Eucharist for a Sinless Mankind
by Bertil Falk
The polyphonic choir-singing rose and fell in the mighty Basilica of Saint Peter and the mystical image of faith swept over monuments and epitaphs. In the verse of the sonnet, the abdication of unbelief was released when facing the Mystery. Only faith! Faith alone! Only grace! Mercy alone! Nåd allena! The One nailed to the Cross!
when in Orion’s swell of burst-burst starlings
the dark cloud’s mirages are bluntly lighten’d
the Christmas candles of the parlor brighten’d
with glowing hair here come Lucia-darlings
like the firmament’s glowing, rocking lanterns
whiplash of cosmic sense, of daily fragrance,
the evil hustlers pushing, adamant,
cruel eternity is preached from lecterns
in Rigel’s rosy holes those eyes reflected
the chariot of simple Time, and light-years
make sense when saints send songs that make us happy
and slowly the slow-moving hallway lighters
make noise, and they are very, very snappy
of joy, for Jesus Christ has been detected
When she heard this corny hymn reminding her of her childhood, summer vacations and bathing-beaches, tears came to the eyes of Sigourney Nage. Xavier Pascal gave a grunt when he understood that his tough assistant had given evidence of mawkishness.
The Pope had just blessed them all, and it was about time for after-dinner coffee. Xavier Pascal trembled a little, though it was obvious to each and every one that the hijacked convent cum monastery would stay where it was in some kind of missionary zeal. But there’s no telling.
Before the service, Mother Saulcerite had introduced to the Pope a being of a kind he could not recall ever seeing before. Most of the action seemed to be concentrated on this Xäzyåwä, and a lot of strange things were whispered about sinlessness. In the presence of Xäzyåwä, the Pope experienced a singular, hard to explain suction of sheer goodness and benevolence that he had never before encountered.
Teresia Nightmare nodded encouragingly at him as he sat down at the round table where coffee was being served. That small gesture was perhaps a sign that everything would be fine and that the problem would be settled for good.
Virginia Vaginia, who sat between the Pope and Cardinal Personit, chatted non-stop with the Cardinal. Xavier Pascal almost choked on his Danish pastry when Virginia Vaginia declared that she was the one who, five hundred years earlier, had hijacked the luxury space-crusier Sture Lönnerstrand on its way to Pluto.
Urbanus Collectus sat beside Sigourney Nage. She immediately noticed how awkward the young Celibateur was in the presence of women. Of course Sigourney wiped her tears from her eyes and switched on her charm. She flirted like anything, which caused the Celibateur’s face to run through a veritable rainbow of hues.
Skrrrmplr Rrrbrrp sat on the other side of the table, engaged in an engaging conversation with Father Paxi, while the Trappist, who was his nearest man...? woman...? thing...? anyhow, the one next to him, said not a word but listened to Leonida Brown, who was talking incessantly.
Mervil Tojas was totally absorbed by his coffee. Now and then he glanced furtively at Xäzyåwä, who was sitting between Carolus Brainflower and Sister Angela Madeleine. Mervil Tojas said something to the Pope, while Mother Saulcerite smiled to herself. She probably has some mischief up her sleeves, Xavier Pascal thought.
However, everything was peaceful and lovely, when all of a sudden Teresia Nightmare got to her feet and screamed. “But there they are!”
Above the table, a wonderfully beautiful woman came walking through the air. She was dressed in garments that belonged to the barbaric 20th century. After her, a man came crawling on all fours. He seemed to be kisisng the lady’s footprints.
With lightning speed, Teresia Nightmare pulled out an empty time segment. She flung it away with boomerang-like sureness of aim and caught the walking woman and the crawling man, whereupon the time segment returned to her. The incident made some stir, but when Teresia Nightmare explained what it all was about, everyone calmed down.
But this was not a normal gathering. It was rather a question of something that looked like the old puzzle mysteries that existed in the past, when all the persons suspected of murder were summoned to the libraries of Agatha Christie in order to find out who had done it. But this was not a question of murder. This was a question of something else. They would soon discover what.
Skrrrmplr Rrrbrrp, who, in its characteristic way, was hanging over the table, scrupled its throat and lightly whisked its reptile ropetail. “A breach of an old agreement between the Holy See and the secular authorities has led to the discovery of distinctive forms of life in another dimension. They are uncorporeal and in every respect mental. They furthermore bear the stamp of pure evil. We of the Bureau for Ensuring the Salvation of Newly Discovered Mankinds have already begun working among these life-forms and plan to send even more missionaries with the proper mental disposition to assist Mother Tamara Crossfire. Your turn, Teresia.”
