animals surrounding the woman's green skirt. She smiled at the animals and then, she smiled at the boy. The boy instantly stopped crying and felt strange inside, as if all his sorrow and fear had vanished. The woman reached out both of her hands to the boy and he took them. Instantly, he was different. He felt strong. He felt whole. Then, ever so gently, the woman took the boy for an instant, and held him close to her, as if he were her own child.

The boy felt a surge of energy and a light came into his mind and his heart. When he stepped back, the children who were watching from the hedge noticed something strange. The boy was older, like a man, and suddenly, he disappeared. The woman, who had been kneeling in the wet soft grass, got up and turned to the hedge. She smiled at the hidden children and went back into the silvery white house.

All the children rushed back to the castle, but it was gone. The moat was gone and dried up , as if the entire castle had been a dream. When the children went home that night, they told the mothers their story and this is what they discovered. One of the mothers said that sixty years ago, a great lord had lived in a castle at the splitting of the path into the mountain. He was rich and cruel. His wife was the most beautiful creature the townspeople had ever seen, but she was silent. Her boy looked just like her. He was fair and handsome, but silent. When the mother died, the father imprisoned the boy in a high tower because he did not want to look at this face, the face of his mother. The boy cried when the father locked him into his room, never to come out again. But, a strange creature of light had taken the boy away for many years, and when his returned as a man, handsome and strong and brave, the father was dying. When the young man came back into the castle, the lord was afraid, because he thought he has locked the boy in the room and that the boy had died. But, when the lord saw the man with his mother's look, he cried and asked the man's forgiveness. The young man forgave his father, and then father died.

The young man became a lord, but he moved far away to another land. The townspeople never knew what happened to him. The mother who knew the story told the children that he would someday return.

The night was dark and all the stars twinkled as if they were dancing. The blond boy was gone, and the children understood that he would be a grown man if they ever saw him again.

The days grew longer and it was Midsummer. The woman in green and her creatures changed their daily walk and did not go into the garden. The children hid and watched and waited. One of them got some courage to look into the window and this is what he saw. The woman in green was in a great white bed on the shining marble floor. All was white. The two light creature stood like silent pillar on either side of the bed. All the little animals waited outside the doors. The woman was dying.

She did not cry, and one of the creatures began to sing this song.

Oh, lady of no tears
lady who loves and loved without return
Oh lady of health and happiness
who did not ask for love but only joy
Oh lady without tears, who loved and loves
without return, we sing of you,
we wait for Love.

As the creature finished his song, which sounded like water trickling down the hills, a strange man came up to the house. He was older than the woman and he was stooped with care. He had blond hair and blue eyes. He was dressed in grey, but his boots were black, and he held a book in his hands.

The children saw the creatures move silently like glass to the door and the man came into the marble room. The woman did not stir. The man was surrounded by all the little animals which came into the cottage when he came in. The light creatures led him to the bed of the dying woman.

The children gasped. It was the crying boy, grown up and older than the woman without tears.
The man was crying, like he did when he was a boy. He came up to the bed and knelt down, taking the hand of the woman with no tears. Then, he opened the book he was holding and took our three rings. One was an emerald, the sign of chaste love. One was a ruby, the sing of compassion, and one was a sapphire, the sign of spiritual life. The man took the rings and put them on the hands of the woman of no tears.

Then, he stood up, straight and tall, and the children thought he looked younger. The two light creatures suddenly changed and the children grew afraid, as the creatures grew so large they almost could not fit into the room, and so bright, it hurt the children's eyes to look at them.

Then, the woman of no tears sat up in the bed. And, she was changed. Her pale hair was full and blond. Her pale skin was pink and young. Her soft eyes looked strong and golden.

She stood up and as she did the man who had been the crying boy reached out and took her hands, as she had done before. As they held hands, they disappeared into the great light of the creatures and were gone. All the little animals rushed out of the room, and the little house tumbled into a pile of white stones. The garden grew and grew until the children had to run up the hill to get away from the roses and vines which were filling the valley. A strange music, like a rive of sound, filled the valley.

