A Pile of Ashes
a prompted short story written by The Overlord Bear
Prompt (from r/WritingPrompts): “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been 287 years since my last confession.”
Suicidally Tsundere Guardian Angel
a prompted short story by The Overlord Bear
Prompt (from r/WritingPrompts): You survive a near fatal incident and devote your life to God. This angers Satan, who was responsible for saving your life.
RM did tell peeps “Speak Yourself,” so…
Now this might seem like an odd post from me, considering that I have talked about BTS on this blog and in positive terms, and I’ve even been to a concert. I very much enjoy their music and parts of their message and still do! But note parts of their message. Not all of it. This is because I’m Catholic, and certain ideas expressed in some of their recent comebacks and the literary works these comebacks reference are antithetical to my beliefs.
By TenAsia, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76464187
Specifically, Herman Hesse’s Demian and Carl Jung’s ideas.
I had only ever encountered a few Herman Hesse quotes (which I quite liked) before BTS came out with Wings and “Blood, Sweat & Tears” (herefrom BST). Once the teasers came out, everyone kept going on about Herman Hesse’s Demian, and so I decided to read it. I found it on Project Gutenberg or…
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I could take shots at people who forget that Easter is a Catholic event in the first place and all that here today, but I feel like I’d easily forget to think about it on a more personal level, so yeah, I’mma go for a personal reflection today. Also, yes, it’s been days since Easter Sunday, but I wanna make some reflections on Catholic events past Christmas more and more here, so yeah.
So, Easter. Pasko ng Pagkabuhay in Filipino. Christ did the Ultimate Sacrifice, and then He resurrected three days later. In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene expected it more than Peter did, but she mistook the Lord for a gardener soon after. The first half was something that came to mind thanks to the priest’s homily during this year’s Easter Sunday, and the second half wasn’t covered in the Gospel reading for that same day, but connecting those got me fascinated. I mean, I got a look at how humble Mary Magdalene was there as well. She knew she was talking to Jesus soon enough, specifically when He called her by name, and thinking about it some more, I think I also saw God’s love some more there! Like, He could’ve struck her down for not recognizing Him so easily, but He didn’t. He probably expected that, even, but in the first place, He’s looking for faith, so that happened.
Thinking about all that further, I guess I gotta accept that I’ll feel moments of doubt and have slip-ups and all that at times. Along with that, whether constructive or destructive, other people will have to point out that I’m doing something wrong at times. I tend to try to get ahead of other people and their feedback, see, thinking myself perfectly self-aware, but if I can do that so easily, then there’d be no need for things like the workshops I have to go through during Creative Writing classes, and I wouldn’t need to worry about audience and critical reception when I put my creative works out there. All that racing I’m doing against my audience and critics just makes me look worse, and I guess all that is also why I have people telling me to stop saying “Sorry” so much. My faith in them is low, and with that, my faith in God would be low as well. I can still say that I have faith in myself there, but with those two accompanying voids, I’m just a selfish and arrogant nut.
And if I just let that be, then I’ll have a hard time thinking about how to get out of it. I’ll blame it all on others alone, and then I’ll think myself the best even while being the worst. Despair would eat at me more easily there, alright.
But then there’s God. Sounds easy, but it ain’t, yet He’s still there, bugging me to get up and take His hand and all that. I like to think that I hold on to Him well, but the slaps upon my face remind me of my blindness again, for what else can it be when the one doing the slapping is the Ultimate Ultimate who can make suffering redemptive? There’s this great source of strength waiting for me, and all I need to do is believe and let the divine work be done upon me. I can’t be perfect, but I can still believe in Perfection and be helped by Him, yeah?
And hey, if I were to think about this in tandem with Christmas, then I guess it’s like witnessing a promise fulfilled once again. God’s that awesome, alright. And I guess I should look up to Him when it comes to facing myself and my fellow idiots. I mean, I hate having to deal with idiots and all the crap they do, but then there’s God, who’s even willing to take the most humiliating schtick we can do to another human just to prove to us that He loves us very very much. And now, as I think again about the act of asking God to prove how much He loves us, I feel even more stupid once again, and I even feel like beating myself so hard again. But at the same time, I feel more hopeful and motivated, and I wanna get out of all that self-destruction. I’ll have to face the noise of the insecure and self-deprecating crowd who would rather keep me in misery’s love for company, but why should I give in to doubt when God’s around to help us all through each other, even when we suck? And if He can still do something great for us even with the moments when we refuse Him, then what more if we accept Him?
I should keep that in mind, alright. And ask y’all for feedback.
