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Piov

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    Bishop Benedict

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  1. “A very well-written work on the life of an admirable figure whose life was defined by chivalry, duty, and integrity,” Sir Terrence comments as he gets a hold of this new edition!
  2. Statement from the Office of Sir Terrence May GCM A Servant’s Reflection and Farewell 14th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1768 A convocation of the Imperial Diet at Varoche Hall, c. 1767 To the Orenian people, For over three decades, it has been my highest honor in holding your trust of electing me to serve as your representative in the Imperial Senate. In my time in Helena, I have worked tirelessly for the benefit of our Empire and for the voices of the Northern frontier. To all of my supporters in the entirety of our land, I owe you equal gratitude and respect for the chance to be your senator and as leader in the House of Commons. I began my journey as a fisherman seeking employment after the end of the War of Two Emperors. I moved to the Duchy of Valwyck where I labored along the coasts. It was there that I was given the opportunity to embark for Reza where I represented Northern communities for the Baruch fiefdom. Shortly thereafter, I was appointed to the Imperial government as a junior minister in the capacity of the Auditor-General and Chairman of the Board of Notaries for which I served until my return to Haense in 1731. For a brief year, I served as Lord Palatine before my call to serve in the Imperial Senate by the late King Andrik III. Terrence May in his office, Helena, c. 1730 When I came to Helena as Senator-designate in 1736, it was an atmosphere filled with optimism; our chance of renewal was at hand. I swiftly got to work and introduced the Senate Committees Act of 1737, the very first bill ever passed in the Imperial Senate that created permanent committees to ensure that we, as the voices of our constituents, have the authority to oversee actions of the executive. I firmly believed it is important that the Senate assert its power to oversee the actions of our Imperial State and its officials, with the primary goal in mind to foster transparency and trust after nearly a century of uncertainty and instability. In 1740, I stood for re-election for the first time, with greater hope in our nation. With an overwhelming majority, you all gave me the chance to return to Helena to represent our values. We have promoted working opportunities to give businesses and laborers visibility and accessibility to promote our market growth in the Imperial Employment Opportunities Act of 1743. I also introduced legislation that creates standards for our education, ensuring that provincial schools and Imperial academies prepare our future generations with the knowledge and skills to take on the challenges of their time with the Scholastic Organization Act of 1745. I introduced legislation, the Criminal Justice Reform Act of 1746, to reform our law enforcement, the courts, and our treatment of those convicted so that our actions always reflect the values of an enlightened and modern society. In 1746, I was elected President pro tempore of the Imperial Senate, an office that I assumed with great diligence and responsibility. My mandate was to ensure that the supreme legislature maintained its integrity in the eyes of the Orenian people. Together, we continued the business of the nation to ensure that every voice in the Senate was heard and respected. When we faced a budget issue that spanned nearly three years, we got to work and passed the Imperial Budget Procedure of 1751. Together with Senator Callahan of Kaedrin, I co-sponsored the Public Records Act of 1751 to maintain the transparency of the Senate’s work, a principle I held since my first day in this office. We confirmed many judges, Imperial councillors, and officials throughout our time here, promoting the dialogue that a just and balanced system requires of us. Surely, compromise is easier said than done. However, it is what is necessary for us. In 1750, His Imperial Majesty gave me the honorific as the ‘Father of the Senate’ to commemorate my service to the Empire by installing me as Grand Commander of the Order of Merit, the highest honor in the Imperial Order of Merit. However, it would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the support, hope, and strength that my constituents have given me in this place to work on their behalf. My successes are not merely mine, but that of the Haeseni people and of the entirety of the Orenian public, in whose name I legislate and serve. In 1759, I authored the Amyas Act after learning that our clinics and hospitals were lacking in necessary utilities to adequately care for patients. I also authored the Civil Unions Act of 1760, permitting the ability of the courts to institute unions recognized by the state for those hard-working subjects who do not adhere to the Canonist Faith. However, I would be remiss if I did not also convey the challenging times that tested my resolve as I served in public service. Clashes with bureaucrats who saw their personal gain over the welfare of the State, malicious actors seeking to silence our deliberative body from acting in the best interest, or radicals who sought to undermine our security by bombing Varoche Hall, I am proud that our resilience has withstood the times. I remind you that it is the legislative’s prerogative to hold to account all who wield power over men, crusading for the truth, and standing in the face of corruption. Without the collective strength of good colleagues, impassioned voters, and the providence of God to uphold us, we would not have prevailed. As we now embark on a new legislative journey brought forward by the Edict of Reform, the chance to renew our commitment and to make firm the equitable values of a great society is still a task for us. After winning an election with a clear mandate from you, I was struck with great joy and hope that we could forge a future fitting for the many generations who will come after. After being in public life for so long, I have learned that the greatest dignity one can achieve is in the unconditional service for others, especially those who struggle to prosper. It is their cause that must keep us fixated on what matters most. I address you all now as a man who has sought to keep your sacred trust with my entire being, knowing that there is still work that needs to be fulfilled. With many rapid questions facing our society, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer hold the strength to make these important decisions and legislate with all the means required of me. For over thirty years, I have been your Senator and Member of the House, working to achieve this vision; for this, I am truly grateful. Therefore, I am announcing that I shall step down as Leader of the Josephites and shall be retiring from the House of Commons. I do so freely and with great consciousness to the gravity of my decision for the life of the Imperial legislature and of my voters, to whom I am eternally grateful. It has been the greatest joy of my life to serve. To all of my staff, I am pleased with the work we have done together throughout the years. In consultation with the Josephite Committee and the convention at-large, I am happy to announce my successor, Jonah Stahl