Monitum: I am the worst prose writer in the world, writing as fast as I can type. But here goes!
If you look carefully at the picture above, you can see the crucifix above the tabernacle of the ad orientem altar here at Holy Souls Hermitage. The full moon is just rising, faking us all out, on its way, as it is, to becoming a crescent moon, with a piece missing somewhere in a big box in Mecca, and needing to be stomped on by our Lady.
How dare it have the pretense of taking the place of the sun, sneaking up at night, as if it had any power for good, but scared even to reflect the sun, waning away until it is nothing, only to try, in hubris, again, with a complete lack of wisdom, to take over the night, but looking ever so much, as it wanes away, like a serpentine horror of old, slinking away before the mighty sun flashes true flames of fire.
The sun, the Son, burning away all falsity with celestial, clear, immaculate blue, a reflection of the sea, the mar, Mary, bitter as the sea in her intercession, as life-giving as the Fish she bears, that ichthus, that ιχθυς, ι-Jesus-χ-Christ-θ-God’s-υ-Son-ς-Savior, who jumps from the sky, brighter than the sun, and into the sea, reflecting with seeming lunacy that dependent satellite, becoming the very darkness of sin until… the resurrection, ourselves reflecting His glory.
* * *
Now, I suppose typing at breakneck speed can make for a rather mysterious result, but in that case, I should like to call Hilaire Belloc to my defense, citing a few lines of his about irony, which readers of HSH will have almost memorized by this time, prefacing this with a bit from Saint Paul (2 Corinthians 5,21): “For our sake He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] to be sin [receiving the punishments of sin] who did not know sin [for He was always innocent], so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for [...] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. [...] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. [...] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power [...] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. [...] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).
Our Lady, mind you, was always with her Son. Such goodness and kindness!
O.K. A further explanation: Remember the fiery saraph serpents that were killing the chosen people in the desert during the Exodus? Remember how Moses was commanded to make a bronze serpent, crucify it, and lift it up so that all who looked upon it might be healed, an image which looked just like that which was hurting them?
And remember how our Lord was lifted high on the Cross, looking like one of us, looking like a sinner, being condemned as a servant of Satan, and yet He is our Savior?
Something like that.