Excerpts from “Confessions of a Doe” by St. Justin Popovich

I have heard there are demons. Can those be worse than men?

…Between you, men, and us there gapes a broad abyss, and neither can we ever come to you, nor you to us. You do not have a sense for our worlds. If we, does, were to come over to your side with our heart, it would be as if we entered hell. Time ago, we used to be in paradise. But you, humans, turned that into hell for us. What for you the demons are, you, the humans, are the same for us. The birch-trees told us: “we saw where Satan fell from heaven onto earth; he fell among men, and he has remained there. He, the outcast of heaven, proclaimed: the pleasantest place for me is among men, and I too have my paradise, and this is them: the humans…

You men knowingly and voluntarily embrace sin, evil, and death, and in so doing drag us, without our consent, into them through your vileness and malice, for you had power over us, and so you shall account for us: for all our anguish, misfortunes, sufferings and death.

…I listened to the azure sky whispering to the black earth this eternal truth: on Judgment Day men shall have account for all anguish, for all sufferings, for all miseries, for all deaths of the earthly beings and creatures. All animals, all birds, all plants shall stand up and charge against the human race all pains, all insults, all evil, and every death men have inflicted on them in their proud love of sin. Because, coming along with the human race -both in front and after it -are sin, death, and hell.

Were I to choose from among all creatures, I would prefer a tiger to man, for not being as bloodthirsty as man; I would also prefer a lion to man, for not being as ferocious as man; and also I would prefer a hyena to man, for being less disgusting than man; I would prefer the lynx, too, to man, for not being as fierce as man; would prefer a snake, too, to man, for not being as cunning as man. I would rather prefer any monster to man, for even the most terrible monster is not as scary as man… O, I do speak the truth, and I speak from the bottom of my heart. Was it not man who invented and created sin, death, and hell? And that is far worse than the worst, more monstrous by far than the most monstrous, and more terrible than the most terrible thing ever in all my worlds.

I overheard the brook of tears warbling: “People boast of intelligence, their reason. I judge them for their major deeds: sin, evil, and death. And here is the conclusion I reach: if their creation of sin, evil, and death, is a function of their intelligence then that is no gift but a curse. Intelligence that lives and expresses itself through sin evil and death is a punishment from God. A great intelligence is also a great punishment. They would insult me were they to tell me I had reason as man. If reason is the only distinction of man then I not only renounce it but also damn it. Were my paradise and my immortality dependent on it then unto the ages I would have renounced both paradise and immortality. Without goodness intelligence is a punishment of God. And the great reasoning power without great goodness is an unbearable damnation. With intelligence, but without goodness and tenderness, man is a perfect devil. From the angels of heaven I have heard -while they were washing their wings in my tears, the devil is a great intelligence without a drop of goodness and love. Man too, is the same, if there is no goodness and love in him. An intelligent man -but one without goodness and compassion, is hell for my tender soul, hell for may sad heart, hell for my good-natured eyes, hell for my meek nature. My soul strives after one single yearning: that I would never live in this world or in the next, side by side with a man intelligent, but deprived of goodness and of compassionate tenderness. Otherwise, destroy me, O God, and convert me to non-being! -St. Justin Popovich, “A Doe in Paradise Lost: Confession of a Doe.”

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