Elendil, who shall lead the Josephites into the future with great vigor. I may be retiring from public office, but I assure you that our cause continues to burn bright. I will continue to serve you all as I have done throughout my entire career. However, I must warn that as legislators sworn to the public interest, it is our duty to be cognizant of our words and actions. The spirit of factionalism is one that has increased the turnout of participation in our electoral politics, but we must not let the temptation of rancor, avarice, and malicious untruths tarnish and degrade our institutions. For if we allow this to fester, I fear that we need not look at the outside for a threat to our prosperity, but from within ourselves. President pro tempore Terrence May during the Eighth Session of the Imperial Senate, c. 1751 To my colleagues, both past and present, there have been a great many names and personalities that I have come to cherish over this long career here in the legislature. To colleagues such as Sir Frederick Armas, Sir Charles Napier, Senator Vivaca Rutledge, Senator Siegmund Corbish, Senator Cyrus Basrid, Senator Arthur Callahan, Sir Konrad Stafyr, Senator Urrigon Drumm, Senator Lauritz Christiansen, and many others throughout these years have made this a fulfilling and honorable institution. To my new members who have joined me on this fight for dignity on the Josephite benches, I commend your work and strength. Many names have emerged like that of Jonah Elendil and Angelika Bykov with whom I had the pleasure to learn and work with. I also extend my greatest admiration for Leader Amadeus d’Aryn and the Everardine members, who continue to share in the work of a great future and who are so deeply invested in the welfare of our fellow citizens which we all love. Some have dubbed me the ‘Father of the Imperial Diet’ or some other accolade far beyond my credentials, but in truth, the greatest satisfaction is knowing that I leave behind a generation of leaders poised to see that our country succeeds and our rights preserved. I know they will make the people proud and I will be with them on the campaign trail and as their counsel for as long as I am here. May God continue to bless us in these times as we look ahead to strengthen the Tapestry of Man. May the saints intercede for us and may the Frontier State prosper forever. Totally yours, Terry
  3. “We should’ve sang ‘All are Welcome’ instead,” Bishop Benedict says to his nephew Josef as he reads the Scrolls to him.
  4. WORD ON OWYN’S FIRE Presents: SACRED STUDY WITH ARCHBISHOP BENEDICT, O.W.F. ☨ A series on Canonist Theology Dear faithful, In a time of great growth and progress, it is necessary to delve deeper into our spiritual conscience. The developments of the last few decades have presented the Canonist Church an opportunity to renew its commitment to the flock to shepherd faith, morality, and virtue into society. With the dissemination of our most hallowed words of the Exalted Prophets by the Holy Father James II, I find that it is the obligation of the Holy Church is to guide the wisdom of the verbum with unconditional fervor to all our baptized brethren and to the unbelieving. I devote these upcoming themes and works so that you might find God in your own search for the truth. May the words that flow from my pen become a humble guide for your reflections in your faith life. I pray that God shall grant me the strength to faithfully speak and write. Grant that He shall help me discern the truth and hear His words. Within the next few saint’s week, I shall be publishing personal reflections on the story of the Scrolls and their value to us today. In this two part series, we will delve into the great mysteries of faith. Join me as we begin covering important topics that characterize the faith and life of a Canonist. The Exalted: A Series Horen of Gamesh: A Theology of Prophetic Obedience Godfrey of Oren: A Theology of Virtuous Unity Owyn: A Theology of Spiritual Vigilance Sigismund: A Theology of Clairvoyance Essays on Living through the Scrolls “Finding God in Charity” “Loving with Tenderness” “Searching for Fulfillment” With fidelity and love, Friar Benedict of Reza, O.W.F., Archbishop of Caeruleum
  5. Bishop Benedict takes the missive and holds it up to his candle, reading it before his nightly prayers. He solemnly nods, looking out to great sky and pondering the future ahead, “Gratias tibi frater..”
  6. A HEART OF GOLD 14th of Owyn’s Flame, 1765 To the Orenian people, It is no mere coincidence that we celebrate a feat of Orenian popular sovereignty and unity in the golden anniversary from the signing of the Nenzing Proclamation to the soldiers in the battlefield who rose their banners for the Josephite cause in 1715. None could imagine the inspirational character that those who sacrificed their lives then have garnered for us today. Half a century onward, in an unprecedented way, we have demonstrated great change for this Empire. All across our land, the people have casted their ballots to determine the future and the direction of this great Empire. I address all today, not as the Leader of the Josephites, nor as a Member of the House of Commons, but as a citizen with the hopes of strengthening the social contract and the vision of those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our liberties. Today, your voices have been heard and we in the House of Commons shall now fulfill our obligation. I am humbled in achieving this mandate to govern in your name. This campaign has shown an unprecedented turnout in a country energized and ready to take on the challenges before us. I want to extend a hand of camaraderie to those on the other side, namely to Leader Pruvia and his deputies for waging a movement that brought many people to the fore of public discourse. We recognize that not everyone is content and not everyone is satisfied. Now, laying down the fervor of this contest, we now solemnly process to manifest our vision. I pledge that we will work closely on the many matters at hand. As we inaugurate this House and the many members who will partake in the important debates that will shape our Empire, I want to reiterate that before any loyalty to a faction or otherwise, this is a body sworn to better the welfare and union of our fellow citizens. After having nearly served for thirty years in these halls, I have learned that above all, Oren deserves legislators who will maintain principle, integrity, virtue, and an unwavering commitment to what is right. Anything less is unbecoming of the mandate we have been so graciously endowed. To those who supported this campaign from its inception up until now, I owe you my debt, not as your leader, but as a steward of your prosperity. We have embarked on a campaign that sought to uplift every sector of our country. Energized by your resolve, we obtained a mandate that cannot be put asunder. We now have a sacred duty to maintain our promises and to realize the shared vision of a bright future. To those who did not agree with us, I pledge myself to the campaign you have ran for the benefit of all. Even though the election has concluded, our work still continues to promote the Empire we seek to build. God save the Emperor! For the dignity of all, Sir Terrence May GCM, MHC Chairman of the Josephite Union
  7. Bishop Benedict nods approvingly upon reading the thesis, “A very well-written work by the one Anseld. Quite a promising theologian, I sense!”
