Author Topic: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett  (Read 1323 times)

ardenchasemoradin

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Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:55:54 PM »


An entry written in a leather bound journal simple in construction and smelling of new leather and stamped with a holy symbol. The penmanship is flowing and filled with flourishes. The language recognizable as High Mordentish.

Hail Ezra, full of grace, you are with me. These are words that remind me of my mission.  Ezra, a healer and a guardian, sought the redemption, salvation, and protection of her people even unto death. Is there a greater love in all the world? I venture no. Is there a nobler duty than to risk ruin to spread the love of Ezra? Certainly not.

My mind and my heart are troubled. I stand resolute that Ezra loved me before I even knew her just as she loves each and every person who resides in the Hollow. I recall my lessons with, then, Inquisitor Martel. He spoke plainly of the schism between Felix Wachter and Cathedral of Levkarest. I have often prayed to understand how such a schism could be possible let alone the two that came after it. I see now in the distance the long way home.

As Ezra stood staring into the Mists, she uttered four final words So Must It Be. The Grand Scheme will unfold where my destiny lies even if I do not know it at this juncture. I will continue to demonstrate Ezra's love and grace to others as my faith demands. I try each and every day to offer the kindness and love that Ezra showed me the hour I first believed .

I am not a perfect man. I do strive to be pure of heart.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 01:08:33 PM by ardenchasemoradin »

ardenchasemoradin

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 10:10:59 AM »
Soil. It was very liberating to spend time engaged in a labor that involved no intrigue. The turning of the soil at the Shrine of Dutiful Mercy was a blessed affair. Mademoiselle Lang, Toret Martel, and Toret Barbarigo came to aid me in the turning of the fields. I learned a great deal from Mademoiselle Lang about the fertilization of soil and the removal of invasive plants.  Also, I learned that it is best to have someone watch when you pull a thornbush from the dirt as you may fall upon your rear.

I have sent notice across Barovia and even into Dementliu to acquire a merchant from which to purchase the seeds and seedlings needed to begin the planting in short order. I hope many will donate to the cause. The people of the Village of Barovia, in my short time here tending the Shrine, have exhibited little joy. They have extremely hard lives. I hope that this small project will brighten some days.  Also, I hope the garden party later in the year will also bring happiness and demonstrate the love of Ezra to this forlorn community.

Toret Martel said that the Shrine used to be filled with paraphernalia;however, he suspects that after Toret Byrne's departure that the place was ransacked.  Now, only the altar and a few mats remain. I think I will begin to acquire items to fill it.

Ezra watch over and keep me as I work to bring Her love and the hope of salvation to the people of this town.

ardenchasemoradin

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 03:31:19 PM »
Much has happened since last I put pen to paper. Toret Barbarigo has been married to now Warden Teresca Barbarigo nee' Mitrea. It was a lovely ceremony. I was honored to officiate.

The Church has seen a great deal of growth. I spend much of my time at the Redoubtable Chapel of Our Eternal Guardian.  Many pass through seeking naively to end the curse on the lands and the keep or in search of what little remains of the von Zeklos' fortunes.

The lands surrounding Raduta are occupied by simple folk. I have been unable to acquire a meeting with the Wachter family, but I will continue to ask. The people are suspicious, but less so with constant contact.

The Church as a whole has suffered set backs and turmoil, but we endure. New Acolytes and Initiates are being trained, and the number anchorites grows giving respite from the days when there were so very very few of us.

I have given thought of asking Bastion Otrava to recommend me to the Praesidius as a member of the Inquisition or to be a Toret bound to Raduta though I pray to understand if it is a desire to help or for advancement. I dare not ask such until I am certain of the motivations of my heart.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 04:13:05 PM by ardenchasemoradin »

ardenchasemoradin

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 10:55:15 PM »
Pride is a horrible sin born of self-importance and self-righteousness.  How deceptive it is in its masquerade as compassion and care. It seems the desire to redeem can become as addictive as Hazlani Poppy. Even the Purest of Hearts can fall victim to the feeling that comes from being the instrument of redemption.

Grace is, however, subtle and unassuming. It stands at the door and knocks. Any who wish it to enter have but to invite it in and in doing so choose the salvation promised us by Ezra. Unfortunately, the prevailing thought of many is that grace is available always, so go and sin and return to the front porch and beckon a beaten grace to enter. It cannot. For in abandoning grace, one forfeits salvation. The deal that Ezra made with the Mists was that the Legion of the Night or the People of the Hollow could choose.  Once the choice is made, however, the deal is struck and it cannot be redone over and over.

