parable of vicar and king p2
December 12, 2023 Blog / faith testimony / parable / religion 0 Comment

Please read PART I first, at this link: The Parable of the Vicar and the King, Part I

The Peacemaker, The King, and the Vicar

When Donvaldus approached the castle of the King, he was met by the King’s Royal Guard.
“Who goes there?”

“It is I, Baron Donvaldus of Despairia. I’ve come to seek audience with the King.”
“The King is indisposed. He meets with the Vicar. War is near. Begone!”

“It is the rumor of war that brings me here today! The people of Despairia sent me to bring their cries to the King. Please announce me to the King. You will not regret it, and the King will welcome my voice in this crisis.”

The Guard was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, and he said (to his own amazement):
“Of course, Baron Donvaldus. I will announce you now. Please enter.”

As Donvaldus approached the throne, he observed the King in conference with the Vicar.

The Guard announced him:
“Your Excellencies, King Epicene and Vicar Timorous, Baron Donvaldus of Despairia requests an audience. It is about the rumors of war.”
“WHAT?” The King stood to face this intruder. “What gives you the right to barge in here?”

“I offer help in the crisis at hand. Please hear me.” Donvaldus answered with due respect.

“Help?” said the King with disdain. “How can you help as a stranger to this land. You know nothing of our travail.”

“It is because I am a stranger that I can view this situation without bias and with new eyes.  And you, Vicar. I respectfully suggest you examine your conscience, your Holiness. Are you allowing your fears and doubts to cloud your moral compass?

“How dare you suggest such a thing?” The Vicar could not bring himself to say more in his own defense.

“Well,” sighed King Epicene with impatience. “Perhaps the best way to be rid of you is to let you speak and be done with it.”

“Thank you.” Donvaldus moved closer to the men to be heard clearly.

The two men sat in tall chairs, knee-to-knee as they had been debating and discussing the impending war for several hours. The King of the earthly Kingdom sought agreement from the representative of Christ on earth to bless the carnage he was about to command. Baron Donvaldus was an unwelcome interruption.

“King Epicene and Vicar of Christ Timorious, please hear the prayers and cries of the people of Despairia. They are still recovering from the last war waged nearly a decade ago. The poverty and material devastation is very real. You cannot deny it and it’s time you stop ignoring it. And now, they are burdened with rumors of yet another war as they mourn friends, neighbors and their relatives who died at Victima.”

“You are not going to win our hearts or trust by castigating us or accusing.” Vicar Timorious spoke under his breath.

Donvaldus heard his words.

“I do not expect or ask you to trust me. I only ask you to allow me to risk my life and limb for the cause of peace. War cannot be the only solution to human conflict. I refuse to concede that point.”

“So what are you expecting and asking?” King Epicene was becoming impatient and fatigued.

Donvaldus saw this as an opening and took full advantage:
“I expect your full support in any way your coffers and conscience allow,” my King. “And from you Vicar, I expect and ask for your blessing.”

“What will you DO, Baron Don? What actions are you prepared to take to prevent the escalation of the war started by our enemies with the attack on Victima? Our citizens expect retaliation and seek revenge.”

“Do they?” Baron Don challenged him. “Do they know what they are asking for? Retaliation is sure to provoke a violent response. As for revenge, my dear Vicar…”

Donvaldus quotes Romans 12 in the Bible:

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

The Vicar squirmed in his seat with embarrassment. This stranger was throwing the Word of God in his face.

“You are a fool, Baron Don. Go forth and do what you will, but you will not return. The vandals will cut you down where you stand. These invaders are barbarians,” the King asserted forcefully.

“Thank you, your majesty. And you Holy Father, may I have your blessing?”
The Vicar raised his hands over Donvaldus and blessed him.
“Go with God, Baron Don.”

“Your majesty, may I speak with your soldiers and ask for volunteers to accompany me?”

“Speak all you like. They will not follow a fool,” replied the King, laughing.

“Then we will see who is the fool. You have my gratitude. You will not regret your decision.”

“Baron Don, the Vicar and I will continue our counsel tonight. If we do not get word of your progress in a fortnight, we will proceed with a declaration of war!”

Baron Donvaldus acknowledged the King’s position, showed the required deference and said…”By your leave, your majesty.”

The King gestured for Baron Don to go and the two men returned to their discussion.

The Peace Plan

Baron Donvaldus mounted his steed and rode to the castle barracks where the King’s Guard waited for orders. He addressed them as fellow citizens of the Kingdom and asked for their help. Most of the men remained loyal to the King and refused to follow this stranger, just as the King had supposed. But a few good men understood Baron Don’s appeal to peace and whispered to him that they would join him as soon as they were able to get away unnoticed. Donvaldus cautioned them to keep their rapiers, swords, and daggers sheathed. He explained that the goal of this intervention was peace and weapons were only to be used in self-defense, unless and until they received orders from the King.

