Austino is sent on a quest by Pope Gregory to convert England to Christianity, he then spending twenty years traveling about and enjoying life, finally reaching England. Comedic but insightful.
On a scientific website, Graybeard, my friend, and a moderator, had begun signing his posts, ‘The Pope’, an attempt at humor when dealing with religious types. Meanwhile, I’d signed mine as Reverend Austin or St. Austin, for much the same reason. Well, Labelwench, ever astute, had searched on Goggle for a Pope Gregory and a Saint Austin, and, amazingly, found such a tale, one about Pope Gregory having St. Austin (to be) bringing Christendom to England, and so she posted the tale. Well, thus inspired, I summed up the tale, converting it to more of a kind of Canterbury Tale, or to such, as the humorous books about monks, that I forget the name of, which might be Decameron or One Hundred Years of Solitude.
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Austino’s Holy Quest
The golden dome of Sancta Sophia shone,
Along Saint Austin’s journey from olden Rome,
It reflecting the flaxen sun’s blonding band,
He unto Britain to spread the Word to England.
Saint Gregory, who was to have gone this far from home
Had been elected Pope and so was recalled to the throne.
Saint Austin was ever a lively and wandering monk:
A French-Italian nun packed forth into his trunk.
A carrier pigeon flew the latest to Austin’s leg,
From his friend the Pope, known to him as Greg:
We shall conquer not with our Papal Army’s spear,
But with the requisite Christianity, dear within its fear.
Saint Austin was taking his time, seeing all the sights,
With the nun ever out of her habit during the nights.
It was like Google’s stunning street level view,
As observing everything first hand as always new.
The world turns, shadows fly, energy spreads apace,
Consolidating here and there, not an impatient race.
Muslims crash the gates, and now new Rome is cleft,
A prism of many-splendored light is all that’s left.
Austin mends his detour and through the forest flies,
Recalling Galileo’s last look unto the starry skies.
Sister Angelina lifts her cup, the alpha and the omega,
As they raise their glowing minds to the mirror of Vega.
Once the great Roman Empire was everywhere known—
The center of Earth the center of the solar system’s home,
While the saints walked along, bearing the world alone,
Yet life and play must precede the spreading of the tome.
They would be gone for over twenty years, but not forty,
For they would ask directions, unlike Moses and his party.
God had sent a plague to Europe, it killing one in three,
But none for a year now, yet they dallied one more to see.
The Alps were climbed, soaring into the realm of Heaven,
And there they stuck their heads into that glorious haven,
But soon ducked them back down again, just in time,
For there was a big soccer game going on in that clime.
Did they have to bring the invisibility disorder unto Britain,
Until all the rampaging residents there were by it smitten?
Why should claims of unknown essence precede existence?
What good would this hardy toil bring to the persistence?
In France they lay among the harvested grape crops,
Loving and squeezing out the best and last drops.
All was so lush and green, this world as seen,
And so they lived of life and love in-between.
Pope Gregory was a scientist through and through,
Sending them to spread the word of God all anew—
Gregory’s continuing cover over gathering resources
To manage all of his realistic experimental courses.
Many years later they took a boat across the channel,
Arriving in the mixed up country of heathen rebels,
Then thought: if weakness can be turned to strengthness,
Then we have to tell ourselves that’s another weakness.
Oh there was ever the word of the ancients to pass on,
Although tending to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients yon.
But one can’t scoff at them personally, you do see,
To their faces, and this is what annoys you and me.
However, the first thing learned was to forgive one’s-self.
Then told one’s self, that self of the more learned self,
Go ahead and do whatever you want, it’s okay to be,
For there is this lovely parentheses here within eternity.
Life is a constant battle between the heart and the brain,
Fought amid the bright sun, the darkness, and the rain,
Pondering this and that, what be, on and on anon,
But guess who always wins? It’s ever the skeleton.
Yet this is the story of St. Austin who wholly brought fore
Christendom to England, but they don’t like it anymore.
Religion will eventually fade, yes, but in the interim
It will change, an initiation of its slide into oblivion.
The stodgy elevation of doctrine over ethics
Will no longer carry the day, and there will be less
Emphasis on believing, with more on belonging.
All will become more democratic, with much singing.
So then when Saint Austin came to his staff
And pulled it out of the earth, onto the path,
Incontinent by the might of our Lord’s mountain, [what!]
Sourded and sprang there soon a fair well or fountain.
He and all were bathed of clear and flowing water’s sip,
Which refreshed him well and all his fellowship.
His staff was cured and he ever guarded it more closely,
And so the years went by, alive and well with being, mostly.
St. Austin returned to Rome and its discussion forum
Twenty years later, as 40 would have been too long for him.
Pope Gregory welcomed him, “Has it been so very long?”
“Yes, for I stopped to smell the roses the way along.”
“Good. So, we have conquered Britain wide and long
Through our Christianity’s deep and probing prong,
Rather than with Papal armies that are long since gone?”
“Yes, it has been done, at least until Darwin comes along.”
“I see that you long ago posted about the flagellum,
Eliminating Behe’s claim to irreducible complexity.”
“Yes it’s very old hat now, but one can find it via Google.”
“And good old Behe didn’t come through, so high,
At the Dover trials either. Well, so much for that guy!”
“Yes, and now the believers don’t want to believe it—
What I said about existence just because I said it.”
“The idea is that they only address the ideas presented,
For proof or refutal—no worry about who it represented.”
“Yes, so what’s new in this territory?”
“I’m now finishing my inflation theory.”
“Inflation was so rapid that the particles in pairs
Of the always temporarily emitted virtuals there
Were forced to become separated from one another,
With some then to remain as enduring rather.”
“And so they made a universe!
That does it then; it’s the last verse.
I’m declaring it infallible, a snap,
Even before the next WMAP!”
“The Bible will be seen to be of but human construction,
A result of human instinct, frailty, fear, and no wisdom;
So people actively speaking to each other, with laughter,
Will come to replace the passive readings from scripture.”
“May the quest be with you too, the life and the fun.”
“Let’s go have some beers and smokes with the nuns.”
“Tobacco hasn’t been invented yet, oh darn it.”
“Ok, let’s go down to the lab and work on it.”