I write this, because, I hope my brethren will love unconditionally and always offer the grace of Ezra to those who are ignorant of her sacrifice and in need of salvation.  However, I hope that in equal parts they will not feel the need to chase the lost who have actively chosen to turn from the love of Ezra thus chasing the addictive high of redemption instead of the duty Ezra gave us to to minster to the lost and introduce the souls who have not made a choice to her love.

M. Garrett
12th Day of July

« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:58:08 PM by ardenchasemoradin »

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 01:04:20 AM »
As I sit to write this missive, I am rather exhausted. I had not planned on such a day as this, but the Grande Scheme often unfolds in unexpected ways. I received a letter from Initiate Icescar notifying me that Simona Cornescu has returned to the area and wished to speak with me. Simona was always kind to me, so I set off for Vallaki from Raduta to speak with her. Arriving in Vallaki, I asked a hin by the name of Valentine that Acolyte Lazarescu and I rescued from a cave recently to inquire about Simona inside the Cultist's temple so as not to enter myself. She was not there.

A man by the name of Durst asked me to speak with a rather colorfully dressed and possibly mad man Ash. He suspected that the man was a thrall. I believe he is simply mad.

During this conversation, a group ran up talking about a colleague who fell in a secret passage between the Crypts and Keep of Raduta. I immediately knew what they were speaking of and offered to assist. We travelled to the area and recovered the body of a man named Alf.  Upon return to the Redoubtable Chapel, I prayed for the return of the man's soul. Ezra did grace him and return his soul.

The man's travelling companions were interested in the message of Ezra, so we talked at length about the love of Ezra. Sometimes, the Grande Scheme unfolds, and I am consistently amazed with the opportunities that Ezra provides me to spread the message of her love.

Tonight, I will sing hosanas in my dreams for I am beyond blessed.

M. Garrett
13th Day of July

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 11:17:44 PM »
Lust. I have been contemplating this topic following a conversation with the clergy recently. Oui, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of Ezra. Ezra commands that we love our fellow people. She does, however, forbid the wanton recklessness of lust and fornication.

I admit that I am very uncomfortable with such topics. I wear my discomfort in rosy display upon my cheeks for the entire world to see. I fear this produces disquiet in the faithful when I do so. I, therefore, pray that my nerves be steeled against such displays of discomfort by her grace. Truly, I cannot often help that I am woefully unprepared to discuss the sins of the flesh.

I admire the love that I see in others that surround me. I am not certain that such love will ever find me. If it does, I am likely to scare it away by turning crimson and stuttering most profusely. How is it that I can speak with great conviction and purpose about the forgiveness of sin, yet I cannot even entertain the idea of a dinner with someone that I may be interested in without feeling as if there is a scarlet sin sitting upon my cheeks?

Ezra guide me.

M. Garrett
16th day of July

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 12:06:57 AM »
I was asked recently why I smile so much. In all honesty, I did not realize that I smiled more than perhaps others.  So, as I reflected on the scriptures and prayed to Ezra, it occurred to me that I find joy in the mundane and happiness in laborious tasks, because I know without a doubt that I am redeemed. Though the world around me is filled with perversions and disappointments, they are present but a moment in time. I know my redeemer lives, and as long as she stands within the Mist for me, who am I to despair.

I was born an imperfect soul in a desolate land to parents who loved Ezra, me, and each other in that order. I was taught humility cleaning the kitchens of the Chapel of the Pure Hearts where my mother was a cook. I was taught fairness by my father who insisted on being an honest merchant even if it meant being a poor one. So, I travel through Barovia, and each person I see I have no choice but to smile for my redeemer lives and wishes to redeem them as well. The light in my soul yearns to overcome the darkness in theirs. I do not meet anger with aggression or scorn with discontent. In each case, I greet them with a smile born of the love of Ezra in the hopes that they will choose to do the same. So, I smile.

M. Garrett
18th Day of July in the Year of Our Sainted Mother 774

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 11:16:19 PM »
This morning as I sought a topic for my devotional I decided to contemplate the nature of joy. Joy is a unique feeling. It is not happiness as happiness is a pale substitute for joy. How often do we experience joy? What of those that spend their whole lives seeking joy and being envious of having but a few rare and glorious moments spent in that state? I think it easy to assume that there are those even among the children of Ezra who seek joy instead of peace. Now, I am not suggesting that joy is bad only that it can be as addictive and hazlani poppy, because it requires and ever increasing exposure to find the same level of joy.  Peace on the other hand is divine. The absence of anger, lust, envy, sloth, greed, and wrath. It is bereft of happiness, eagerness, ambition, and pride. Instead...in peace we find quiet...and in the quiet places we can truly hear the words of Ezra.