Teresia Nightmare got to her feet and began to speak. “The antagonisms that sprang up between the Bureau for Ensuring the Salvation of Newly Discovered Mankinds and The Department of the Incorporation of New Worlds in connection with our offence against the agreement, is now resolved. We also plan to contact the life forms in that newly discovered universe. Cardinal Saulcerite, your turn.”
Mother Saulcerite drew herself up. “This development is totally unexpected. Strangely enough, it has its counterpart in something even more unexpected,” she said. “For while the forms of life in the newly found dimension seems to be totally characterized by evil, we have at the same time in our own universe found a form of life that is totally good and sinless. That creates religious and clerical problems for the Church.
“Xäzyåwä, who is with me, belongs to that sinless mankind. The theological controversy, which has its origin in this discovery, may lead to lengthy struggles similar to the quarrels about the right of lesbian women to manage the Eucharist. As we remember from ecclesiastical history, that old antagonism withered away. Today that problem is a thing of the past; we do not distinguish between heterosexual and lesbian female priests.
“The complex of problems today is that sinless beings seem to be contrary to teachings about the Fall of Man and original sin, according to the Bible. The Fall of Man has never taken place on their planet. According to their story of Creation, Zxyskrapur felt lonely in Nothingness. Therefor Zxyskrapur began by creating Time and then Space, but Zxyskrapur still felt lonely. In order to get rid of loneliness once and for all Zxyskrapur created beings in His own image.
“Since Zxyskrapur, God that is, is sinless and the Fall of Man never took place, Xäzyåwä and her fellow-beings are free of sin. It seems to go against the Bible and all experience. The question is: what to do now?”
The Pope drew a breath and leaned forward as if he wanted to say something, but then he seemed to change his mind. He leaned back again, seized a cluster of living slufs, tilted his head backwards and let the slufs fall straight into his big mouth.
A pious murmur went through the room.
The Pope draw a breath and snuffled. It sounded like a Sirian threshing mill for radium lozenges. After much hawking, he had cleaned his sounding-hole and said: “In these the farthest out of Times, signs are what counts. The four space dragons of the Apocalypse have been seen on patrol duty in a part of the universe where the border is drawn between the reality of the Federation and the extra-universal unreality.
“In the present situation we must steel ourselves against doubt and not fall into it because the Fall of Man did not happen on an insignificant planet far away at Betelegeuse. It goes without saying! Remember the old proverb: ‘The color of the Holy Ghost doesn’t matter as long as it’s catching mice’.”
The Pope looked round as if he tried to examine what effect his words had. He saw the wide-open eyes and the wide-open mouths, the indifference of the Trappist, the Trappist, who had been literally pulled up from his digging in La Trappe, in order to bear eyewitness to the new phenomenon: sinlessness!
“I ask you to consider the fact that Charity is greater than Faith, greater than Hope, greater than Absolution and greater than Sinlessness! For the greatest is Charity, the all-permeating and all-conquering Love of God that overcomes everything. God created all sentient and thinking beings in His own image and gave them free will. And this free will has over and over and over again resulted in the Fall of Man. But of course that does not mean that on one little remote grain of sand Eve might not yield to temptation, and Adam might not be tempted by any Eve. And perhaps even the serpent ignored temptation.”
The Pope turned rumbling to Xäzyåwä and asked: “Is there a tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Does it grow in your gardens?”
And Xäzyåwä replied as telementally best she could that yes, of course the tree grew, the fruits of which they did not eat, since Zxyskrapur had told them not to. Yes, certainly it happened that people were tempted, but as far as Xäzyåwä knew nobody had ever given way to temptation.
And the tree was in all gardens. It was the center of all that is blazing with color and blossoms, the very standard by which all vegetation was measured. For millions of years, it had become second nature to them to avoid eating the fruit of that tree. Practically an instinct, an unimpeachable quality!
Xäzyåwä felt a little discomfort at sensing the waves of unease that emanated from the beings she had met since Cardinal Saulcerite had brought her to Rome.
“That’s how it is,” the Pope said, “and our brother or sister or whatever — the Trappist — has from the very beginning understood that sinlessness is not a threat to the Faith or to the Church.
“After his meeting with Mervil Tojas, he declared what also has to be the teaching of the Church: ‘God is Almighty! To the Lord anything and everything is possible!’ So why couldn’t God — or God who is also called Zxyskrapur — create a sinless mankind, beings in His own image, beings who obey the law not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? The case is closed. Everything is peace and love...”
Copyright © 2008 by Bertil Falk