  8. A depiction of the Josephite Rally in Reza, 1764. Ushering in Orenian Optimism 10th of Horen’s Calling, 1765 “For the dignity of all” My fellow citizens, The impending election gives us all a chance to reflect on the issues and the vision that we all seek to realize. The commitment to your welfare through the compassion and charity of public policy is tantamount to our cause. The ability for all citizens to enjoy their inalienable liberties remains as the core of our belief. Honoring the social contract, making the government a forum of integrity that promotes the dignity of each citizen. As you come to vote in this election, let me take this moment to discuss the future that we Josephites seek to build for you. First, let me share a brief word on our movement. I have opted to style ourselves as the Josephite Union because of my belief that we are a movement united in a cause to negotiate for the dignified policy on behalf of the Orenian people. For those who still have yet to decide, let me explain what dignified policy is all about. It is in the interests of our members that we pursue a social vision that includes every individual that calls Oren their home. We believe that a vision for the future requires optimism. All across this Empire, we have enjoyed the fruits of our labor. The unprecedented peace usher in by the Basrid Ministry, sorely earned by the unyielding sacrifice of our great soldiers, is surely an opportunity that we must seize. What has resulted from this? The Josephite inspiration has seen that Oren has enjoyed great growth in our realm. The outcrop of new businesses, big and small alike, all partake in the success of our times. We have seized on the cultural and intellectual awakening with the establishment of new royal academies, museums, libraries, and a generation of scholars poised to advance our minds into a new age. We have attracted a diverse workforce, regardless of socio-political station or race, to fill the intellectual and labor gaps. We have seen an influx of doctors and artists, merchants from all lands enjoying a place to share their wares to a new consumer class. We need not look far to see the fruits of Josephite liberty, enlightenment, and modernity. Some have accused me of propagating a hidden agenda to erode the spiritual value of our civilization. As I have said on numerous occasions, both in the written word and in spoken form, that in no way does the Josephite movement seek to disrupt the authority and value of the Canonist Church. If anything, Josephinism has demonstrated how unique and exceptional we are, recognizing the free will from God to achieve the freedom and destiny of a determined people. The constitution rests in the integrity of the Crown, whose authority transcends all human respect with divine dominion. As such, we are all cooperators in the manifestation of a just, charitable, and united destiny. To some, the idea of “modernity”is a derogatory, or even nasty term. Those skeptical of modernity view it as a digression from the elements of humanity that have made us unique and exceptional. I do not contest that our traditional elements have had an indelible character to our greatness, but why stop there? Why be afraid? If anything, this moment has shown us that we MUST share our unique and exceptional civilization with the rest of the world. We are called to harmonize our identity, placing it in the larger context of the times. Finally, let me leave a final reflection before you are tasked with the sacred civic duty of casting your ballot. Think about whether or not the right for a people to determine their future was remotely possible. Think about the successes and even the struggles you face. Who is best to address these concerns? In the last fifty years, the Josephite ideology has sought a way out of strife and to forge a place that works for all. From the fight at Upper Rodenburg to the fiery debate in Varoche Hall, we have been the champions of your future. Ask yourself: Are you better off than you were a year or five years ago? We have taken the novel talent of this generation and have generated ideas and realities that were not possible nor even conceived at the beginning of this century. This is the vision of an optimistic Oren. Vote with your conscience. Vote for your future. Vote for yourselves. For the dignity of all, Sir Terrence May GCM Chairman of the Josephite Union
  9. FACTION AFFILIATION: JOSEPHITES FACTION LEADER NAME: Sir Terrence May GCM [Piov] DRAFT LIST: Sir Terrence May GCM [Piov] Edward Napier [Harren] Joseph Adler [wealthypiano] Sir Konrad Stafyr [AndrewTech] Cyrus Basrid [Erik0821] Jonah Stahl Elendil [JakobiWitness] Mary Philippa d’Arkent [Ivorey] Rennard Amador [moosehunter123] Armande de Falstaff [cruzazul] Edward Williams [sergisala] Godfrey Briarwood [KBR] Angelika Eleanor Vanir [FantineEponine] Cecil Halcourt [JamesTruwood] Aren Ault [Sykogenic] Edward Selm [spagbab] Do any members of the draft have any title, peerage or public service that may conflict with becoming a member of the House of Commons, as per the Edict of Reform (1763)?: No. If yes, do you understand that you will be asked to provide an alternative and legal candidate, and if this does not occur your faction’s seat shall be considered to be vacant?: Yes. ((MC name)): Piov
  10. A Josephite Vision: Reflections from the First Summit “For the dignity of all.” Structure Pursuant to our belief in the popular sovereignty of authority, we have opted to allow our delegates to determine their leadership. As such, the following have received popular mandate to guide the direction of the Josephite Union: Chair Sir Terrence May, GCM Executive Committee The Duke of Sunholdt Secretary Edward Napier [!] A campaign pamphlet is distributed by the Josephite Committee across the demesne. The convocation of the Josephites at Selm, 1764. Reflections Faced with changing times, the Josephite ideology offers a new path to forge ahead. Progress is measured not by how much we have digressed from the “traditional” roots that have bound our society for generations, as some have mistakenly so characterized. Instead, progress is measured by how much we have done to perfect the grand vision that our predecessors have longed to manifest for us. Therefore, is Oren adverse from said progress? Are we afraid to reach the heights of transforming our society to a place where all can take part of our prosperity? Of course not! Recently, the Orenian voter has been presented with two