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Throughout history we have heard about tales and visions of beasts and monsters in all kinds of forms from tigers, to lions, to dragons, to a combination of all of these, and others.

But the most dangerous beast is the one that shows up disguised as human yet hiding envy, hate, fear and other emotions. Such beasts are ready to attack at any moment. Their attack can kill, while the attackers stays safe in their own prisons.

Beasts may attack while we sleep, and we dismiss the attack as simply: not real. But when we are awake, we have to react.

Many times in our lives, we face beasts and monsters without realizing what is happening. When we become aware of the attack it may be too late; the damage is already done, the hurt is accomplished and the attacker is laughing at its own victory.

The 17th century Italian scientist, and pious man, Galileo, encountered many beasts and monsters, specially when he faced the Inquisition.

One of his inventions was the telescope through which Jupiter was seen for the first time. Galileo encountered resistance, as described in a letter to his friend Kepler, "I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or moon or my telescope."

But what got him in trouble with the Catholic Church was his support for the Copernican system which stipulates that while the sun stands still, the earth and other planets move around it. This was in contradiction with the teachings of the Church, and with what people believed for many centuries. For this reason, Galileo was considered and heretic, that is a misbeliever, and was charged with heresy, which was punished by death.

Courageously, he faced the Inquisitors more than once, and was miraculously condemned to life in prison, instead of death. Later on, that sentence was changed to house arrest until his death in 1642. In spite of facing the monstrous Inquisitors, he never changed his views to suit his accusers.

In the end, we should be grateful for our encounters with the beasts that show up in our lives, because there is our chance to remember what we forgot; that is, to ask for help to handle the attack and the attacker.

This is what Hermes did, as detailed in the Shepherd of Hermes, a book that  was part of the New Testament up to the 4th century. This book and others are not part of the present New testament, because apparently, they were not written by the Apostles.

Hermes describes one of his visions, as he was walking in the countryside and " a huge beast, nearly 100 feet long, looking like a sea monster showed up. Thinking of God, Hermes gave himself over to the beast. As he approached the monster, it stopped and did nothing but stick out its   tongue."

Than, a woman, dressed in white and looking like a bride, showed up and spoke to Hermes "You escaped well" she said, "because you cast your anxiety upon God and opened your heart to the Lord, believing that you could not be saved except through his great and glorious name."

We need to stop being "double-minded," that is, stop   believing that we can escape by ourselves without asking for help. The woman explained that "the wild beast is a foreshadow of the great affliction that is coming."

The Shepherd of Hermes, helps us understand the symbols of the Bible, and  the message that we need not fear the beasts that show up in our lives; but, we
must be willing to face them. Such encounters may help us become stronger and more willing to remember God, and aware of His presence and effect in our lives.

The Shepherd of Hermes could have been written today, because the human condition is still the same. In the end, nothing has changed.


Written by author:
Odete M. Bigote
Copyright 9/2006

Odete Martins Bigote Author: "You Can Remember Love: Contemplations on Science and Spirituality." Discover that you are a powerful hologram and rediscover a new you.

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