Then, all was silent. Nothing was left but the overgrown hedge, and the children wondering, went home hardly speaking at what they had seen.

Blog Fairy Tale Seven-The Cave Under The Sea

There was a cave which opened up under the sea. The top of the cave just peered up like a arch of stone over the water. The cave sucked water in and out, like a pump, and foaming white waves spilled over the top.  Seagulls would sit on top of the arch, as the waves would sometimes spit up fish, and the gulls would land and jump up, or pop up as the waves rushed in and out. Behind this cave, about a half a mile away, a rock formation came out of the sea which looked like a great door. The blue sea was silent and peaceful under that door, but on the rocks near the land of an island, the waves swept over the edge, angry and cold.

Antipous grew up on the high cliffs overlooking the submerged cave and the sea door. His father had been a king and he was the heir. However, none of the people of his father's kingdom had stayed on the island, leaving many, many years ago because of a drought and famine.

Antipous was an expert fisherman, and he lived alone, not seeking a wife, as he did not like “princesses”. His father, mother and two brothers had sailed away years before with the last, remaining people, only 400, in small ships and large ships. Where they had gone, Antipous did not know. He alone stayed and fished. But, fishing was hard. Antipous had to sail out into the deep and try for marlin or tuna, large fish and the only reason he could catch these was because he was like a giant.

The other peoples could not fish like Antipous and they did not like going out into the deep for days to find the big fish. At first, Antipous had caught enough fish to save the people from starvation, but the fish moved farther and farther out. Then, one day, his father decided to take all the people to a mainland which he had visited as a youth. Antipous alone remained.

He had promised his father he would marry a royal lady, but he gave up his legacy to inherit when he stayed behind. His brother, Ganymede, would take over the kingdom at the death of his father.

Antipous had never met a princess he liked. Ganymede liked many princesses and found on before he left on the second ship to leave. She was from an island which has sunk beneath the sea, and left only a handful of people in that kingdom. Here name was Typha, and she and Ganymede married the day the ships left.

Antipous did not like princesses. He felt that those daughters of kings were spoiled and wanted power, not love. So, he did not marry and waited and fished.

One day, when Antipous was out into the deep, he passed the submerged cave and noticed something he had never noticed before. A strange writing covered the lip of the cave, writing that was not the language of Antipous' own people. He moved his boat nearer the cave, avoiding the rocky bits around it and avoiding the sucking sea. Yes, there was writing, in white and blue paint, all around the edge and inside the top of the cave. In addition, fish and other sea creatures were painted underneath the writing. Antipous grew braver and used all his great strength to steer his sail boat closer to the cave.

Then, it happened.  The sea grew greedy for his boat and sucked it right into the cave. For a few minutes, Antipous was underneath the sea, barely able to hang on to his boat. Then, in a flash, he was in the cave, swimming with the vortex of the sea. Down, down he went, but his head was above the water. The cave was long and there remained a space above his head. He felt as if he was being drawn away from the island and out farther towards the sea, but he was not completely under the water. Then, in a great rush, Antipous was spun around and around by the blue water and landed on dry land. He was in a very large cave, as large as his father's throne room had been. His boat was gone and he had lost everything but his knife. He stood up and noticed that the cave had a high roof, like the inside of a forest, lined with decorations and writing.
Antipous could not understand why the cave was not filled with water Then, he noticed a river, and saw that the river was very deep, taking the sea water away from the opening of the cave and moving it farther down, underneath the beach and rocks.

Then, Antipous saw something which made him afraid for an instant. He saw footprints in the sand moving away from the edge of the beach and on into a cleft in the rocks. Antipous knew how to get back and even how to find the mouth of the cave. So, he followed the small cleft in the rocks and walked and walked. Here and there were footprints, some large, some small, as if children had passed this way.

Antipous kept moving forward and follow a small path, like a clearing. Then, to his surprise, he saw a shaft of bright light. There was a hole in the rock roof above him. Antipous climbed up the rocks and put his head through the hole.

What he saw was something he would never forget.

Antipous saw his own island, far away, like a small spot on the sea. He recognized the shape. As he turned away, he faced another island, or land he had never seen before when he put out into the deep to fish. How odd, and why had he not seen it?