manifestos, ideologies that have surrounded the current context of our times as we approach a consequential election. When I think of the vision for our state, the Josephite answer is simple: to dignify all. Is it not dignity to allow each citizen in our Empire the right to enjoy this land as much as anyone else? Is it not dignity that the Right of LIFE, LIBERTY, and TRIAL, empowers the citizen to form the collective moral conscience? It is not dignity that the accused be judged by their peers in a fair court of law? Is it not dignity to give gratitude to the merchants, doctors, farmers, and artists who contribute to the success of Oren? As we move on, should we choose to remain where we have been? Is not the goal of any given moment for any rational civilization to procreate, innovate, and cultivate? Such is the universal framework of history. Time passes and our lives move forward, regardless of our choices. However, it is in these choices that I seek to draw to your attention. Again, I wish to dispel the argument that progress and the advancement of time means we must eschew every thing we have known for something unknown or lofty. Instead, we Josephites see humanity’s choice as an opportunity to provide a vision that offers a goal that our generation can strive to attain. “A social contract exists and has always [been] between the governed and the government which requires the compromise of personal interests on both parties in exchange for the betterment of the state of mankind.” Nenzing Proclamation, 1715 On the Issues Faith Recently, controversy over a letter sent to me from one Arthur K. Callahan was made known. The former Kaedreni senator raised many of his own convictions about the role of the institutional Church and the dogmatic role of the Church in our lives. I will reiterate as I have corrected countless misguided statements: the Josephite Vision does not believe in actively removing the Faith from the lives of our people. An intrinsic value we cherish is the notion of charity. Charity and compassion for our fellow Man is at the heart of our message. It is the duty of public servants to dignify the governed with charity and secure the welfare of all citizens. A society that does not believe in anything higher than itself shall be consumed in vanity and hubris. The constitution rests in the Crown, installed by divine power, with the trust that all integrity shall be upheld, and thus the inspiration of wisdom and charity radiates to us who are entrusted to serve the public. The very foundation of freedom comes from the free will that God instills in all men to recognize their destiny. Let it be so, that the destiny of man is to recognize their god-given freedom to build a just, equitable, and free society. When we remove freedom, we are thus devoid of God and of all humanity. Further references: ISA Captain Rylan Swint seated with Sir Terrence May, 1759. Military Deriving from a movement that saw the lives lost in the fight to liberate Oren from tyrannical and despotic rule, the Josephites are acutely aware of the importance of our soldiers. Many in our ranks were veterans of the conflict, recalling the days longing to alleviate the ills of a dark age. The valor of the Imperial State Army and the Haense Royal Army impose a great sense of respect. The expansion of a culture that respects the Rule of Law, the justice for all people, and the protection of our cultural values is heavily understood in the devotion of those who don the uniform. Our mission is to support their lives at home, to dignify all those who opt to serve with the grace of citizenship. We believe in expanding public coffers to fund the necessary housing, utilities, and benefits to show the gratitude of the state to their service. Further references: “Dignifying Doctors and Nurses with the Amyas Act,” Article from the Golden Crow Chronicles Newspaper, 1762. Medicine We have stated, in no uncertain terms, that the goal of Josephinism is the need to propagate a Right to LIFE. Is this not the greatest gift of the divine? It is from the charitable graces of our humanity that our government must strive to ensure that life is upheld and promoted. With the peace accords that the Crown has graciously affirmed from a long, unsettled conflict, we have experienced an influx of talent and thus, a multitude of doctors to man our clinics and hospitals. This is why we Josephites seek to ensure that clinics and those who work in them are dignified for their tireless service. If we sought to discriminate against these elven doctors or inhibit their work, would not the success of peacetime be soured? We seek to invest our public coffers to keep our doctors at work in the best conditions. It is our belief that LIFE stems from God, and as such, our policy should cultivate life and maintain what is sacred. That is why I wrote the Amyas Act of 1759, got it UNANIMOUSLY signed into law, and I know we can do more. A society that thrives in its value of life ensures longevity for our prosperity. Further references: The Northern Geographical Society & Museum, 1763. Education As the times have inspired us with the intellect and enlightenment of our people, it is the duty of the people themselves to enkindle the spark of innovation and progress. During the peace, the enlightened era has opened the doors of education. From the time of the Senate, the people have spoken in their support of the opening of new academies and museums. That is the fruit of a Josephite future, seeking to build on an informed, knowledgeable, and erudite people. We believe in expanding legislation that provides more grants to research and offering a standard reserve for educational institutions. A depiction of the wares sold at Carrington & Co. Storefront, Helena, 1764. Economy Our economy has experienced a thriving phenomenon. As we see in our major urban centers, the Josephite movement has inspired the opening of new business, seeking to ensure that every prospector can share in the abundance of our fortunes. With the sponsorship of great businesses in Helena and Reza, we believe that it is in these people-led enterprises that shall employ them to strengthen our economy. It is the power of these self-determined shopkeepers and owners that shall supply our homes with the much needed goods. It is the business that keeps our promise of success alive, binding together the farmer from the fields with the consumer in the city. As infrastructure and diplomacy expands, so are our sights to look abroad and