To you who are scattered and broken, gather again and mend. Rebuild always, and again I say rebuild. Renew the face of the earth. It is a loved face, but now it is covered with the webs of tired spiders.
We are in a post-catastrophe world, and yet the catastrophes did not happen. There are worse things than catastrophes. There is the surrender of the will before even the catastrophes come. There are worse things than war. There are worse things even than unjust war: unjust peace or crooked peace is worse. To leave life by withdrawal is worse than to leave life by murder. To be bored of the world is worse than to shed all the blood in the world. There are worse things than final Armageddon. Being too tired and wobble-eyed for final combat is worse. There are things worse than lust—the sick surrogates of lust are worse. There are things worse than revolution—the half-revolution, the mere turning away, is worse.
Know that religion is a repetitious act or it is nothing. The “re” is the holy prefix, since nothing is successful the first time. It must be forever the “re,” the returning, the restructuring, the re-lexion, the reconstitution, the building back from defeat. We will rebuild in the dark and in the light; we will work without ceasing.
Even our mysterious Maker was the Re-deemer, the re-doomer who wrangles for us a second and better doom, the ransomer, the re-buyer, the re-d-emptor. We are sold and we are ransomed, we are lost and we are found. We are dead and we are re-surrected, which is to say “surged up again.”
You ask me about the Parousia, the second coming. This has been asked from the beginning. There was urgent expectation of it in the beginning. Then, in the lifetimes of those first ones, there came a curious satisfaction, as though the coming had been experienced anew, as though it were a constant and almost continuing thing. Perhaps there has been a second coming, and a third, and a three hundredth. Perhaps, as the legend has it, it comes every sabbatical, every seventh year. I do not know. I was not of the chosen at the time of the last sabbatical. We are in the days of a new one, but I know now I will not be alive for the day of it.
Be steadfast. Rebuild, restructure, reinstitute, renew.
X-Dmo. Judy Thatcher (one of the Twelve).
-R. A. Lafferty, 'And Walk Now Gently Through the Fire' (1972)