So yeah…feedback, please. Honest constructive feedback, please. 🙂
And of course, praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much yet again for all the strength and the challenges! God Almighty keep on helping us all, too! \(^o^)/
And now I find myself realizing that I’ve been taking being a man for granted more than I thought. Still, I thank God very much, for I have found more hope in this chance to learn more yet again!
Women today are confused about who they are called to be. If we feel called to be full-time mothers, society seems to dismiss us as vintage models, out of step with the modern feminist agenda. I know I often felt embarrassed because I did not have a real job as I mothered nine kids.
Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) had a lot to say about the nature of women. She was a Jewish German philosopher who converted to Catholicism, became a Discalced Carmelite nun, and died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Initially, she struggled intellectually with the whole idea that women were different than men. In the end, instead of denying her gender, she looked to her body as the image of her soul. Katharina Westerhorstmann discusses Stein’s view of women in On the Nature and Vocation of Women: Edith Stein’s Concept against the Background of a Radically…
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Merry Christmas, fellow filthy animals. Now, here’s something to help us clean up some more.
Seasons greetings to our dear readers! Gintama ranges four seasons and 367 episodes at the present time and includes quite a few Christmas episodes. I have already written about the Christmas story told in episode 200. The present post concerns an earlier Christmas episode from season one. Gintama might be described as a science-fiction, samurai parody, but it covers a wide range of genres and styles within its four seasons. With episode 37 (Titled “People who Say that Santa Doesn’t Exist, Actually Want to Believe in him”), you might dub the first half Old Comedy, i.e. the sort of gut-busting low humor one sees in Aristophanes’ plays. The first half contains nothing especially edifying, but it gives the viewer a good time.
On the other hand, the second part relies less on silliness than on character flaws. Much of the comedy drives off the contrast between the way different…
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Jesus’ birth on earth is quite a Mystery (capitalization intended), so much that most people would probably consider everyone involved crazy and questionable.
But funnily enough, that’s just one of many ways God Almighty shows that He loves us. And for one to love, there’s gotta be understanding, right? So there, we have a God who understands how crazy and questionable we can be, to the point that He would even risk receiving ridicule and harm even from the very start. I mean, really, He could’ve just left Adam and Eve to rot away after kicking them out of Eden, but He still stuck around for them and all their descendants. Isn’t that quite something, then?
Compare that to when Jesus was born. God Almighty the Son comes into this crappy earth with parents forced to stay in a cave and Himself placed in a feed holder. He’s wriggling and crying around in it like every other human baby, and He’s not shooting laser beams or shock waves out of His body. Also, He and His family on earth went to the land of His foster father’s ancestors, all because the ruling Roman Empire wanted to make a count and evaluation of the whole population and property within their conquered lands. Along with that, lights and angels ended up scaring shepherds who were near the place where Jesus was born, and what they got wasn’t “FEAR ME, YOUR SINFUL WORLD IS DOOMED FOR DAMNATION” but…
“Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:10-12
And they still said that and praised God Almighty even after they gave them poor foolish shepherds a scare. The shepherds did pay the Holy Family a visit afterwards and even gave praise and thanks to God because of that, but trying to look at it from their shoes back when the angels told them about Jesus, I probably would’ve been scared and confused as well. I mean, it’s God Almighty, that great mysterious being with so much power, so much that just a bit of it can crush us dust particles into even smaller particles! I’d definitely be expecting something big first, especially with His promises to save a nation or a race or a freaking big bunch of people from a bigger and more evil force! And if He shows up, He’s definitely gonna do it in a way so amazing that we’d end up scared and confused!
And then Jesus Christ was born the lowest of the low on earth. And the angels were still glorifying God Almighty, even with that. They even gave some directions to where He was at.
My pridefully self-deprecating personality would definitely be offended by that, because man, why is God Almighty trying to outdo my ass in self-deprecation? He ain’t even poor! He’s Perfection! Ultimate Perfection! Stop trying to one-up me, God!
But really, thinking about it another way, I can see that God does love us. He let Himself be born on earth so helpless as an infant, it’s as if He’s really risking receiving ridicule and harm even from the very start of His life here…and speaking of the very start, He was already risking it even during His stay in Mama Mary’s womb, which would’ve caused bigtime chaos from their society on earth if they ever found out about it, considering things like how that happened right before she and her betrothed Saint Joseph actually got married. I even feel like saying “He understands us” alone wouldn’t be enough to show the depths of His love for us! Try taking some time to understand how He managed to relate to us through just His conception and birth, then, and remember that that’s just a part of all the many great things that God Almighty has done for us.