Some mocked Baron Don. Others thought him quite brave.

In short order, Donvaldus returned to the town square where townspeople were milling about, whispering and wondering about the fate of Baron Don. They were overjoyed to see his steed approach from afar.

“Look,” said a carpenter who left his shop to inquire about the Baron, “There he is!”

The people in the square gathered around the podium and some ran home to gather their families. Donvaldus waited patiently as his audience collected themselves.

Then he began the speech of his lifetime!

“Citizens of Despairia in the Kingdom of Compromiso! Here me! I have come to report to you of my visit with the King, who received me at the castle this day. His Excellency King Epicene was in counsel with the Vicar of Christ, Timorous. I was escorted into the King’s chamber by the Royal Guard, and I asked for their patience and an audience. I persuaded them to listen to my plan.”

“What did they say, Baron Don?” shouted a woman from the crowd.
“They agreed to allow me to approach the invader armies and make my case for peace.”

The people were quizzical. They wondered and whispered how Baron Don could accomplish such a dangerous mission at great risk to his life and limb. Baron Don reassured them with these words:
“People of Despairia! We will approach with prayer and reason. With God’s grace, we will prevail! Let us get organized,” he announced with confidence.

“First, I ask for 1,000 men to gather here, as quickly as they can gird their loins and arm themselves. Swords will remain sheathed and used only to defend, not to attack.”
Then he addressed the women of Despairia:
“Women, collect 1,000 Rosaries from every household so that every man will have a Rosary as a weapon of prayer. Have faith in the Lord and me as a servant of God. We will not fail!”

The men of Despairia dispersed to follow Baron Don’s instructions. Some visited neighboring towns to recruit additional men to serve, and before long, one thousand men overflowed the streets of the town and one could spy the procession approaching from the west, east, north, and south.

Baron Don lost no time in organizing the one thousand into infantry, calvary, and cross-bowman. In due time, members of the King’s Guard appeared, carrying weapons to distribute to those who remained unarmed.

Baron Don then directed the men to appoint a marshal who would take orders directly from Baron Don and communicate them to the rest. The warriors locked arms in solidarity. Baron Don announced that they would move at night, approaching the border of Victima by daybreak.

One of the men standing in front of the Baron spoke up. His name was Archibald, known as “Archibald The Brave.”
“Baron Donvaldus. You will need a messenger—someone who will alert the top vandal of the invasion that you wish to meet.  I know these men.  I have known some of them since childhood when I lived in the villages of the invaders. Allow me to carry your message and arrange the meeting.”

Baron Don had his own informants and had ample intelligence about the whereabouts of the invading hoards and the identities of their leaders, but this volunteer, who would be familiar to them, would increase the possibility of their success.

“Who speaks?” Baron Don looked up.
“I am Archibald of Victima. By God’s grace, my family survived the onslaught and I wish to serve.”

“You are a brave man, Archibald, and I thank you for your courage. Come let us prepare the message.”

Baron Donvaldus and Archibald retired to a makeshift tent to prepare the message and plan the details of how and when it would be delivered. The leader or equivalent of a marshal of the vandals was a man named Arthur, a strong, bear of a man, with some intellect. Baron Don did not know much more than that about him.

Baron Donvaldus addressed the crowd once more:
“I thank you, people of Despairia, for your faith in God and me. You are good Christians who do not abide with killing. You are Christians who obey God’s commandments. We will not perish. Our Rosaries will be our principal weapons and our swords will only be our last resort, for I believe we battle against men just like us. But if in truth we battle against demons, the Lord will sharpen our swords and St. Michael will defend us in such a battle. Fear not!”

The crowd roared with chants of “Alleluia” and “¡Viva Cristo Rey!”

Baron Donvaldus mounted his steed to lead one thousand men to victory or to their deaths.

He quoted Scripture, saying to his men: “How did God reassure His Chosen People?:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and give you help; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10’.

Baron Don ended his exhortation with: “Hold on to your Faith, men and follow me!”

The cavalry rode through the night and those without steeds followed on foot, as Archibald went ahead, and skillfully ventured into enemy territory to deliver the message. At daybreak, the men who reached Victima with Baron Don could see the remains of the burnt-out villages and this elevated their emotions of hate and misery. Baron Don spoke calming words and they prayed a Rosary together. Standing on a large boulder so all could see and hear him, Baron Don prayed the Creed out loud: “I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!” The troops continued with him, shouting the responses to the many “Our Father,” “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be to the Father” prayers. In the distance, Baron Don could see the scruff of Archibald’s hair escaping from his ragged cap, as he rushed to return with his news. He was smiling.

“Baron Don. I report the complete success of our mission to deliver your message. The invader Arthur allowed me to speak with him, and although he was skeptical of our intentions, nevertheless his curiosity was peaked and he awaits your presence at this location.”

