Afterthought


Lyrics:

Love can be an afterthought
Wakes you up to find you’re not
Where you really want to be
Missed an opportunity

I was asleep in
The heavens I created
Only to find that
Our hearts were separated

I won’t stop fighting till I die
I’m trying to be right by you and everyone you set apart
There’s no point hiding when I lie
You find me with a light reflecting off the souls I murdered in my heart

Love can be an afterthought
Shakes you up to find you caught
Up in arms and ready for
Fighting in a losing war

Psalm 3

Psalm 3

I lie down and I fall asleep,
and I will wake up, for the Lord sustains me.

Whereas the Second Psalm focused on the fear of God as a requisite to knowledge and, ultimately, any form of true power (one that is not founded in the Ego, but rather flows through and from God himself), the Third Psalm shows that the fear of the Lord leads to freedom from the fear of man.

The psalmist writes the words above in the midst of an immanent threat to his life—he is being pursued by attackers who will kill him when they find him. And yet, so confident is he in the Lord that he is able to do perform the most vulnerable act—sleep—even though a letting down of all defenses means a potential loss of life. The writer here is not just free from fear, but from all anxiety.

Interestingly, the writer’s security is not merely a defensive one, but it manifests itself in an active faith of the offensive:

Arise, Lord! Save me, my God!
For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;
you break the teeth of the wicked

We don’t here see death and utter destruction, but we do see a plea for debilitation. The saving of the righteous happens transpires through the punishment of the wicked.

What is striking about this psalm is the writer finds himself in a place of true desperation

How many are my foes!
How many rise against me!

And the reiterate, no one seems to believe he can (or will) be saved:

How many say of me,
There is no salvation for him in God

“It is not God who will (or can) save, but he may save himself, perhaps” they say. But the psalmist rejects this: On the contrary, it is precisely the Lord who allows him to live, who gives him the ability to continue. It is through this knowledge that he does not fear either man (or himself!), but finds rest in the Lord, who watches over all things. 

Psalm 2

And now, kings, give heed;
take warning, judges on earth

Serve the Lord with fear; 
exult with trembling, 

The second Psalm is one centered around fear, specifically the fear of the Lord—the same kind of fear that is considered “the beginning of knowledge” in the first Proverb. A king or ruler, of all people, should be one who fears the Lord, who “trembles before him,” because failing to do so only increases pride, ultimately leading to destruction. Interestingly, the ruler’s pride here isn’t characterized as a “worldly foolishness,” like a mere stubbornness, but rather one that invokes the wrath of the Lord. 

Accept correction
lest he become angry and you perish along the way

when his anger suddenly blazes up

Pride here isn’t characterized as an inwardly destructive force, but rather one that destroys from outside the self—pride is a provocation, a wind on the embers of the wrath of God.

But contrary to all of this destruction, the second psalm ends on on a positive admonition:

Blessed are all who take refuge in him! [The Lord] 

This imagery of “refuge,” of the Lord as a “strong tower” is one that will crop up again and again in the Psalms. There is a prevailing discourse of power that persists through these songs, one that compares the King (or ego) with the King of Kings.

Where does true power lie? Only where “will and power and one.”

Psalm 1

He is like a tree
planted near streams of water,

that yields its fruit in season

Such is the man who “does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company with scoffers.” A man who delights in the law of the Lord, “and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Patience, is a motif here—or, more aptly, diligence or perseverance. We read that the fruit that is yielded is not immediate, but rather it is produced “in season.” When is this season for harvest? When Jesus spoke of a harvest, it was in reference to the “end of the age.” But I think we may be allowed to read this not in an exclusively eschatological light, but rather understanding that the fruit yielded from the labor of righteousness comes intermittently, in various “seasons”.

 

We are not to despair when the the fruit is lacking, but we are to wait, and to continue working.

The second half of the psalm echoes this motif focusing on the wicked,

“But not so are the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind…”

The image here of chaff, of something light being caught up into the daily shifting winds, is an image of idleness, of “flightiness,” characterized by submitting to the whims of fancy. It is a damnable evil, but one less severe than others (such as deceit or malice), one found in the likes of Dante’s 5th canto where the lustful are caught up in the powerful winds in the second circle of hell.

We find then that the first Psalm is fitting as ordered — it readies the one willing to pursue righteousness, telling him to be prepared to wait and continue in labor (persevere) until the time of harvest.

Wasteland

This (and all the others) are still in draft form. I’d appreciate thoughts as far as structure goes!

Lyrics:

I made my reason
subject to desire

But I am set free
through this awful fire

All these burns remind me
Never to return
Hell awaits behind me
If for Hell I yearn

I’m not ungrateful for the pain
I’ll never be the same now that I cannot fly

My hearts so heavy I am grounded
I won’t be caught up into the dark night sky

I’ve built this altar
Here in the wasteland

For all who falter
when the flame is fanned

All these burns remind me
Never to return
Hell awaits behind me
If for it I yearn

A story burning it’s own pages
So it might assuage our darkened minds

The glory of of a broken heart
that had a chance to start
again refined

I Am?

Lyrics:

I tried to read poetry
but couldn’t remember a verse
And what good are words
if they fly off like birds
But this is a gift, not a curse

No excuse for laziness
But In never learned how to read
And I refuse to change my ways
I’ve got everything that I need

I wanted a family
but I couldn’t spare the expense
and what good are kids
if I’m not happy with
the weight of my dollars and cents?

