Sermons of the Teachings of Angels

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Sir Karsimir
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Sermons of the Teachings of Angels

Post by Sir Karsimir » Tue May 20, 2008 2:42 am

OOC: Sermons preached within the refugee compound, delivered by Sir Karsimir himself. Everyone in the compound is invited to hear, although sentries remain on duty. A policy for those outside the compound will be dealt with on an individual basis.

For those who wish to imagine his accent, replacing 'w' with 'v' will be a good start. 'Th' becomes 'd' and a normal 'd' becomes 't'. :D



Welcome!

People have come here today to hear of the Teachings of Angels. Those of you who haven't, I am about to give a sermon so no dozing.

We start, not with tales of glory or power, no story of the greatness of a distant being. Today, we speak of the Teachings of Angels, and what your greatness can be. These Teachings focus not on praise, but on living a virtuous life.

Why that? Because when we all help each other, everyone prospers. How does this compound work? Through people helping each other. The rampart, the earth-made wall which protects us, was built with your own hands. That earth wall protects my men as well. Our goal is to provide safety and shelter, thank you for making that easier.

The first virtue we shall cover is Humility. One we all need to take care to practice. I certainly need to. This is a virtue so widely misunderstood. We do not practice humility through degrading ourselves. We practice it through respect for others.

Look at yourselves, and you will see a worthwhile person. One who can do good. One capable of strengths you may not even see... Look at the person next to you. I just said the exact same thing to them. Each and every one of you has a right to a happy life.

To be humble, we must learn to recognise what is great and strong in ourselves. See it, remember it, know it well. From there, you will be able to see what is great and strong in others. Recognise their beauty and courage. Respect it. Recognise your own strength as a gift to be shared. Humility is a source of kindness, for in being humble, we know that others deserve our help.

As you deserve ours.

Once again, I speak to all of you. You have the same rights as everyone else in this room, as everyone elsewhere. The right to live without fear of torture, assault, theft or murder. Everyone has that right, and none of you are different from that. All acts of cruelty deny that right, the right we live by. What we must remember is our rights are the same as anyone else. So when we agree to deny the rights of others, we agree to deny the rights of ourselves.

We all have flaws, we each make mistakes. Part of why I chose this sermon is because I have failed in humility recently, so I have had much to think of on this subject. Ultimately, our flaws are not immense in a world full of countless people each as important as we are. What we do is our choice. What others do is theirs. We need not accept or welcome their choices, indeed there are times we must not, nor must we claim credit for the work of devils.

So remember this. We are all flawed, and we are all worthwhile, and there is no contradiction in being both.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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Sir Karsimir
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Re: Sermons of the Teachings of Angels

Post by Sir Karsimir » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:54 am

Courage.

A powerful word. A meaningful word. A vague word.

Many songs are sung about courage, most of them get it wrong. They sing of going off to fight distant wars, they sing of mighty battles and great victories, after which comes peace and the easy years of a pleasant life.

That's not what courage is about at all.

What courage is about is those years which are not easy, the readiness to face a struggle, then struggle again. How many of you have ever used a sword? Not many I imagine. No matter. I have seen many brave deeds done without weapons, and many cowardly deeds done with them. What else is preying on the defenceless but cowardice?

One of the greatest examples of bravery I have seen was from a farmer, working in the city for months alone, sending money home to support his wife. How easy would it be to give up? But no, a loved one was counting on him and he would not fail her. Courage.

My old mentor once told me a tale of a demi-lancer he served with. There was no name, because the demi-lancer does not enjoy the story, but it is an example of courage on the battlefield. Fighting a battle with beasts of the north, and the lancers shattered themselves on a charge. Line broke, morale failed. That is the worst time to be a soldier. People dying all around, shaken and thrown from the horse, no clue where even the ground is. When they regroup, the demi-lancer was crying with shame because he fouled himself. The creatures surged forward after the charge, and he drew his sabre and kept fighting, and ended up saving his captains life. The captain lived because that lancer kept fighting, because of that lancer's bravery.

A final tale, a hard drinking soldier who fought with anything that walked, crawled or swam. Then he got religion, became a priest. On his way to the church he met a man he had once beaten in a drunken brawl, the man remembered this and struck the priest full in the face. He got up, and like I say was once a soldier, he could have made a very one-sided fight. But he'd given up brawling. So he stopped, and he wept with the struggle of holding back. Then he turned and walked away. That was one of the bravest deeds I have ever seen in my life.

We are told that Courage is the first of all virtues. There is truth in that. Courage is the ability to act rightly when we know it will be hard. Any virtue we have needs courage to follow it through. Better to do right and die than to do wrong and prosper. A kind act is a brave act. Humility is often brave, admitting a mistake can be hard to do, far easier to disguise the wrong. Truth can be scary at times, honesty is often an act of courage.

I could go on.

More than anything, Courage is the power to choose what is right, not what we want, not what is easy. To cast aside personal interest and decide what matters more. Most of us know evil deeds when we hear them calling, we are just scared to admit them as such and so we pretend they are something better. Courage is the power to hear that call and to refuse. Courage is opposing evil wherever it is found, and Courage is the will to look inward.