Antipous squeezed his large, strong body through the hole and walked out on the volcanic rock. The rock was hot, but not painful. Then, Antipous knew he was walking on a new island, made from a volcano. But, how long ago and why had he not seen the smoke from his island.

What was more puzzling were the footprints under him now, in the cavern. He realized something. These footprints may have been made hundreds of years ago, and the people would be gone.

If no one had been to the cavern for a long time, the footprints would remain, like the writing and pictures of the sea creatures, an ancient mystery.

Antipous then realized that the volcano could have changed the island or land he was on so that the cavern may have been pushed lower, as other parts of the land were raised.

Antipous had to jump over a hot stream of boiling water to get to the main part of the land. This he did  and pulled himself up a large hill of black ash and rock, slipping and sliding as he did so.

As he looked over the edge of the hill, he saw miles of destruction, burnt trees, ash, hot mud, and lava. Beyond that, far away, Antipous could see a line of green, either grass or the tops of tress.

All of the sudden Antipous knew where he was. This was the island of Typha, which had disappeared, taking all but six humans down to their deaths. Now, it had risen again, or moved somehow so that the sea was giving up the old for the new.

Antipous ran over the hot rocks, running towards the green. It was not grass, but a strange green glass with white ball caught in it. This line of glass ran in both directions, north and south, as Antipous was moving east.

His feet hurt, so he took his cloak off and made small coverings out of the animal skin he wore. Then, he continued his running, until he found a small stream of water. It was cold and he stood in the stream, looking around him in all directions. Antipous thought the land looked like the Moon on a bright night, pocked  with holes and creases of land. He suddenly was thirsty, but when he smelled the cold water, it smelled like a strong, odd stinking thing, so he did not drink,.
Ahead of him, was a tall hill, and Antipous ran up this hill. It was colder than the other rocks and when he got to the top, he saw that the place was indeed an island. There was a bay, and a beach beyond him to the east. To the north, was his own land, small, like a line on the horizon. To the south, was island turned into cliffs of black rock and  trickling water He could see the turn of the land, and he knew that was all there was to see. Antipous sat down on the cool rock. The trees wee burnt, so he could make a boat to get back home. He would, but then, Antipous saw to his surprise, a small boat with a red sail coming towards the island from the east, into the small bay. Antipous waited and looked. He could see two people in the boat, which came quickly with the wind and settled on the beach.

Antipous had to make a decision. Would he hide and wait and make a boat to go back to his home, or would he go out to meet the two travlers, who were getting out of the boat\?

Antipous decided. He did not want to live alone any more. He would not go back. He would meet the new people.   He lifted up his large arms and waving both, called out in the common language of the area. He saw the two people turn and look at him. Both were women.

They waved back and Antious ran down the hill to the beach. The women stood there watching him. They hesitated, but stayed holding hands together as they waited.

“I am from the far island. My boat is gone. I am Antipous.”

The young women stared at him but the smaller one answered, “I am Calis and this is Messini, my sister. We came here to find two of our people who we thought may have escaped. Did you see anyone? ?

Antipous knew who these young women were. They were relations of his sister-in-law Typha, who had left with the ships so long ago.

“Did not the island disappear six years ago, when my brother met your lady, Typha?”

The taller girl answered, “You must be Antipous, the giant and brother of Ganymede. We are glad to meet you and yes, most of our people died when the island went under the waves. But now you can see it is back again. We were hoping to find some children and their nurse, my Alenti. My old nurse.”

Antipous answered, “I saw footprints under the land, in the big cavern under the sea, but no  one. Only footprints.”

“Then, we must grieve, as we have not seen anyone for the days we have returned here. The land came up just two days ago, and we were hoping...” Messini stopped. She was cyring.

Antipous waited. Then he said, “May I go back with you? From where did you come?”

Calis answered. “We came from a mainland my father found after the first tragedy.  It is a few days from here. We sail east and come to it. Some of our people survived and we live there in plenty and comfort. But, we lost so many, so many children.”

