There Be Dragons

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
~G.K. Chesterton from Tremendous Trifles

But a dragon lies in ambush for the traveler;
take care he does not bite you and inject you his poison of unbelief.
Seeing this numerous company winning salvation,
he selects and stalks his prey.
In your journey to the Father of souls,
your way lies past that dragon.
How shall you pass him?
You must have “your feet stoutly with the gospel of peace,”
so that, even if he does bite you,
he may not hurt you.
~St. Cyril of Jerusalem


<regarding St. Cyrus’s story>:
No matter what form the dragon may take,
it is of this mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws,
that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell,
and this being the case, it requires considerable courage
at any time, in any country, not to turn away from the storyteller.

~Flannery O’Connor from A Good Man is Hard to Find

<Here be dragons>
was any place on the ancient maps
that was unknown and unexplored-
a place to avoid at all costs,
or — for the daring and carefree,
exactly the place to explore.

Here be dragons
marks the remainder of our days
that dwell at the edge of life’s roadmap
~ unknown and unexplored ~
and too often full of peril.

So many dragons to pass by,
ready to swallow us whole if we make a wrong turn,
or singe our britches if we stray off the map.

So many dark valleys and impenetrable forests to pass through.
so many mysteries unsolved,
so many stories of fateful journeys told,
and above all,
we must listen to what they have to teach us:
try not to stray from the well-worn lighted path of the faithful
who have managed to stay out of the jaws of the dragons
just so they could tell their story and save our souls.

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2 thoughts on “There Be Dragons

  1. Love this.
    We all have our own dragons. Some come and go and some stay for a lifetime. Some can be tamed and some are magical. I have several.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do, too, John. Their minions hound their unsuspecting ‘prey’ and know the right buttons to press.
    And then — there are insidious ones that fill our U.S. Senate and more in the House as well as our
    Court systems..
    They can be found at all levels of our government, some ‘church’ communities, educational
    institutions and seminaries. They are tenacious and have the ‘bases’ well covered!
    Scripture tells us that their time here is limited. Commentaries interpret that Jesus has
    already won ‘the battle’ on Golgotha.

    Liked by 1 person

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