You may have noticed that courage is many things.

There is great strength in self-sacrifice, for although there will be a price to be payed, we have the option to pay it. When we can pay that price for ourselves, accept hardship when we see need, we can do truly great things.

Better to do right and die than to do wrong and prosper. Accepting this, living by it, gives us the gift of courage. A gift truly worth having.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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Re: Sermons of the Teachings of Angels

Post by Sir Karsimir » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:18 am

Altruism. Another word for greatness. Pure altruism is helping others without need for reward or payment. Giving freely for the sake of another.

So I ask you all, why to help others? Go on.

"Things work better when we all help each other instead of working against each other."
"Because of our religious duty."
"Because it's fun!"

Very true. Good answer Jenny. When we all help each other, everyone prospers. As for religious duty I would wonder if the help is given for the sake of the person or for the god, still, I would want my faith to be known for acts of compassion and helping those in need. And yes, helping others can be very much fun - I certainly enjoy it.

If I had to choose one reason, I would say because they are in need. That is reason enough.

There is much we can do for others. We can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, strengthen the weak, enlighten the ignorant. All of these are great things we can do. Through these deeds, we can have stronger, wiser, happier people in this world. With every person we save, we save a child's laugh, a mother's smile, a lover's kiss. When we kill, all we end up with is a heap of dead meat. Had I wanted that, I would go work in a slaughterhouse.

Our deeds are all we have. Yes, there are objects in our keeping. All of you have been given new shirts, new clothing. Still, those things go away. I owned a sword, and now I do not. Yes, I gave it, but I took it after a battle. I think I kept hold of it for a grand total of six days. These possessions go simply by not having hold of them. Deeds remain with us.

And if any deed is to stay with us, I would want it to be making the world a better place. Should events turn against us, should we fail to achieve what we wish, that is misfortune. Altruism is in the choices we make, not the outcome. Now this is why I say better to do right and die than to do wrong and prosper. Because we do something truly magnificent with our acts of kindness. We create a better world in which good deeds are done.

How we treat those around us shapes the world. In being honest, we make a world in which the truth is told. When we lie, we create a world of deceit. When we help those a need, we create a world of compassion. And when we walk past those in pain, we build a world where people walk by. In that world lives our families, our brothers, our sisters, our parents and children, our friends. What world we create is our gift to them.

Each of us, by living in this world, holds a part of it in our hands. What we do with that part is our choice and ours alone.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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Sir Karsimir
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Re: Sermons of the Teachings of Angels

Post by Sir Karsimir » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:04 am

Greetings good people, thank you again for joining me.

Today is the day in which I scare off most of the puradynes. Because now I'm going to cover cosmology.

We create our own demons. We create angels too. If you seek an answer from the Heavens how the Earth came to be, we don't have one, and we don't much care. I will pray to the angels because they are virtue incarnate, the essence of courage and compassion, of justice and honour. Any older, primordial force behind creation must be judged on it's own merits. It might be more powerful than all the angels. Holiness is not measured in age or power, not to those of us who hold virtues sacred.

Angels are the substance of virtue. Gods are the stuff of power. Demons are the essence of sin. For those of you wondering about fae, they are spirits of nature, and nature can be found both in the raging storm and in the gentle warmth of sunlight, or the water we drink which gives us life. So that makes fae capable of both wonderful and of terrible things, which is much the same as being human.

We can call magic evil, but evil is in torture and murder and betrayal, in acts of deliberate cruelty. These utter atrocities happen without the aid of magic. You know this. Living in the shantytown taught you that much. I fought against brigands, slavers and thieves who used no magic. We don't need some corrupting force for there to be sin in the world, mortals can provide that for ourselves. Externalising a source of evil forgets our part in our actions. People choose to do some very bad things in this world, and some very good things.

Allow me to tell you exactly why magic is dangerous and frightening. It is the stuff of dreams. Raw reflections of the mind. Our highest hope and our darkest nightmare. We struggle to seperate those in our own hearts. How are we expected to decide dreams taking shape on the world around us? Dreams can be both beautiful and horrifying. Pure magic is pure change, and when everything changes at once none of the changes fit together, and the world falls apart.

I carry the blessings of an angel myself. So the question becomes where magic ends and miracles begin. The answer is with ideals. Compassion, valour, justice and honour in the flesh, manifesting directly upon the world. Now I won't detail how it works, that is treading the edge of the law. What I can say is that most spells are designed to channel specific changes, rather than a flood of change, which is why the Battlemage headquarters has not dissolved into an oddly shaped jelly.

So the path to purity, to holiness, is to take full responsibility for ourselves. Not to hide behind the corrupting force of magic, because that is as corrupt as the world makes it. So what are these dark reflections of the mind we must seek to erase. Hatred? Anger? Grief? No. We can hate cruelty and injustice where we find it, and we have every right to be angry at these things. When a loved one is lost or suffers then I would be very worried for those who not mourn. What we oppose is cruelty, injustice, betrayal.

By refusing cruelty when it calls, by refusing to pervert justice for our own ends, by refusing to hurt those who trust us, we contribute to the purity of the world. Deeds and the choices made by our own will are what we are responsible for. That is one thing no magic can change.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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