User:Joe Spencer/Alma 36, a proslogion
From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
Alma 36, a Proslogion My words to God, the Father through the Son, even to the One who said that inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land, to Him: as I raise my arms and lift my voice to Thee, O God; yea, as my bands are broken by this prayer, I remember—-reenact-—the captivity of my fathers, their bondage of so many generations that was brought by hearts’ perversion, and their escape, in that Thou didst deliver them. Was it by prayer then too that they were freed, by trust in Thee as God? For faith, tried in prayer, frees me. Prayer, I think: trial of trials, trouble of troubles, affliction of afflictions. Faith, tried, gives way to hope, hope that I might be lifted up at the last day, and to charity, my love for Thee. I know, at least, that these three abide—let me abide in them, a threefold deliverance! Delivered: born of God, Thy son. As Adam fell, I was sent at Thy hand—-down—-to the earth. Below, fallen: so I raise and lift. Here roams one who seeks to destroy the church of God, from him (from here!) wouldst Thou deliver me as well? For my limbs quake at his ranting upon the earth. Yet, what foolishness: to destroy the church of God. He fell from heaven to prove us on the earth. Proved in proof: faith, hope... Charity: tension between me and Thee. Twice delivered now, but delivered precisely into this tension (charity). I certainly remember having read a text on this, Thy words (as Father) to me (as son), but through an angel. Odd thought: prophetic angel spoke of prophetic angel, once giving me a text. Odd thought: Thou speakest forth Thy silence now, as text retreats from thought to memory. I remember an angel, do I not? But facing Thee, I don’t recall. I only think—-I only thank. To Thee, then, here and now I offer this, my thanks, my Thought: O Father of Jesus, God of the Son, shalt Thou come wrestle me, embrace me? Before this Thought I fear and tremble—-why there and not before Thee? But I remember hearing of an angel, who was but was not Thee, and who wrestled. This strange memory, this fragment of a text, might turn me over again to the text, to the angelic prophet. Oddest thought: to read just might be to wrestle… This thought animates my very limbs! Only now hast Thou taught me how to train: in reading. In reading am I born of Thee, does my God become my very Father. In hearing Thy silence spoken in so many words is exceeding joy to be found. Born of God: first of spirit, with faith in the unseen; second of water, with hope for a place on a sea (of glass and of fire); and third, exceeding joy, of blood, with charity enough to bleed at each other’s hands: born of God, Thee. Bleeding, at last I know Thee: I see Thee as Thou art, for I am like Thee. How odd, perhaps, that Thou hast a prophet’s face: a trial, a trouble, an affliction, but reason, after all, to trust Thee. In the angel I see Thy face, the face of God. And just so am I delivered into the hands of my enemies, to see there—-there, of all places!—-Thy face as well. O Father, raise me up at the last day to see so many faces, so many scriptures, expounded in one, in bondage. Bound in One at the last day, so many texts/faces are even now a remembrance of what I have not yet seen. Yet, even as I say this, Father, I know I’ve seen all I shall ever trust, shall ever hope, shall ever love to see. To Thee a face, my words.