5. The Year of Feasts and Fasts

After watching the Elevation of the Cross, Sophie had to report back to God, but my boss, Archangel Michael, messaged me that I had to stay to become more familiar with the Bride and with humanity. I was told that my cynicism would no longer be tolerated. Imagine that! Oops, I mean, 'How nice.'

I started by floating into one church building after another all over the planet. There were some truly spectacular  buildings, and I have to admit that I was very impressed with what the little gods could do with matter, mostly stone, but even the wood they took from big old trees. I saw sculptures and mosaics galore and magnificent paintings, even on ceilings; I also liked all the different domes. These beings must be offspring of the most high God..in their small way.

The spectacular church buildings were most often devoid of the little gods. For this reason I concluded that the buildings were not the Church, or rather the Bride, but only sacred places where the spirits of the Bride gathered...sometimes. Angels gathered in there too. I met Poppy in one.

Casting aside all introductions Poppy flew up to me and said, "I hear that you are still having a problem with time and matter?"

"Yes," I replied, admitting the truth. "I don't see the point. Matter with any life in it just deteriorates to death in time. Seems pathetic. Clearly this is a design flaw that God won't admit to." I could see Poppy cringe at my words, while remembering that while God forbids disobedience and disrespect, He tolerates ignorance as the precursor to learning.

My angelic friend patiently responded, "Do you see how we are inside this grand church building, as beautiful as the Milky Way?  We fill this space with our being.

The Bride is a Spirit, like God (and like us) who resides inside of human bodies, and inside these buildings. She is in each building and in all church buildings throughout time.  The church buildings help us to understand how many spirits and many bodies can make up one Bride. Church buildings are also like the members of the Body of Christ in a mysterious way because of their service to our God. Get it?"

To pretend that I did I nodded and said, "The Bride/Church is a unity of many spirits."

Poppy nodded back and to further confuse me, she added, "Right! The Bride abides in matter, like the gods do and is also above matter and outside of time like Jesus Christ is."

The Bride is the Mother of Her parts because She is from the beginning of time. She is older and wiser than anyone on earth. The Bride teaches; She heals; She unites her children in marriage; She hears their confessions and absolves sins; She baptizes them and She even commends them to God when their bodies die. The betrothed Bride is a very busy lady while waiting for Her wedding. Oh how I love the Bride!" Poppy exclaimed. "I could write a book about Her, but I am only here to tell you about her time-crazy year."

Without taking a breath Poppy went on.

"For example, the Bride of Christ knows how important it is for each person to overcome the tyranny of the flesh. So during seasons of her Year, and on certain days of the week She prescribes abstinence from eating animal products, and sometimes even a total fast from food and water. By asking for this discipline She prepares Her children for  when they shed their bodies to be able to fly straight to heaven where we all came from and to live with Christ, God forever." At this, Poppy finally stopped talking and took a breath, but she was beaming like the sun.

Usually when I heard parts of the Story like this from Sophie I became incredulous, but this time a warm sensation of great satisfaction pervaded my angelic being. If I had to analyze why, I think it was simply for the fact that the little gods have to learn to overcome their bodies because they are essentially spirit, and that they have to mature. Learning that they were not matured in God, was my first step toward loving them.

Poppy waited patiently for my thoughts to find a calm place to land before she upset me again.

"The Bride's year," she said, is a rhythm of fasting to control the flesh and feasting to celebrate with it."

"Isn't that confusing to the little gods?" I said starting to feel sympathetic towards them for the first time, which surprised even myself."

Poppy suddenly grew sullen. "Fewer and fewer gods are obeying the Bride Mother's fasting disciplines. Most of them believe they are archaic or not necessary, I think it's because they think the fast is a legalistic demand of God, and they like to break laws when they can. Others just find all sorts of excuses to ignore them. Mostly they think fasting will hurt them, as if the Mother would try to hurt her children. They don't understand that really fasting is an exercise that their spirits need to become strong and wise. Never fasting is as bad for the spirit as never walking is for the body."

I was a little surprised at how much Poppy knew about the body. How did she learn all this? Reading my mind, she said, "I was a guardian angel for many centuries. Right now I am between people. I live in this church to speak to the god's hearts when they are worshipping. It can be a tough assignment, so many whirling thoughts!