forge connections that will improve our innovations and increase our financial and cultural wealth. We are a movement of shopkeepers, business owners, fishermen, scientists, and artists. If any of this is elitist as some might deem it so, then I challenge those who can forge a plan and a philosophy that can withstand the times and provide an inclusive vision for all of our people. This is a movement brought on by war, the sacrifice of veterans from all across this country. We are led and driven by people born without the laurels of family aristocracy who made a living from their own hard work. Who we are That is why business supports us. That is why ordinary people support us. I’m afraid that not everyone in Oren can live comfortably because of the inherited successes of their fathers. As we move closer to the election, I give you my final reflections. The other side claims to be for you. They have had decades before our movement was even conceived to forge a nation fitting for our times. It is quite clear that the successes of a few families does not mean all of us. Look to the other side and ask what they have accomplished for you in the last thirty years. Ask yourselves: “Where have they been all this time if they say they care so much about the common people?” I stand by my record and all I have done in the Senate, in Haense, and in the bureaucracies. My record is transparent as I intended. They continue to disparage our movement but have yet to show what they can do for you. The dignity of all is not a question of what is “elitist”, but of what is right.We must build a society where everyone has a chance. Our philosophy has been built by people who have held the mandate of the people before. I know we can continue to earn it. Oren has never been afraid of progress. Oren was built on the progress of achieving a strong future for all citizens. If you believe in this vision, stand with us as we move to advance the dignity of Humanity to reach its successes. I dedicate this to all those who died fighting oppression and to forthcoming generations that will enjoy the fruits of our labor. For the dignity of all, Sir Terrence May, GCM [!] An additional census form is attached. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: REGISTER FOR THE IMPERIAL CENSUS Important documents for further reflection:
  11. Georg stood with Godfric as they greeted their brother Otto arriving into a new place to call home. Georg remembered a time when times were much hectic and uncertain, where the strain of duty had shirked him. However, his brother Otto could not be swayed by such a calling, standing to see the success of a kingdom on the verge of collapse into a prosperous, glimmering province of hope. He had stood with great pride knowing that it was Otto who withstood the test of time, taking on the duty of serving to shepherd the kingdom for the Crown, the very same vocation that Georg remembered well before his demise. As he remembered his last day before being taken to what would become the shared destiny with Godfric, Georg recalled his last memory - the fear of abandoning the burdens of office to Otto and a family forever bereaved by loss. The days had become weeks. The weeks had then become months. The months culminated into four decades until the Lord God called upon his great servant, Otto Sigmar Alimar, to return to the skies and be one with those who shared in his youth.
  12. HOREN OF GAMESH: A Theology of Prophetic Obedience By Bishop Benedict, O.W.F. Table of Contents Introduction The Birth of Horen The Transfiguration at Gamesh The Revelation of Moral Virtues Conclusion Introduction The Scroll of Gospel establishes the character of Exalted Horen before his reverence as a prophet of God. The words of this revealed text bring to light the unique qualities that Horen exuded, and by his nature, perfected the model of total obedience that established the covenant with God for the salvation of all. What is the meaning of obedience to God? Why did Horen obey God and what does this mean for his posterity? The story of the Gospel focuses on Horen’s relationship with God, the voluntary devotion of free will to pursue holiness, the overcoming of mortal impurity, and an unconditional acceptance of the wisdom of the Godhead. In this work, I have sought to enter into deep theological reflection so as to engage in a personal search for the face of Horen. In this ambitious undertaking, I pray that this humble soul shall write with fidelity to the Testaments of the Exalted. I dedicate this work to the faithful, to the holy servants who bear witness in the expression of faith in all ages, and to the Holy Father James II. May the fruits of this labor inspire the minds of our priests to guide the flock into spiritual enrichment and inform the laity on the life and meaning of Exalted Horen’s prophetic calling. Before we embark on this spiritual search, let us offer ourselves in complete obedience to God, with humility, to model ourselves in the likeness of the saints through the ages: Almighty God in the Seven Skies, in whose name mercy and compassion resides, Accept our sinful estate, anoint us with your holy will, So that we might become cooperators in the salvation of all. Pour forth your spirit upon us, Inspire us as thou didst with your Exalted and Saints, Bless us with the grace of virtue, So as to transform our lives in perfect communion with you. Chapter I. The Birth of Horen We can begin to unravel the story of the prophet by delving into his becoming flesh, a conception marked by the predestined grace that would culminate into the salvation of civilization. The prophetic narrative encapsulates deep theological reflections for us to consider. The narrative of prophetic obedience transcends time and makes itself present as the perpetual testament revealed by God. At its core, it is the story of a man, but also of Man. While conveying a narrative that shows a perfect servant, it offers us a locus of reflection to heed the words of God. Horen’s obedience makes tangible true piety because it allows us to relate our frail humanity to the boundless majesty of God’s infinite benevolence. The story of the prophet begins in the Book of Provenance as laid out in the Scroll of Gospel. The fulfillment of creation in Horen unites divine perfection with the mortal plane. The birth of Horen presents a profound meaning to our own humanity. It is no mere coincidence that the narrative begins within a fraternal context when God created, through