- I wish my mother had had me aborted. Then I would not be alive to know this bloody life.
- I received the knowledge of my own body against my will but still working to my benefit. Through my injury which affected my moving parts, I was able to contribute many inferences to my medical colleagues about damage to the head and its underlying organs. But I resent this lesson. And there are many stillborn to whom even such a small piece of earth is not vouchsafed.
- My words had a touch of bitterness that Tertius understood immediately, remembering both his master's son and his own firstborn who was not.
There can be no response to some things, Beloved. So Tertius my father and Ruth my mother kept their grief over the premature birth and death of their first child. Still they named my sister Prima and me Secundus, but never would they have considered that they would wish no life for their first untimely born child. Gaius too had wished more for his disabled child whose life was cut off with such violence. Eutychus learned from his fall. Some cannot learn till they have come to the lowest place. No one can learn until the Spirit teaches them.
My thoughts crowd in upon me in this time of my deprivation in my old age. I miss Prima. My hearing is no substitute for her presence. We are in the middle of the great Sermon. My eye falls on the last substantial coin. My substantial coin, has been paid. I am out, but I fear still for those who must labour in whatever tragedy and disability they endure. The measures of grace will be substantial, but the pain of unknowing is not to be avoided. I wish I could write more to you on this, Beloved. Perhaps words will come.
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"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."
"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.