Grant Us Peace

by Terry 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Terry

    I was 12 years old.
    A Jesuit (substitute teacher) entered my 6th grade classroom and beamed a handsome smile.

    1959 and this was Music class.
    Our actual teacher was unable to attend and sent her priest instead!
    How very odd.

    I had never beheld an actual Catholic priest before that moment, never had a human being with such a beautiful expression appeared.
    There is a word for it: numinous.

    His name : Michael. Of course. The archangel.

    He seemed to open his arms to the enfold us inside wings of a theatrical presence.

    He spoke and we were instructed.
    The song was DONA NOBIS PACEM (grant us peace.)

    His mouth opened. The simple melody released.
    It began ...continued...ended. A sort of dream.

    With him, Michael carried a violin case which opened
    as the spectacular instrument caught the light ...just so...
    as his head tilted and his cheek pressed against the wood as a baby's cheek against his mother's breast is pressed.

    This was the first violin I'd heard played outside of a tinny radio speaker.
    As the ancient melody climbed aloft, Michael's voice joined in.

    The violin played one line as the Jesuit's voice carried underneath a harmony. This introduced a magic inside my head which, to this very day, has never left me.

    We were asked to sing. Boys sang harmony;
    girls, the melody.

    Doh oh nahhhhh
    (pause) no-oh-beeeeese.....
    Pah ah chem pah chem ....

    Doh oh oh oh nahhhh
    no oh oh oh beeeese
    pah ah chem, pah chem.

    I learned more from that music class than from all the rest.

    It was more than my mind could contain or my emotions could comprehend.
    I've come to conclude what I experienced was a
    transcendent moment.

    I suddenly realized why the Catholic Church had lasted two thousand years.

    Catholics were never taught anything compared to Jehovah's Witnesses who were indoctrinated relentlessly.
    Ironically, a couple of thousand years have passed for Catholics and only one hundred for JW's and they've both
    ended up in court infested by child molesters.

    The simple awe of church spectacle and music the hearts of the parish inside those churches. Forgiveness
    is dispensed and hearts are (seemingly) healed.
    Inside a Kingdom Hall, fear of Armageddon is pounded like hammer to anvil.

    So different; yet - perhaps ultimately the same.

  • Vanderhoven7


  • Terry

    Thank you, Vanderhoven7.

    I appreciate the appreciation :)

  • Terry

    Under his arm was a Bible, well-thumbed and comfortable.
    His face tipped me off what was up-- I've seen this sort of dreamy glow before.
    Hell--I owned it myself when I was twenty.

    He was telling the barista how much he appreciated her and she nodded, smiling pleasantly.

    Was it god shine, moonshine, or the milk of human kindness at play upon the fields of the Lord? Don't know.

    He gave no offense--as I waited on him to detach a bit longer than his simple transaction at the register required.

    Later, he sat down at a table next to me.
    Uh-oh, thought I as his chair bumped mine and off we go...

    He flashed an incredibly compassionate face and his tender words of pardon swept outward and fell upon me as a warm April rain on flowers.

    I nodded affably. Silence is golden, you see.

    Some half a minute later, he stood and turned round extending his hand for shaking, introducing himself.

    "I'm Raj."

    "I'm Terry, how do you, Raj?"

    "I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your being here today and what a blessing you are to me."

    "Many people feel that way about me, Raj and it's very good of you to say so."

    "God Bless you, Terry."

    I presented my best expression of utter delight.

    Raj falters inside his thoughts momentarily. Then, he turned back around and sat for five minutes.

    Presently, up springs Raj.
    He gallops over to a table seating 3 ladies engaged in a personal chat.
    I can't hear what he says as he interrupts with his endearing message of starlight and golden feathers. 3 ladies' faces light up like moonbeams. Raj tugs out a chair for his bottom and sits stringing rainbows for several minutes.

    I sigh.

    Straightaway, delighted giggles bubble to the surface. A trio of middle-aged womanhood is loving whatever blossoms out of Raj's verbal garden.

    Now he's back. He sits and opens his laptop. I catch sight of his screen. It's Bible Gateway. Of course, it is.

    Nope--back up! Across the floor, he glides. Table to table like a latter-day Johnny Appleseed of appreciation and cheer. He plants seeds of--I don't know what. Nobody is less than delighted by the time he departs and on to the next harvest.

    What's he on about? For some reason--experience probably--I already know the answer.

    There is a word for it. It's a word I didn't learn until I was way past embodying its meaning in my own youth.

    NUMINOUS: having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.

    Raj was a divine delivery system yesterday afternoon.
    The message?

    We are beautiful. We are dear. We are appreciated.

    As an encounter, it was the least offensive I've ever known.

    No photo description available.
  • stillin

    Numinous is new to me. But I grew up as a Catholic and an altar boy and in the choir. I have had a few of those transcendent moments as a Catholic, but I can't say that I ever had one as a Witness. Sure, sometimes a light would go on in my head when I grasped a piece of the doctrine. But, all in all, the experience of being a Witness was pretty dry.

    Thanks for your posts.

    Dominus vobiscum

  • Terry
    stillin18 minutes ago

    Numinous is new to me. But I grew up as a Catholic and an altar boy and in the choir. I have had a few of those transcendent moments as a Catholic, but I can't say that I ever had one as a Witness.
    There was a moment as a JW that lasted maybe a full minute while in prison ...
    I stepped out of the large Administration building at Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution into the "magic hour" straight light of near sunset.
    I had delivered a prisoner request form to Lieutenant Bennett. (The inmates called it a "cop out" form :)

    Nothing much on my mind.
    I looked up squinting at that red glow that catches the low-hanging cirrus clouds and turns them
    to blacksmith-hot cherry red.
    It hit me.
    In my brain, a full-blown NUMINOUS moment arrived like...
    Like ....
    Tom Jones in person at the amphitheater in Los Angeles years later.
    (Women of all ages wet their pants with an astonishing outburst of worship - or *something*)

    My heart lept at that sunset and the 100% certainty only a fanatic can experience.
    This momentarily persuaded me I was being forged by the blacksmith Jehovah in a kind of prison furnace and shaped for useful purpose.
    I was to be something I not yet was - idling at present - yet a work in progress.

    I felt (don't laugh) I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING.
    Seconds ...mere ticks of a small wristwatch later ...that whole moment vanished. I couldn't get near
    recalling the *feeling* itself.

    None of that means anything, of course. But - I can say it more or less happened.
    So many human beings have felt "the calling" ....
    Was it like that? Or just a brain fart ? :)

    As things turned out (very badly) I am here to say: nope.

  • Terry

    I just heard the word "numinous" used in a conversation for maybe the first time in ten years. I had to smile.

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