The Unfinished Obelisk

                            (Excerpt from Beyond the 33rd Degree: The Quest for the Holy Grail)


          a 15  b


          Cardinal Salvatore Romano was deep in thought as the Citation X began its descent from 43,000 feet above the continent of Africa.  From this vantage point he could see the entire Nile River Delta fanning out below with its many entry points flowing into the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  He watched as the Nile River narrowed down to the single snake like ribbon that cut through the desert below giving life to its arid surroundings as it has done since the time of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.


          He studied the photographs on the pages of the book that Father Angelo had brought to him while he was at the Sistine Hall earlier that afternoon.  The object of his preoccupation was what was known as the ‘unfinished obelisk’.  The pictures showed the quarry site near Aswan where the sister stone to the Lateran Obelisk of Rome still lay horizontal and was still attached to the red granite earth where all of the obelisks of ancient Egypt were quarried. His heart beat quickened as he anticipated the moment very soon when he would look out the window of the Vatican jet and he would be able to see the actual stone as it lay in the womb of Mother Earth.  Only he and the brothers who wore the octagon shaped gold ring knew that soon this stone would be cut from its umbilical cord and would have life and spirit breathed into it after 4,000 years of silent waiting.


          The Cardinal read once again how the stone was abandoned by the Pharaohs while it was being quarried because a crack was discovered in the stone and was deemed to be unsuitable for its purposes.  He knew that an obelisk had to be perfect and in one unbroken piece for it to be useful as the dwelling place for the sun god Ra that the Egyptians worshipped.  He knew that Ra was the Egyptian name for the fallen angel Lucifer and that the obelisk has always been the home that housed his spirit on Earth.  He also knew that the obelisk has always been the predominant object of idolatry forbidden by God of ancient Israel, the God he had turned his back on many years ago.


          As the jet continued its descent he could feel the slightest pressure on his ear drums as he looked out the window to see the city of Luxor situated on the banks of the Nile.  Even from this height the size of the ancient Temple of Karnak was impressive.  He marveled at the fact that it was said that fourteen of the gothic cathedrals of Europe could be contained in its main courtyard.  He found it fascinating, and his good fortune, that the unfinished obelisk never made it to Karnak to be placed among many other obelisks only to fall into ruin through the passage of time. 


          Cardinal Romano sat back in his seat and raised his glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in a silent toast to what he felt was his personal destiny.  Of all the people on Earth, he was to be the one, after all these centuries, to free the stone from the earth for purposes that only he totally understood. 


          Moments later, the intercom interrupted the private thoughts of the Cardinal when the pilot, as instructed, announced, “Cardinal Romano, please look out the window.  We are now approaching the Aswan quarry site and the unfinished obelisk will be coming into view momentarily.”


          The site took his breath away as the Cardinal looked out the window.  At this low altitude he could see the obelisk as it lay in the earth.  He could see the  stairway built from the ground up so tourists could actually walk up and on top of what was now one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions.  He could see that many people were standing and walking on the length of the obelisk as it lay dormant and he felt an anger that he found hard to suppress. 


What fools!  They have no idea what they’re doing.  The Cardinal found it hard to contain his composure as he witnessed what he considered to be the ultimate act of desecration, an abomination beyond description!  The future home of his lord being trampled underfoot by the vulgar rabble was almost more than he could bear.


He knew it was only a matter of time before he would rescue the stone from this travesty and erect it for the entire world to see, and rightfully worship.