And you know what? Even with all those lowly conditions of His birth on earth, Jesus didn’t even hide the fact that He is God Almighty. He didn’t pretend to be human, but He lived as the great and mysterious being that He has been, still is, and will forever be, one both full God and full human in a way beyond our human sense of mathematics and science and all that. He had angels announce His arrival, and He didn’t lord His power over us the way we twisted humans tend to do. Instead, He asked us not to be afraid. He also asked us to find Him, and He even gave us directions.
And at the same time, He was even risking getting found and attacked by enemies. Light is not supposed to be hidden, after all, and Lucifer would certainly be at work already, trying to find a way to pervert the light of God to his liking, but still, God’s light and His exposure of it never means giving up or losing, for how can the Ultimate Perfection lose?
So who was He letting Himself be in danger for, then? Really, even a believer like me has times when I doubt His actions for us. After all, He is the Ultimate Perfection. What point does He think He can make by stooping to our lowly level? That He understands? Doesn’t He already understand? He knows everything, right? Why doesn’t He do anything to make us better already, to do as we want?
And then I look again at the other parts of the life of Christ. I find Him telling me and the rest of imperfect humanity off, and it makes me feel like I should’ve stumbled upon His manger and crushed Him or something, but even in His suffering, I feel like I will always lose and He will always win.
Why would He go so low for us? For someone like me? For all this crap the Father’s Creation turned itself into? Can He even understand this self-hatred we imperfect humans all have?
And then I remember again: He lowered Himself to our level. Somehow, He never sins, but He lowered Himself to our level. He could have left us alone to rot, could have treated us like how we usually like to treat criminals, but He didn’t. And if we asked for Him to leave us alone, He would…for a while. But even then, He wouldn’t force us to follow Him. He would let us stumble around, let us be fools, let us choose to be with Him or not, all while He still calls us and gives us directions and all that. He even leaves Himself open to any attacks from us!
A prideful personality would never be able to comprehend that. A prideful personality would have a hard time accepting the great and perfect complexity that is God Almighty. A prideful personality would think itself more beautifully complex than God Almighty. Help would be seen as self-serving. Smiles would be seen as masks. Emptiness would be seen as peace. The self is all that matters.
Heh, with how we make and share all them jokes and memes and quotes in which we summarize humanity while claiming that we are more complex than that, we might as well just stop and just bow down to God. Really, who else made us beautifully complex and even more beautifully complex? And why do others matter to us as much as our selves do? Why do we still fight on and strive for improvement and progress?
And so, I would like to give thanks and praise to God. I could list down all the things that are making my life so crappy right now, but counting nothing is too easy, so yeah, let’s up the difficulty and get humbled harder than when I listen to Kendrick Lamar.
First off, I would like to thank God for giving me another year of life. I’m fumbling, still, but nice things still happen to me, even when I feel like I don’t deserve them ’cause I’m a giant idiot. I guess taking the love God gives me can be called self-love as well, then? Like, I think love for self, love for others, and love for God are things that happen together, see. It’s not one before the other, but all three happening together…kinda like the Holy Trinity. All powered by God, of course.
And then I would like to thank God for giving me and my girlfriend strength to get to a year with our relationship. Really, I’m starting to understand why them Catholic mentors value the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony so much…and yes, we’re considering that even now. We wanna be serious about this, y’know? So yeah, more God-centeredness so that we can endure and strengthen each other better. How my girl and I can stand each other for so long, how my parents can stand each other for so long, how all those great couples I look up can stand each other for so long…Yup, definitely powered by God Almighty.
Now, I would like to thank God Almighty very much for giving me friends IRL and online, from high school friends and university religious orgmates to Discord server buddies and fellow crazy fans. I wouldn’t say that they’re the best people in the world, but I also wouldn’t say that they’re not important to me. They help me figure myself out and be myself, both through their challenging flaws and their supportive strengths. And even though there are a bunch who have beliefs that are crazily different from mine, I can see the face of Jesus in them all. And hey, if I’m managing to improve even with such crazy peeps as my friends, then I think that’s more God Almighty at work.
And then I would like to thank God Almighty for my education. Not every Filipino can go as far as the University of the Philippines, let alone reach Graduating status there, and even though I have my complaints about it, it would be self-destruction if I never acknowledge how it has helped me be who I am now. And hey, even my failures in school are things I would like to thank God for, for they got me slowing down to see how I can improve as well. Maybe I’ll be delayed for longer again, or maybe I won’t, but whatever happens, I know I can’t learn the best I can learn without God’s power, so yeah. Also, it’s definitely God Almighty at work if I can live well enough past all them teachers and classmates with beliefs that get me stressed a lot.
