We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms... And the impervious shelter beneath which it has prospered.
Back in the day when the Didact was a teenage atheist- my, how original, a know-it-all teenager who thought he knew all there is to know about Life, the Universe, and Everything!- and was in a non-denominational private boys' grammar school, every Friday afternoon the entire school would have an assembly in the main theatre.
All of us carried around this little black calendar book which, among other things, contained a number of Christian hymns. At those assemblies, we would be asked by the Headmaster to sing one of the hymns in the book.
Now, you can imagine how annoying this would be for an avowed atheist who, like most clueless mid-wit atheists at that stage of intellectual development, regarded Christianity with open hostility, if not outright hatred. It pissed me off beyond measure that I had to stand there, with like 700 other boys and teachers, and sing some stupid songs made by stupid men about a stupid "god" that didn't exist.
(In my defence, I was a lot younger and dumber back then. It's not a very good defence, admittedly, but it's really all I've got. Youthful indiscretions, and all that sort of thing.)
Despite my deeply entrenched dislike of organised religion, however, there was one thing I simply couldn't get around: there was this one hymn that I actually rather liked.
This is it, down below: "For All the Saints", by Vaughan Williams.
And listening to it means taking a very simple test.
If you can listen to this and find nothing worthy about it, nothing of beauty and grace and goodness, nothing of God's divine majesty in it, then you're very much an atheist, and the rest of us don't have a hope in the Devil's Imperial Hell* of saving you.
If, however, like that teenaged version of me, you can find something to enjoy and appreciate about this, then there is hope for you yet. Hey, I managed to figure it out, eventually. And my word, does this sound good now:
Jesu Domine, Rex et Redemptor Per Sanguinem Tuum Salva Nos
*Hey Carey, get with the times and go metric already!