the conception of the First Man and First Woman, the four brothers (Gospel 1:31-33). As we are born into this life, we begin our worldly journey from the womb. We search for our own meaning, and live a life surrounded by this context. Our station in life, more or less, is determined by the familial structures which form our youth. In such analogy, we are introduced to Horen in the context of his ‘familial structure’. Youngest of the four, Horen was not given tendencies in what we would deem as ‘supernatural’. Absent from physical distinction, Horen instead possessed “wisdom and restraint” (Gospel 1:40) that made him a worthy example of creation and predisposed him to accept the divine will. How beautiful is it that we are able to bear witness to this story? What, then, does this reveal to us as a faithful people? It demonstrates our predisposal as the creation of God at the moment of baptism, born from the auspices of His benevolent omnipotence, to be one with Him. We are imperfect and frail, but yet the true strength and fulfillment of our condition is a yearning to embrace the divine plan. Let us briefly discuss the juxtaposition of Horen and Iblees in Provenance. As we see the creation narrative unfold, a spectrum is presented to us. We are first introduced with Iblees, whose very nature stands contrary to God. Iblees represents unfettered pride, a lack of restraint, and a desire to be God rather than to praise Him (Gospel 1:23). He, therefore, imposes upon creation and shows us what it means to avoid God’s will (Gospel 2:5). On the other hand, Horen stands as the antithesis. Rather than to desire to be like God, he resolves to praise Him, rendering him to be one with Him. Horen has thus accomplished what Iblees sought in vain, who lost his way in shame and deceit. Moreover, the Scroll of Gospel further clarifies that Horen resolved to praise God (Gospel 1:41). The praise of God, as it were, is the embodiment of our lives. This act of praise and the determination to be in complete unison with God is the culmination of our worldly pilgrimage. In the next chapter, we shall discuss how Horen manifested his role to worthily praise God and fulfilled his mandate as God’s chosen and perfect servant. Chapter II. The Transfiguration at Gamesh The manifestation of God’s perfection in Horen would take on another form of fulfilling the divine will. It is at Gamesh that the praise of God would become ‘prophetic obedience’. We proceed with the direction of the Gospel as Horen trekked east in order to obey a path set forth before him by God (Gospel 2:21). This verse reflects the ordination that we the faithful are commonly destined, embracing the grace of baptism and thus cherishing our free will to follow the path that which the Lord has set in our lives. How can we compare Horen's unconditional obedience to such a vocation? As such, the question posed before us is what Horen’s example can teach us as we strive to reach communion with the Skies. According to the Scrolls, the four brothers settled in their own domains after their consecration as kings of their own tribes (Gospel 1:50). The worldly desires of temporal life had consumed Horen’s brothers, rendering them distant from God and susceptible to the ruse of Iblees. Let us first reflect on this matter. As we previously explored the disposition of Iblees as antithetical to Horen, we see this phenomenon play out. A decreasing desire to praise God and the absence of devotion to the divine will allows the soul to erode. We become ensconced in a complacency, a ‘Void’ shrouds our fate. As we recall, the Void is a realm absent of God’s Grace. It is a denial of the divine will. As such, the brothers have become devoid of their father and diminish their conscience to all that is holy. Horen’s predisposal to the wisdom of God enabled him to see what he truly needed. Even he felt a distance from the Creator and resolved to strengthen his relationship (Gospel 2:14-15). This resolution to renew his devotion to God characterizes the importance for each of us to do likewise. There is something profound to be said about this instance. We see how, despite Horen’s predisposal to God, he recognizes his own frailty. His state of despair, as we might say, shows us his willingness to increase his communion with God. This is a reflection of our own plight in which our constant battle with Iblees and the vices of temptation seeks to sever our relationship with the wisdom of the Godhead. Therefore, it is our vigilance and our faithfulness that is required of us. We are not immune to sin, and even Horen’s perfection as a servant of God, recognized his own humility and his own need to be cleansed. He was not complacent, but constantly sought to draw closer to the Lord. So, too, are we called in this undertaking. As a further witness of God’s grace, Horen obeyed God and went to observe his fast (Gospel 2:16) and went to warn his people of Iblees’ presence (Gospel 2:17-21a). How many times are we warned of the evil that befalls us? How many times do we yield to God when we encounter the adversity of the deceiver’s aspect? Horen demonstrated how critical we must be of ourselves in relation to our faith. As Iblees went to extort the land of Horen in his absence, taking prey from those who did not heed the warning, we see another juxtaposition unfold before us. As an act of oblation and sacrifice, Horen was instructed to fast far off into the interior. This represents a metaphorical interior of ourselves. God calls us to retreat inward to find ourselves, to deny our pride. Fasting demonstrates our commitment to chastise luxury, to remove the artifice of worldly desire, and to purge the body of iniquity so as to be clean and pleasing to God. This corporal catharsis, as I define it, is the process for which we actively purge the body of impurity in order to lighten the soul and ascend to the Skies. Therefore, we must gird ourselves with the wisdom of God and submit to Him without question. The beauty of this narrative transforms the person of Horen, not merely as a man, but as a prophet. When the aengul Tesion descended from the firmament of the divine realm, we see how even the Skies harken to the holiness of Horen (Gospel 2:34-38). His denial of the self in the form of fasting in those three days is his election as a herald of providence. We can appropriately deem this as the ‘transfiguration’ of the man Horen to the Exalted Horen as the baptism at Gamesh makes the prophetic obedience whole. We