Messini continued. “You may come with us. Come and join our small remnant kingdom.”

“Are you, then, my sister-in-laws?” Antious asked. Oh, no, he thought, they are thoughtless princesses like Typha.

But, he thought, they have come to look for survivors and have been good sailors. He waited.

“Yes,” replied  Messini. “We had heard of our sister' good fortune, but for a long time, our people were weak and needed us. We have only begun to explore.”

Antipous was intrigued. “You sail alone?”

Calis answered, “There are no men left, only women. Do you still want to come with us? We could use you to help us with many chores, but realize you will be the only man out of almost one-hundred.”  Antipous was very quiet. Then he said, “I decided to go with you and not home. So be it. I shall come with you.”

All three got into the little boat with the red sail and Calis took the stern. Within a few mintutes, the wind took the little boat away from the hot island and away from Antipous' own home. He could no longer see the little strip on the horizon.

Within two days, following the stars and the wind, the travelers went east until they saw a great land in the distance. But, Messini said, “We do not land here, but go further north, following the coast until we see a great line of trees in a crescent from the shore. That is our land.” A few hours passed and the women steered the boat to the west, moving within sight of the land, but further into a large crescent shaped bay. Then, Antipous saw the line of trees, all pines, and white sand. Messini steered the boat and Calis took care of the sail until they came into a small inlet of water, which proved to be a small river meeting the sea. The women took the boat up the river, until they came to a small rough dock. There, they landed.

Antipous was amazed. A small village of huts made of reed, all round like bee hives clustered around a well and a small pen of goats. Then, he saw many women coming out to meet them, some with flowers and some with fruit. They were singing a song in an unknown tongue.

Antipous waited until the women greeted the two princesses and then walked behind them as they came into the village. About sixty to seventy bee-hive huts formed small streets branching out from the well and pen in the center

“Did you make all of this without men?” asked Antipous.

“We had to to survive,” said Calis. “We prayed and were inspired to make these huts from the thousands of reeds which grow along the river. We fish, we tamed wild goats and there are many types of fruit trees here. We found wild pigs and we taught ourselves to trap them. We eat better than we did on our island. We found bees, and now we have honey. We found strange herbs and we cook wondeful things. We found rice along the streams in the bogland. And we make bread.”

Antious stared at the women. He was beginning to change his mind about princesses.

Later that night, after a celebration dinner, the princesses told the tribe that the children and nurse were lost to them. Everyone grieved and the princesses said tomorrow no one would work, but sing and think of the lost. Messini, the older and taller princess then stated that Antipous was now part of the tribe and on the third day, he would build his own house according to their rules and chose a job to do, as they had all done.

That night, Antipous went up into the forest and slept under the tall trees. He was to tired to think, but as he looked at the constelllations, he knew this was home, and that Fate had called him here.

The next day was a quiet, singing day of mourning, but on the third day, Messini showed Antipous how to make the round reed house. On the fourth day, Calis showed Antipous how to make the traps for the wild pigs, and where the fruit trees were and the herbs and other edible plants.

That night, Messini asked permission to come into the house of Antipous.

“You must chose a wife quickly, or the women will become restless. You may choose anyone of the tribe and only one, as our customs have always been. We must keep peace and order in the village, You undestand.”

Antipous looked at the tall Messini. She was not beautiful, but she was wise and strong.

“Are  you the oldest, or is Calis? Antipous asked.

Messini blushed, “I am the oldest.”

“Then I choose you. Do you have a rite?”

“There is an old hermit who we found after living here a long time. He is not of our people, but we asked him to be the priest and religious leader, as he seemed a holy man. He agreed and we shall ask his to come into the village for some rite of marriage.”

Antipous put his hand inside his shirt and took out a large sapphire. “My father gave me this to give to my wife when I met a real princess who I could love. This is for you, my Messini. You are not spoiled.”

And, Antipous and Messini were married and in a year, he travelled out to other places and brought men to the village. In a few years, children ran on the beach and nurses watch over the babies.

Life came into Messini and she had twins. Antipous named them Ganymede and Typha.

And, Antipous called the land Messina, after his worthy princess.