I want you to be aware, as you study the mystical Year that there is a lot more to it than commemorating events. The Bride-Mother has constructed Her year as a sort of spiritual obstacle course to exercise Her children and to make them strong."

Then, just as quickly as Poppy flew in, she flew away from me. She didn't even say good-bye! I think that little angel needs some lessons in manners!

As I looked around at the magnificent space within this particular church called Saint Sophia Cathedral, I decided to stop thinking about Time and Matter so I could simply absorb all that the walls were teaching.

10. Gestation

As the little gods were leaving the cathedral I wanted to follow them. I wanted to see where they were going and to see what they would do with the body and blood of Jesus Christ running through their little blue veins and pumping through their hearts. I wanted to see if they could make miracles too.

But I had to stay inside so I flew around the place like a pinball with wings. After a while, I stopped to perch on the railing in the dome to think. The dome was my favorite place because I could look out its windows at the sky. While sitting there all alone I thought about how the Bride of Christ could be both very material, like this building and like the embodied person, and also very spiritual, like us angels and like God, all thinking and emotions, all wisdom and love.

Suddenly, the strangest sensation came over me. I, uh me! I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but I wanted a material body! I wondered what I would look like. I wanted to wear those beautiful and colorful brocade gowns that the priests wore. I wondered if God felt this way before He entered the body that was Jesus.

Flitting out of my absurd fantasyland I looked down from those heights to notice that many people were entering the church again. In floated different spirits than before. Both embodied gods and spirits were greeting their own kind as if they hadn't seen each other in years. They were all so happy. The spirits in particular were glowing. A baby was crying. I flew down to get a closer look.

There in front of the glistening golden gates that separated the inner sanctum from the nave stood a large golden font filled with water. I know it wasn't there before because that was the spot where I had seen the priest feed the little gods with the Body and Blood of Christ from his golden chalice.

"Hi there! Remember me?" I was startled out of my mind by the presence of a familiar angel.

"Oh, hello Poppy!" I said, suddenly recognizing her. "What are you doing here?"

"I heard that you were here and came to check on you. Are you feeling any better about time and matter, and the Bride?"

"I admit," I said sheepishly, "that this place is beautiful and that some very powerful things happen here. Look over there, what is going on now?" I pointed to the font, and then up to the priest and a man holding a baby.

"Oh! This is wonderful!" Poppy shook with delight and became brighter.

"That baby is being baptized to become a little god! The Bride will place the baby into that golden font filled with warm water which they pretend is the Bride's womb. Inside Her womb, she will purify the child from the stains that Lucifer's rebellious egotism caused to disfigure and bring death to humankind. Then the baby will be born all over again.

The baby has two mothers now, its little god-mom and the Bride. Just as the baby was conceived and grew in the mom physically, the baby is conceived and will continue to grow in the Bride, (the Church you know) spiritually. Isn't that magnificent!?"

Poppy got so enthusiastic when she spoke, a little too much so, for me.

"Poppy," I said, in an effort to tone her down. "Have you ever wished you had a body?"

I succeeded. Poppy grew quiet and pensive, a side of her I had never seen.

Soon, the cathedral was dark and empty again. A few spirits of men and angels were hovering in the altar, but all was very quiet and peaceful.

After a long dreamy silence she responded, "I have been assigned to earth for a long time." she said with a whisper. "I have witnessed embodied souls perform many magnificent acts with them and with the matter all around them. I have seen them dance with joy and make magnificent melodious sounds with their voices and with instruments. Those are the moments I want to be able to clap! Don't tell God, but how I wish I could hug or be hugged. When I see the little gods hug I want to cry. It must feel so good."

After a long paused, she continued. "But we can fly and we can see God. Their bodies give the spirits that live inside of them a sense of isolation and can be the root of conflict, pain and death. I could not bear that. There is nothing that I would give up or nothing that I want enough to be worth that; especially not being able to see God.

Now let us be quiet too and enjoy the darkness while we can." And with that Poppy enveloped me with her aura. I felt a soothing warm glow all over and wondered if Poppy was trying to make a spirit-hug and if that was what a hug felt like.