M. Garrett
The 6th Day of August in the Year of Our Guardian 774

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 10:58:09 AM »
It has been some time since I wrote. It was by the grace of Ezra that I took some time to reflect on my journey and spend time fasting and in quiet prayer. One would think the haunted halls of Raduta would not be the place for such reflection. However, the darkness of the place makes the love of the Sainted Mother appear just a bit brighter.

I returned to Vallaki just the other day. I have not yet seen the Barbarigos. I did, however, encounter Warden Lazarescu. I must say that I was a bit taken aback by the change in her. When last I saw her just before and after her ordination, she was a pleasant girl with overflowing compassion. I return to find her embracing the cruel ways of the Fourth. It seems that the Grand Scheme unfolds in a very interesting and unpredicted way with this one. I will pray for her as such a change is often born of pain.

Grace of Ezra guide us. She who knows my heart steady my hand.

M. Garrett

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2019, 10:28:14 AM »
Immense sadness coupled with joy.

I received word today that Toret and Warden Barbarigo have set out upon a journey to Levkarest. While I celebrate with them for such a joyous journey, I am most downtrodden in spirit to not have them just across the river in the Grey City.

There are any number of items to which I steel myself of late. The faithful are off and about doing other things in their missions for the church. This is wonderful to see them run hither and thither accomplishing so much of the work of Ezra. Yet, I do miss them a great deal when they are gone for so long.

It seems that Warden Creek has amassed quite the following. I may never understand his zeal, but I appreciate his passion and commitment to the Sainted Mother. He did make a comment that Raduta was stolen from them.

I remain vigilant and prayerful for the future of our flock. In other news, the darkness at Raduta though not diminished has not grown. Ezra be praised.

M. Garrett
15th Day of November

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 01:19:52 PM »
On the Precipice of the New Year...

I sit at a lonely desk in the Blue Water Inn where I had a nice dinner. The year has brought much in the way of happiness and tragedy. My brethren were released from the custody of the Dementlieuse. However, Agnes is banished. I pray for her safety. Toret and Warden Barbarigo were married. The flock grows and flourishes.

Another year has passed, I have not heard from Templar Balitor, so I must assume he is either well or has met his end battling the Legion. In either regard, I am sure he is quite happy or as happy as he is capable of being. Toret and Warden Martel have not been heard from in some time as well. I suppose the children are growing quite fast. I hope their estrangement has passed. I pray for it daily. Warden MacGilivray tends to wander in and out of Barovia as the winds blow. I'm sure she is fine.

As the year concludes, I find myself much more circumspect than I should wish to be. I feel great sadness at the passing of Loredana Vaduva. Truest of friends despite our theological discordance. I fear the ecclesiastical tremor of Bastion Raines prophecy on the heels of the morrow, and the meaning it will have if it is correct or no. On the one hand, the Time of Unparalleled Darkness may unfold, and the tremor of the Legion will be felt followed by the love of Ezra's grace in our passing. On the other, a crisis of the faith for those of Her Fourth if the prophecy is incorrect. I fear what that my look like for my zealous brethren.   I should not sit here and ponder these things like some Erudite in a lost chamber of scrolls and thoughts.

The evening calls, and I will answer. There will be much celebration as the year comes to a close, so there will be much need for confession and compassion as well.

I pray for each and every soul who walks upon the ground. The grace and love of Ezra is sufficient if we believe it to be.

M. Garrett
31st Day of December

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Re: Pure of Heart - Matthew Garrett
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 03:13:28 PM »
I have been praying, recently, upon the idea of farewell. I have, in my time in Barovia, said good-bye to a large number of friends. I recite their names sometimes in my mind so as to recall them and not lose them to the Mists in my mind.

Though each had their own role in the Grande Scheme that was not with mine, I still do feel their loss. Now, Garrett, it is time to pull yourself up and stop wallowing. People need you. You have to put forth the image that has been entrusted to you. You have to be the anchorite that others believe you can be.

In truth, I have been terrified since I first spoke with the Toret about his departure and that of Teresca. I have been afforded the freedom of service without the burden of ecclesiastical and ecumenical politics. I fear I will be asked to be not only in the world but of the world.

Ezra, upon your grace I fall, I know I cannot stand alone.