Hallowed Be Thy Faith
"We're still here, Marcus," Lucretia exclaimed as her brother stared disbelieving at her through the open doorway. "Yes, innocent blood spilled this night, just as you intended it to. The Chapel is nothing but smoke and ruins. Many of us think there is no hope to be found. I say there is. Though numbers of us died, we are still here," she spoke as she pushed past him.
"I would have been in there tonight if not for Seneca, the man who you and father despise so much for believing in something different. It hurts to know that my own family would kill me for such an act." Marcus was still unable to say a word. He was standing there looking as if he was seeing a ghost.
"You and father were so shocked when you found out but then that shock turned into anger. Father disowned me before the entire house. According to him, I am no longer your sister. Do you want to know what brought about the change of faith for me?" She waited for an answer but when she saw there was to be one, she ventured on.
"I remember exactly how it happened. Whenever we went out of the house, what lined the streets?" she asked, already knowing the answer. "Roman citizens; our own people. They were nailed to those crosses just as their savior had been. We left them on those crosses to die a slow and painful death. They deserved it, we said, for going up against the gods.
Their cries for mercy and for death followed me wherever I went. Day and night they plagued me until I felt I would go mad. Try as I might I could never get away from their screams. I prayed to the gods to end my suffering but relief did not come until the day I met Seneca in the market. As I listened to his words, their screams quieted.
I was overcome with joy. He invited me to go to a meeting with him. The words of God and Christ made me realize that the screams were not sent to torment me but to open my eyes to what we were doing. So many we punished for only having a different faith." Marcus was still rooted to the spot. Lucretia knew that he would not be going anywhere until she was done telling him what she had to say. An unseen force kept him from fleeing her words.
"Christians. He spat that word as if we had something bile in our mouths. These people worship one God and we stone them in the streets. Through all their suffering, their faith prevails. Christianity has prevailed through all persecution; no matter what we do. I am not ashamed to say that I believe in one God, His only Son our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Their God is forgiving. All we have to do is repent or our sins and we are forgiven. How can anyone be that merciful?
My heart has been uplifted by the grace of his will and I thank him for leading Seneca to me. Without him, I would still be just like you, lost and angry at the world for its cruelness. God is here, right now, begging you to let him into your heart and away from the path of the devil. Lucifer resides within your heart and every day that your remain this way he rejoices." For a few moments she swore she heard the ringing of laughter. Marcus was glaring at her struggling at unknown bindings on his arms and legs. She knew if he had the power of movement she would likely be lying in a pool of her own blood.
"Marcus! Do not listen to him! He only speaks lies. The truth and the light come from Jesus Christ himself and his father. I know you can hear me," she cried taking a few tentative steps forward. "Come any close, wretch, and I'll kill this pathetic fools where he stands," a voice not her brother's came forth from his mouth. The voice was low and harsh.
In response to the demon's words, she recited these words, "Our father who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom Come, Thy will be Done, … ," The words comforted her as she went on. As she finished, she knew God was would protect her and she was no longer afraid.
Steam began to rise from her brother's skin. It took Lucretia a moment to understand what was happening. His eyes gazed at her pleading for her to help him. She knew it was not by her power but by the power of God that the demon was being cast out.
"You may have survived this battle, girl, but I still own this weak fool's soul. If I be cast out, he come with you," the demon threatened as Marcus's body crumpled in pain. "You will not take him!" She cried as she kneeled beside him and stuck the small wooden cross she had been grasping in her hands into his own. "Fight him, Marcus. I know you have the strength. Ask God for forgiveness and accept him into your heart. The demon is losing his battle," she pleaded for him to hear her.
She held her brother's limp form in her arms. After several moments, he still did not stir. For a second she feared he was dead but then he moved. "Lucretia?" Marcus asked groggily, as if he had been sick for days. She began to weep for the voice was that of her beloved elder brother. Lucretia hugged him tightly to her. He hugged her back. All of a sudden his shoulders started shaking. She realized he was shaking from muffled laughter. For a moment she feared he had gone mad. "Foolish girl," the demon cooed in her ear. Lucretia wrenched herself from his grasp and stared dumbfounded at him.
"Your brother is mine and he forever will be," it crowed. She ran from the house. His maniacal laughter followed after her. Not once did she dare look back. Never did she lay eyes on her brother again. She married Seneca and lived a long happy life with him. That was only one of the many battles fought through out history between God and the Devil. The war is still upon us. It shall end when trumpets sound.