A Surprising Encounter with the Lord and a Collect for Teaching Assistants
"Pisco Sours," a frequent contributor to Father Jake's and other places, has his own blog, not surprisingly titled "Episcosours." The blog is composed from the perspective of a newly minted disciple of Christ in the Episcopal Church.
The week before New Years 2006, I felt compelled to find God in my life again, and my search took me to Grace Episcopal Church. There, after a year of increasing isolation, and 20 years of disbelief, I started to awaken again.In one of his first entries Pisco Sours wrote:
I think I felt the Son first, when I cried in church. That surprised me. I thought Jesus would be the part of the Trinity that I would have the most difficult time with.Who hasn't been surprised when the Son makes His presence known in our lives? You're in good company, Pisco.
Then I felt the Spirit calling me.
And just yesterday, as I was struggling up a hill towards home, bone tired and freezing, a strong gust of wind propelled me forward and I swear I could have felt the touch of the Father on me, steadying me and helping me walk the last bit home.
For years and years I had no opinion of God one way or the other. If He wanted me to believe in Him, He would have to show Himself first. Now He has, and I’m trying my best to hold up my end of the bargain.
Another recent addition to the Episcoblogosphere is "Episcopalia," maintained by JM from Chicago. He combines running, meditations, and observations on various church practices and aspects of Episcopal life. JM describes himself as
A poet- and scholar-in-progress, fervently crossing himself while running absurd distances and trying not to freeze in his hyperborean paradise. Going to church twice on Dec. 24.JM recently composed a "Tract on Hell."
I sure do hope those theological liberals who have gotten rid of Hell are right. Not only for my sake, but for the sake of everyone else, Christian or otherwise.He ends his meditation with "A Collect for T.A.s," which at some Episcopal Churches, may need to be a regular part of the Advent liturgy.
That said, I've got this intuition right now that Hell really does exist. And that's because I'm currently experiencing a small fraction of it. It's called the Hell of Grading Essays. That's right, folks. Hell is being a T.A. for all eternity and grading papers of college freshmen. We're talking about inifinite numbers of overpriveleged white girls writing about racism in the early twentieth century. Infinite numbers of J.D. Salinger wannabes writing about having no identity and being alienated from society. Infinite numbers of young Susan Sontags writing pretentiously about Virginia Woolf. (Sorry, Ms. Sontag. I like you. Just not your young imitatrices.) And the really hellish thing about it is, the papers are each infinitely long. And the stack of them is infinitely high. And you sit there, at your bituminous desk, for all eternity, trying to say to them, "You totally suck," without hurting their feelings, because that would be unprofessional.
So you see, while it's not fashionable amongst my fellow religious liberals to talk about Hell and about people going there, I must tell you: it exists. Be afraid. Be very afraid. We are sinners in the hands of an angry God, folks, and if we don't right ourselves, it's comma splices and reliance on plot summary for the everlasting hereafter.
Almighty God, who did send the Word your Son to us to be for us the way, truth, and life: look with mercy upon graudate teaching assistants, especially those who traffic in words, that they may be delivered from abominations of grammar and unstructured or nonexistent argument, that they may teach as best as they are able, that their grading may be merciful and judicious at all hours of the night; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.