No regrets for working hard
I spent all my hours as I should
Face to face with faceless men
securing my ultimate good

I’m building a legacy
that’s how I’m going to live on
performing tricks and collecting clicks
remember to like when I’m gone

No idea who I’ve become
Though I am a self-made man
Who are we? And who really cares?
I’m sure that I am that I am

Murderer

Lyrics:

My pride struck down 300 souls
Innocent blood always its goal

The deadliest force that I can muster up
aint steel or guns or things that I blow up

The deadliest force that I can muster up
is that pride in me telling me that I am man and they are not

Oh God,

When I hate I’m a murderer
I have finally found
When I hate I’m a murderer
My own justice burns us to the ground

I have drawn blood
now I can’t stop
I will justify
Every last drop

The deadliest force that I can muster up
aint ideology or religiosity overflowing from my cup
The deadliest force that I can muster up
Is that pride in my heart telling me that I can start war with who I want

Cymbals

Our hearts aren’t hardened
Only deaf
Soft, but cannot hear
A deafness wrought from no defect,
But songs played in our ear

We’ve been charmed!
And by a tune
That we ourselves have sung

Instead of list’ning
To the notes
That God in heav’n has rung

A different kind of love we’d know
If our great chorus be brought low
And from above as stars and angels sing

Our hearts might hear the ancient song
composed before the primal dawn
A music woven into

Everything

Remember

New song I’ve been working on. Lyrics below

Sky line fading to black
We can never go back

Like a dream runs as your waking up
As a candle suffocates underneath a cup
Everything you think is yours will learn to fly

And as the world passes by

I want you to know that
I will remember you
I want you to know that
I never could forget you

We are losing our minds
Our shapes cut into lines

Even as my body dies
Even as the light fades from my eyes
When it’s time to say goodbye

And you don’t understand why

Refrain 

I’m remember almost everything
You’re becoming and truly loving as

The Fourth Mark

As Catholics, we oftentimes talk about the four “marks” of the Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic (CCC 811). These marks are deeply rooted both in Sacred Scripture, as well as the Church’s rich Tradition. They’re so crucial to the Christian faith, in fact, that we profess them each and every Sunday in the Nicene Creed:

…I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church…

Sadly, many Catholics (including myself) fail to profess these truths with their words and their lives. And although all of these “marks” are essential, one in particular is easy to ignore: apostolic.

As I’ve met more and more Catholics, I’m reminded of the fact that the Church is made up of billions of people, each one with their own unique thoughts and opinions. And, more often than not, many of these thoughts and opinions don’t quite line up with the teachings of the Church. Don’t get me wrong—faith is a journey, and not everyone winds up at the same place at the same time. But when we openly oppose the teaching of our priests, our bishops, and our Holy Father, we are denying the apostolicity (among other things) of the Church.

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In this light, it’s important for us to understand what it means for the Church to be apostolic:

1) The Church’s teachings find their authority in Christ

In St. Mark’s Gospel, we read that Jesus “appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons” (Mark 3:14 NABRE). Later, Jesus says to Peter: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Again, after his resurrection, Christ appears to the apostles and says to them: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:23). Clearly, Christ has given his apostles great authority—not just over preaching and teaching, but also over the forgiveness of our sins.

2) These teachings are passed from one generation to the next

After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the apostles meet to select a successor to Judas. St. Peter stands and prays: “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have  chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place” (Acts 1:24-25). The apostles, by the will of God, pass their authority to a new apostle—St. Matthias. Similarly, we see St. Paul exhorting St. Timothy to continue this chain of apostolic succession: “what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well” (2 Tim 2:2). St. Irenaus, writing in the second century, summarizes this well:

It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times. . . (Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 3)

When we read from Scripture and our Church Fathers, it’s plain to see that Christ intended for his authority to be consistently passed from one generation of apostles to the next—all the way up to the present day.

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3) The authority of the bishops = the authority of Christ

This sentiment has been repeated countless times by our earliest bishops and Church Fathers. Here are but a few examples:

Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account… (Hebrews 13:17)

Let all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ did the Father, and the priests, as you would the Apostles. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans, Chapter 8)

Therefore it is necessary to obey the presbyters who are in the Church,—those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles. (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Bk. 4, Ch. 26)

It’s important to note here that the Church doesn’t teach the infallibility of individual bishops (apart from the entire College). As Christ’s chosen apostles, however, each bishop ought to be awarded the deference and obedience that accompanies his station.

With all these exhortations from Scripture and Tradition, we ought to re-examine our views on the Church’s apostolicity. Do we believe that the Church’s teachings come from Christ? Do we believe that our modern-day bishops are teaching with apostolic authority? Are we thinking or acting in rebellion to Christ’s apostles?

Perhaps you or I discover that we aren’t quite in accordance with our bishop. What are we to do? The Church, in her infinite wisdom, offers us this simple guidance in Lumen Gentium:

Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. (25)

Holy Mother Church doesn’t disparage our legitimate fears and feelings. She merely asks for our trust. If we trust her to administer the medicine of immortality each week in the Eucharist, perhaps we ought to trust the teaching of her apostles.

Next Sunday, and every Sunday thereafter, may we faithfully and fervently pronounce:

I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.