Archibald spoke with bated breath, as he retrieved a crumbled piece of parchment from his waistcoat, on which was scratched a crude but legible map. He pointed to an X that marked the spot where a meeting could take place.

“Good work, Archibald,” Baron Don congratulated him. “I will leave at once. Come with me and watch what happens carefully. We will approach together.”

The troops were but a short distance from the rendezvous point and Baron Don did not want Arthur and his murderous hoard to see the extent of their defensive forces, so he asked his men to stay back and under cover until they heard the sound of a shofar horn that will signal the need for a show of force. Baron Don gave the shofar to Archibald who would be the one to signal. Baron Don told Archibald to hide where he could still see and hear what was going on.

With a sign of the cross, Baron Donvaldus advanced to the foot of the mountain where Arthur and a group of his men were waiting.

After they had greeted each other with mutual suspicion, Arthur grunted questions with anger:
“What do you want, Baron Donvaldus? You have no business in this conflict. You are from another land. What is your interest and why should I trust you as a representative of the Kingdom of Compromiso?”

“I represent the people of Despairia and Victima, provinces within the Kingdom of Compromiso. We both know we are at the precipice of war. You have made an unprovoked attack on the innocent and God will punish you in His time. But we do not want war. War will begin an unending reign of terror and all of us – you and your people as well as our people – will mourn dead men, no matter who is the victor. Tell me, Arthur, where is the victory in that?”

“Our victory will be in conquering your lands and taking your treasure!” Arthur sneered with evil intent. “Your King and Vicar are weak. You have a false God who has abandoned you.”

“No, Arthur, we are not abandoned by God. We are upheld by Him. We have no treasure. We are a poor people. There will be no spoils of war. Taking our impoverished land will increase your burden. It will not enrich you.”

“So what? What is this of your concern?” Arthur demanded an answer.

“The King is prepared to fight. But the people want peace. My interest is in preserving the peaceful life of the people of Despairia. That is all. Listen to me.”

Baron Don signaled to Archibald, who hid at a distance but could see the Baron’s hands quite clearly. Archibald blew the shofar and Baron Don’s troops advanced to the crest of a hill, where Arthur and his men could see them. Their weapons were visible but not drawn.

Arthur took a defensive stance and was about to signal to his men to charge when Baron Don spoke again.

“Wait and think, Arthur. What will we have at the end of this day if you and I attack each other? Dead men. You will not gain territory or treasure; you will have bleeding and dead bodies by the hundreds. Isn’t that true?”

“Likely,” admitted Arthur. “But the King will seek vengeance for Victima, or is he the coward he is rumored to be?”

“Not if we declare a working peace and accept God’s will and His justice, as we were told to do by Our Lord Jesus Christ. But you must abide by the terms of this peace. Will you do that?”

“Christians! Now I get it! Losers! What is in this for me?” Arthur remained recalcitrant.

“Arthur, I will ask you what you have asked me: What do you want? Reject my proposal and war will begin and death will be our fate. Accept this peace offer and we will work together and learn to live side by side. Why do you invade? Do you lack resources? We will help you find them. Do you lack skills, we will teach you. We will be more of an asset as an ally than we could ever be as an enemy. Can you not see this peace with be of mutual benefit?” Baron Don would not give up reasoning with the vandal.

Arthur kept looking beyond the shoulders of Baron Don to size up the strength of Don’s defensive forces. It was a large contingent of armed men, and Don’s reasoning started to work on his enemy. Finally, Arthur relented.

“Go away from here, Baron-whoever-you-are. I grow tired of this conversation. Send me your messenger in the days to come and I will reply. For now, we will have peace.”

Baron Don considered this a victory and signaled to Archibald that the meeting had adjourned and he was returning to join the troops. Don assembled the marshals of each division and gave them the good news that peace was restored in the land, at least for this day.

“Now, men. We will return to the town square of Despairia, but on our way, we will do God’s will! We will rebuild the village of Victima and rename the village “Victoria”! If we find sick and wounded, we will minister to them. If we find those who are hungry, we will feed them. If we find those who thirst for justice, we will evangelize them and tell them of the eternal justice of the Lord. For those who are homeless, we will build shelters. And we will bury the dead. May God have mercy on the survivors of the massacre at Victima.”

Baron Donvaldus was true to his word and he organized the men who came to fight and instead convinced them to do God’s will. Archibald sped to the castle to bring the good news of peace to the King and Vicar before the deadline of the fortnight arrived. War was averted.

And when he returned to the town square at the end of his journey, Baron Don rose to the podium to address the citizens who were waiting there.

“Citizens of Despairia. We are Despairia no more. I hereby rename this province “Christus Vincit!” (Christ Conquers), as we begin a new era of peace and prosperity. We conquered our enemy with prayer, truth, reason, and love, and we will work on this bond of peace for as long as we all shall live. For our trust is in the Lord, who is good and merciful. May God bless you and keep you close to His Sacred Heart.”

The end.

by Julianne