shall discuss this in greater depth in the next chapter. After his return from the grotto, Horen saw that the guise of Iblees had taken its toll on his people as the deceived Saul empowered the Denier’s ruse. Again, we are confronted with another juxtaposition, one that imposes a question that we have been charged with. Do we deny our worldly desires and ignore the will of God as Saul? We must chastise and purge our sins with fasting, sobering our minds from the false luxuries and desires of power. Finally, without the wisdom of God, we will never know deception and be prepared when we are subject to the final test. As Iblees’ ruse was performed, he gave Saul the likeness of Horen so as to enter the depths of Horen’s camp to sow the seeds of deceit (Gospel 2:30-31). After two thirds were corrupted, Horen weeped for his people. Behold the compassion of the prophet who beheld the sin that had ravaged the world as the Denier descended upon the world, infected the mortal plane with the conscience of murder. Therefore, let us be transfigured and embrace God so as to overcome division. Chapter III. The Revelation of Moral Virtues In this chapter, I seek to engage in a personal reflection rather than a theological treatise. Many moralists, preachers, and scholars have spoken at length, with greater vigor than I, about the revelation of virtue and its relevance to societal discourse. Instead, let us engage in the profound meaning of the narrative that Horen evokes from his revelation. When the aengul Tesion said, “Here, I crown you. And you are His prophet,” the transfiguration of Horen officiated his station as the herald of God’s commandments (Gospel 2:38). The conscience of divine morality, after a period of strife and death, serves as a reminder of holiness. In order to remain conscious of our salvation as Horen did when he felt his disconnect with the Skies, the Scroll of Virtue conveys the objective good that God decrees for all to adhere. The Pontifical Encyclical Virtutem Magnum (1629) states, “These great virtues are the principles of our covenant with GOD, the guidelines to which we must closely adhere for our own salvation. Thus, as it has been duly ordained by the Creator, we are called to acknowledge these principles as the law in which we conduct ourselves, to orient ourselves in the likeness of these virtues so that we might find life and truth in our worldly journeys.” Therefore, let us delve into the richness of these instructions as presented to us by Horen’s witness. An important preface to this scroll is the value of its universality. The seven virtues that would comprise the Scroll of Virtue are a locus for all creation for which individual and collective harmony is made possible. However, we cannot simply reduce these principles into mere moralism. Attached to their meaning is a salvific pathway, contrived from the wisdom of the Godhead and made known to all by virtue of Exalted Horen. Compared to many of the faiths that exist among us, the Scroll of Virtue pierces through the cultural and geographic divide. There is no division from the conscience of a deity to its adherents. Rather, they are now united in mind and in spirit. Rather than animism or some supernatural interpretation distantly perceived, God chose the ‘perfect’ man to reveal His virtues. A man instructs fellow Man, a concept that begets the essence of our Church and divine authority of monarchs anointed to govern their people. It therefore enters into the Logos. Its purpose is common to mortal nature. It presents, not lofty ideals conceived by supernatural forces, but bridges divine perfection with the human condition. Recall that Horen embodies such, and therefore we can state that the Scroll of Virtue allows us to emulate his obedience to God. Ordered as the first of the scrolls presented to us, it is in a way an introduction for our lives. It is an introduction to our humanity, it is also more. It is an invitation. “I shall guide you into a theatre of virtue,” says the Lord (Virtue 1:7). The life and narrative of Exalted Horen is about how one must accept this divine invitation. It is a free engagement into the theonomy of faith, where we enable ourselves to accept the plans predestined to our station. The Scroll of Virtue imposes itself as a creed for all creation. Let us say a few remarks on the way these virtuous guidelines are conveyed to the faithful. The order of the virtues is no coincidence, either. The canticles present a formulaic ordination, a kind of logos rational for man to understand in order to fully embrace a virtuous life. As we have already established that faith serves as an invitation, it is right that it is revealed first. After we have accepted the invitation of faith, we are thus charged by the grace of God to engage in charity. As Horen wept when he saw that his people were afflicted by the ruse of the deceiver, we are opened up to the compassion of God. Such compassion is demonstrated through charity. The spirit of God gives us an abundance and we therefore are tasked to share in this treasure (Virtue 2:5-8). Temperance emerges as the next virtue, emphasizing a call to embrace the pleasures of the spirit and tempering the temptations of the world (Virtue 3:3). Let us recall how worldly pleasures have caused separation from God. Proceeding from these meditation, the fourth virtue is that of diligence. God instructed that we shall draw closer to God through the fruits of our labors. Moreover, idle conduct and sloth become antithetical to a life of virtue (Virtue 4:6-8). When we become complacent, we render ourselves from deception and evil. Patience is presented as the fifth virtue in which God reminds us that trials will strengthen us (Virtue 5:8). Indeed, holding steadfast to faith and obedience to the divine will creates a strength so profound that sin cannot approach us. Fidelity is the penultimate virtue in which the entire prophetic obedience rests. Horen kept his fidelity with Julia and thus forged the sanctity of marriage and aspired to earn God’s praise and not to embolden himself in vanity (Virtue 6:8). The last of the virtues is humility, in which by Horen’s humble nature, he also did not seek to be like God but to rejoice in his disposition as a servant of the Creator (Virtue 7:6-7). Our faith mandates humility and begets the love of God which sustains all things. Chapter IV. Conclusion As we draw this reflection to a close, let us return to our initial questions: What is the meaning of