(that's the exam for Transitional Moments in Western Christian History)
by Josh Rodriguez and Chris Corbin
Twas the night before the Church History final and all through the library,
Desperate seminarians said novenas to Mary.
The books were all open and foreheads lined with care;
The final was in Niehbur and they soon would be there.
At the end of the night, when they collapsed into their beds,
Visions of Jesuits danced through their heads.
They knew that this testing their joy would sap;
They’d rather just settle their brains for a Christmas holiday nap.
When out on the Quad there arose such a clatter,
They leaped from their beds to see what was the matter.
When, what to their wondering minds should they feast,
But a council at Nicaea, and Perpetua fed to the beasts.
With a little old writer, did he fabricate thus?
They knew in a moment it was Eusebius.
And the Donation of Constantine! On the forgeries came.
Popes whistled and shouted and tried emperors to tame.
Cults of martyrs and saints rose before being suppressed,
But when it came to preventing Black Death they were put to the test.
Now mystics! Now demoniacs! Now Cathars and Waldensians!
Crusades against Jews, Muslims, heretics, and Albigensians!
To the limits of Christendom! To lands far and near!
Missionaries had to look busy for Jesus soon would be here.
As dry doctrines that before the wild reformers did fly
When they met with such obstinacy, at Trent did decry.
So up to the church door the theses they flew,
Against Johann Tetzel and the Popes too.
And then, with much screaming, the Institutes they do say,
Servetus is dead; hopefully with him his heresies stay.
As they drew in their doctrine, and were mulling around,
Down from France St. Xavier came with a bound.
He dressed like the natives, of habits no fan,
And his learning and letters they came from Japan.
From Goa to China came Jesuits back,
And in learning and letters nothing did lack.
Their pupils -- how they puzzled! They taught them so early!
A man different than seven, I think only rarely!
Oh early moderns and urban centers did grow,
And the behavior of people it reached a new low;
At the stump of a tree or forest glen empty,
And the midnight it came where they gathered a-plenty;
Their souls to the devil, to Satan did they sell,
My God don’t they care that they’ll end up in hell?
To desecrate wafers, a right unholy old task,
And I dread when I see them, in fear for my ass;
A whole town dose cry and a trial then gets heard,
Soon I did know that witches must drown or be burned;
Now speak not a word, but remember Ignatius?
He started new learning with the brothers of Jesus,
Galileo said yes, Ptolemy he said no,
Heliocentric, the sun at the middle arose;
He sprang to his scope, to his Pope he was stressful,
And house arrest he was placed with the church he did wrestle.
But I wonder at last, ere the end is in sight,
The story can’t end here; we’ve got America, right?