I would like to thank God Almighty for all these talents and skills too, as I would never feel like somebody without them and their development. The chance to show my talents and skills off is already something to be grateful for, too, and so is the chance to get feedback on them, even though they can be difficult stuff. All these talents and skills and their development are certainly things from God, indeed. Oh, and so are the inspirations for them. A bunch of them aren’t great believers in God, but there’s no good reason to be cynical, especially with all them bits of goodness that are like precious metals and minerals to be mined from the dirt and crafted into more worthwhile pieces. Thank God Almighty very much, indeed.
And now I would like to thank God Almighty for my family. They’re not that poor in materials, and they’re not poor in character as well! They go all the way for me, even risking getting failure, mockery, harm, and all that as they help me grow and be myself. They have their flaws, and they wish that I would understand them better, but I can see that they are trying to understand me better, too! They let me go for Creative Writing in college, they gave me a boarding house unit more expensive but more convenient, they try to understand my interests, and they are honest and constructive when they don’t like something about me. They help me get closer to God, and they help me fit into the community better. And man, thinking about how family has been helping me, there’s so much more, so much more that it makes me think that I still have a lot I can thank God for in all the previous aspects I covered in all these thanksgivings. I think I can see more of how the family is the basic unit of society again, too! I wouldn’t have been able to work up all the things before without them, and of course, the family is nothing without God Almighty!
And yeah, I would like to praise and thank God Almighty very much again for all the faith, hope, and love, and all that good stuff He gives. Considering the story of Jesus’ conception and birth, He certainly knows how we struggle to maintain good relationships, how we struggle to build a good family, how we struggle to make a good living, how we struggle to fight against oppression, and so much more…so much that I even feel like I don’t need to be ashamed of being Filipino as well. Thank God Almighty very much again and again and again, indeed!
So yeah, that’s a lot of gifts I got this Christmas, no? Really, it’s quite surprising in both quality and quantity…and I don’t think I’ve counted everything yet!
Well, I guess I’ll have to ask God for directions and follow Him, then. I already got good stuff, so why not go for better? And hey, why don’t we share all this good stuff we got with each other?
With that, I greet you all a Merry Christmas! Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much! \(^o^)/
Here’s a story about someone known as a light bearer.
Praises be sung, our lord has returned victorious.
The cheers and chanting continued throughout the capital as its ruler made his triumphant return. The citizens lit torches and kindled celebratory flames in order to welcome their light bringer. They sang praises of his exploits in battle, how he alone destroyed half the enemy army. They celebrated their victory over their greatest enemy, one who was threatening their very way of existence. The roads leading to the palace looked like rivers of gold, and the palace itself shone like the sun.
The Festival of lights marked the Demon king’s return.
Word Count: 99
My friend just increased my interest in Goblin Slayer. Whoop-dee-doo~
The Halloween season has given me some impetus to think about the horror genre. A while back, an academic named E. Michael Jones was on the Patrick Coffin show explaining how he thought about the horror genre. He has written at least two works on this subject: Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film and Sex with Monsters. Jones believes that the modern horror genre arose as a reaction to the free love movements of the 19th century and reached its full flowering following the Sexual Revolution. Many persons were hurt by the myriad problems which inevitably arise from sexual licentiousness and enjoyed a cathartic reaction from a central message of many horror stories: sex can kill you.
You all know how this story ends. Or, if you don’t, School Days should be on your list.
School Daysmight be the anime locus classicus
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Trump, Jong-un, Putin, Duterte
All of them? Man, they’re just henchmen
I’m a boss, they can’t control me
They’re just left to think they own me
Look What You Made Me Do’s pathetic
Sounding like Kanye so Famous
Taking shots so that means that
I’ll get fired back-to-back
Like waking Drake, where I’ll get burned
Shining just like his treasures
But that won’t send me up to Mars
‘Cause planet Earth needs better stars
Though what’s some better star up high
If ozone can’t go filter lights
Purple bruising up our skin
Cancer that will kill us, then
Like the Pauls who aren’t Saints
Satan’s not just flames and snakes
But those bros are still just henchmen
Who’s the master? I check this
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Fairest player of them all
Has a floating mask in green
For the old and jealous queens
Feeling like a middle child
Singing in a “charity”
“Follow your heart, it’s never wrong”
“Don’t listen to them, believe your own”
With that, I hope I can hold
A scalpel for when I go croak
Like Black Jack working on himself
But how much would the charge be, then?
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