Dear God,

We cannot fully fathom heaven or hell.

We can imagine white cloud embankments
and lucent angels, stunning brightness,
and a throne of stars.

We can envision towering fires
and sulfurous canyons of molten rock,
blasting heat and voracious flames.

But these fantasies fall short.

Perhaps we should instead recall qualities
in the life we know which reflect
the essence of the kingdom of God,
and those pertaining to the citadel of Satan.

The hellish is the intentional maiming
of a child or the rape of an innocent.
Certainly these are the currency of hell,
as are the deliberate besmirching
of reputations and the purposeful injuring
of defenseless animals.

The disclosure of a confidence,
and the breaking of a heart:
these are the quality and the coin
of hell.

The fragility of a baby
and the innocence of a child,
these are the jewels of heaven.

The trust of a true friend,
aid to one in need, the sacrifice of self
for others, and speaking ill of no person,
These are the measures and the treasures
of heaven.

How can it be so difficult
to seek the glory of Your kingdom,
rather than to trade in the infidelities
and wickedness of the domain of the Prince
of all darkness and degradation?

Lord, King, Almighty God and Savior,
hold fast my eyes on the promises
of Your love, and turn me ever away
from the beguiling temptations of Satan,
the foul and stealthy deceiver.

All this I pray in confidence, in love,
and in Your Holy Name,



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