obedience to God? Why did Horen obey God and what does this mean for his posterity? With regard to the first question, let us establish that obedience to God is the culmination of our worldly pilgrimage. However, it is not simply a fulfillment, but a journey that is riddled with strife. The story of Horen tells us that a life in obedience to God is not meant to be easy. It is a juxtaposition as seen in many prolific examples of the Scrolls that we have just explored. Obedience to God must be the unconditional acceptance of the divine will, a denial and chastisement of the self in all world desires in such a way that transfigures us as herald of the truth. Why did Horen obey God? To answer such with great insight would require us to embody God or Horen. However, we can say with certainty that God predestines Man with a vocation. It was Horen’s predisposed yearning to praise God, to engage in the theonomy of faith, that see in the Gospel. So we now arrive at our final question—what does this mean for Horen’s posterity? I answer this largely with Man in mind, but I seek to address this in a way that speaks to all creation. Since God revealed the pathway for us through the revelation of the Holy Scrolls, we can relate to Him. These reflections should underpin the larger motif at work. We are engaged in battle. Our fight is against the deceiver’s aspect in all manifestations of evil and vice. The example of Horen shows that his acceptance of God has produced the fruits of virtue that enables us to gird ourselves in holiness. As in the days of Horen, we will be met with the ruse of evil. We can choose to be like Saul, ignoring the warning of Horen and detract from God as an agent of deceit. However, God is no longer distant to us. He is close to us and has affirmed for all time that “I am the Lord GOD without peer, and My power is the only power, and My eternity is the only eternity, and all the aeons of the Virtue shall sustain the righteous” (Virtue 7:9). Thusly, so say we all.
  13. Sir Terrence May receives the letter as his Chief of Staff handed him the parcel in his office: 17th of Horen’s Calling, 1764 To my good friend Arthur, @yopplwasupxxx I was struck with awe when I received this correspondence. It has been nearly a decade since your departure from public life. Gladdened above all, I am most joyous to hear of the fortunes of your family. I pray you continue to find a purposeful vocation in your retirement. Indeed, I envy your plight, for the fields seem more attractive and tranquil than the halls of public discourse that I have been so consumed for nearly forty years. Your service to the constituency in Kaedrin was a noble career in the Senate, reflecting the spiritual fervor of your voters. I do confess great nostalgia as we reflect on the future of this nation and where we have progressed since the inception of our institutions in the days of Nenzing. However, I am optimistic that we can decolonize our minds and reach the newness of life that our ideals hold. Over the last period since the Edict of Establishment was issued by the Lord Protector, we have embarked on a process enshrined in innovation to progress toward a society that vests itself in the premise of freedom in our time. It is surprising to me how your views have evolved over the years, and indeed I was greeted with nothing but surprise and enthusiasm as you share your thoughts and reflections on the current affairs of state. As we have elected to move forward with reform, the ideological front has become the subject of great attention. The great question we continue to answer is how we must actively and faithfully proceed to cultivate what the legacy of the Josephite Enlightenment has brought forth to the public. We in public life have been mandated to ensure that the inalienable rights of our people, that of LIFE, LIBERTY, and TRIAL, are safeguarded for all. The importance of religion is no frivolous issue, and I am grateful that you have presented this opinion for us to consider. Natural rights and the liberties of Man are essentially part of the society we seek to build. However, I hesitate to say that religion must be totally divorced from this vision. Even in these vastly changing times, our fellow citizens hold the Church with esteem, providing the moral integrity for their individual conscience to realize their free will and to contribute in good faith to Orenian society. The Imperial Crown, whose authority rests as the core of our constitutional system, derives its power first from the divine authority that has guided humanity for centuries. A constitutional system rests on the premise that God has installed the right conscience for us to govern in goodwill. The Church retains its place as a sacred institutional structure that supports the ideals of our society. No matter our relation, our oath to public office is made toward the Skies who serve as our perpetual judge to do all men rightly with virtue. When I think of morality, a concept you have referenced as one with baseless definition, I believe that we derive the essence of our juridical law from moral law. But what do I mean you ask? I point to the Horenic Virtues in the first scroll. Is not a society that cherishes charity, diligence, temperance, fidelity, faith, humility, and patience a good one? We cannot deny the origin of morality, but we can work to ensure that its graces are imparted to every household in the State. Surely, rational minds agree. Our vision for the future should depend on the promise that an enlightened and free society determines for itself, not simply from the brooding of past transgression by those who sought malice. Our ability to foster an Imperial State that advocates for all remains at the core of our mission for the future. We can work together to build on the rights of all who seek to call this nation home, to enjoy the rights of citizenship, and to spread the freedom of individual self-determination. May this letter find you well as I return my remarks with mutual respect and my desire for your good health. Truthfully yours, Terry May
  14. “A very well written history if I do say so myself, “ Sir Terrence comments as he eats his turkey dinner in Valwyck, provided by the auspices of House Baruch!
  15. “A most well-written thesis, frater. Salvation and grace, the epitome of our faith and life, are important points of recent scholarship,” Friar Benedict says approvingly as he concluded his reading.
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