The divine gift of life is a bittersweet one. Although it has lovingly been granted by the Lord to an arbitrary person, that life, due to the perverted and wicked spiritual state of the world, is quite a race to endure. Even though the maelstroms have plagued the brothers and me, it is with spiritual confidence I can declare that the ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ so that saying goes, can be seen. Trusting in the Lord with wholehearted faith is not only vital for the pious Christian, but also is necessary to survive this life, which is rampant with lusts and temptations. As Bréanninn has said, we are not to doubt the real presence of that serpent of old, for thus it is written: “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it’” (Job 1.6-7). However, the truth that lies behind the idea of looking to Christ to overwhelm the agents of Satan cannot be denied: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble!” (James 2.19). With the gift of life, one is faced with two choices: Either one can choose to submit oneself wholeheartedly to the omnipotence of the Lord or one can succumb to the wiles of Lucifer, that serpent of old. It is my prayer and hope that not only would all people would choose the former option, but also that this aquatic voyage would help affirm my intent to choose that former option.
The voyage is producing spiritual fruit, despite that our frugal approach to managing what rations of fruits and water we have is being undermined by the long stretch of time on the sea without having spotted a shoreline. My yearning to serve the Lord Christ Jesus has merely grown more profound since the brothers and I set from the shore of our home in County Galway, particularly in the past week. The necessary perseverance to endure dwindling staples would be an apt method by which to describe my true and most pertinent situation. As the weeks have passed by without a graduate assistantship, let alone any sort of job, through which not only to sustain myself but also to fund my education, I have been tempted to give up my hope in the loyal provision of Christ. However, thanks to the support of His holy church, pertinently through the church which I attend each Sunday morning, along with reassuring words from my pastor, I wholeheartedly comprehend that I shall survive “and my God shall supply all [my] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.19). Spiritual doors have cracked ajar recently, thanks to my trust in He who is unfathomably wealthy.
The Lord has not brought me on this mission viz. to Providence without properly equipping me for what tasks He would have me undertake. In more general terms, the Lord shall honour those who strive to honour Him by actively longing for the perfection of the Father. When Samuel was about to be raised into the priesthood by the Levite Eli, the priest was told, “‘for those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed’” (I Samuel 2.30). Under the terms of spiritual surrender to an unconditionally-loving God, it is vital to heed the words of His apostle Peter: “[Cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Peter 5.7). It is by His unfathomable caring for the transpirations in my life that I am able to be assured that He shall grant me what tools I shall need to ensure, including perseverance.
I must stop here for the moment, for one of the brothers has spotted something of significance in the horizon. Although he believes that speck to be land, I cannot confirm such a speculative remark for myself. However, we have been drifting by the winds of the Lord for quite a number of weeks now. I choose to trust that He shall being us to land, whenever that may truly be, in His timing. He understands the needs of the band, and He shall replenish our staples according to His purpose. Perhaps He shall have us undertake a fast for a certain number of days. Maybe that speck is truly land. Even though I honestly hope the latter is true, I choose to be content with the will of God. With patience shall we soon see what that distant smote is, that grain appearing amidst the flows and ebbs of the vast ocean of trials....
Maker of earth and sky, from age to age
Who rul'st the world by reason; at whose word
Time issues from Eternity's abyss:
To all that moves the source of movement, fixed
Thyself and moveless. Thee no cause impelled
Extrinsic this proportioned frame to shape
From shapeless matter; but, deep-set within
Thy inmost being, the form of perfect good,
From envy free; and Thou didst mould the whole
To that supernal pattern. Beauteous
The world in Thee thus imaged, being Thyself
Most beautiful. So Thou the work didst fashion
In that fair likeness, bidding it put on
Perfection through the exquisite perfectness
Of every part's contrivance. Thou dost bind
The elements in balanced harmony,
So that the hot and cold, the moist and dry,
Contend not; nor the pure fire leaping up
Escape, or weight of waters whelm the earth.
- Boethius, 'Invocation' 1-19.*