Monday, November 29, 2010

Crisis Continues but Remaining in His Love

Just back from hospital.  Was called this afternoon.  Had thankfully been in bed
getting on top of my own chronic pain situation, and grateful to Holy Spirit for nudging me to do so.

Relative had to go back in for emergency surgery, more amputation.  Infection not getting under control with strongest possible antibiotics.  Am having to try to deal with relatives adult children and a spouse who are not processing this very well.  So appreciate all the more the Faith and remaining in His love.

Prayer is all that can be done now, that the infection does not become septic poisoning.  Not many more inches left to amputate if infection continues to invade tissue.

Will write more when I can, which might be a couple days.

His love in the Order of the Present Moment sustains in all and any situation.  Relative this time smiled when I prayed prior to surgery, specifically calling upon us all to remain in His love and thanking Him for keeping us in His love.  Then when I said I brought my rosary with blessed medals, wanted me to place it on the seriously ill person, and smiled again.  Not Catholic, but it is FAITH, and the Faith comes through in what people desire in life or death situations.

God bless everyone and anyone who reads this, and thanks for prayers for God's will to be done, for His will is being done and will be done, regardless, in every present moment. 

We remain in His love, and we carry others in His love, remaining steadfast when others around are in confusion or shock.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Seraphim's Quote and Various Testimonies of Remaining in Christ's Love

Seraphim, our hermit friend in Germany, emailed a quote he'd written in his hermit journal a couple weeks ago.  It is from St. Francis de Sales' classic, Introduction to the Devout Life.  So apropos to our living in Christ in the present moment and learning to remain in His love, am highlighting this quote and Seraphim's consideration of it, rather than chancing readers finding it in the comment box.

"If your heart wanders or is suffering, bring it gently back into place and move it gently in the presence of your Lord. And even if you have done in your life nothing else but returning your heart back into the presence of our God, even though it always ran away again, after you had retrieved it, then you have fulfilled your life well" (Francis de Sales)

Seraphim adds: That's our exercise :-)

Yes, if we remain in Christ's love, we are in His Sacred Heart--our heart in His Heart.  This is truly our exercise, over and over, to bring our hearts back to His Heart, to remain in His love.

Others have written more "testimonies" of how this exercise, as Seraphim rightly terms it, is going in the every day present moments of our lives.  So we share.  

I admit I've had to return to more conscious repeating, I remain in Your love and Help me remain in Your love and thinking of Jesus reminding me, Remain in My love.  These past four days with family member in hospital and the various emotions, thoughts, talk and coping has put Remain in My love to the test, with perfect, successful results.  What else from God when we ask? He wants us in His love, remaining there.

"Ruth" shares an amazing, gripping event that she says is not supernatural, but we must realize that any change in our spiritual lives is super-natural, above the temporal, effected from God.  But we know what she means.

"I have been working on living in Christ's Love.  I don't have anything supernatural to tell about, but I have had a healing in my heart.  I didn't realize it, but apparently I have been living with a leaking broken heart [not physically, but read on and see] for nearly eleven years and never knew it until now.  The actual injury happen eleven years ago; the wound has since been torn deeper three more time by the same person.  I am sure they didn't know that they did this.  If I did not know, how could they?  And Christ has shown me that I may have, subconsciously, hurt them very deeply as well.

"I have, up until I started practicing living in Christ's love, been living in a state of organized confusion.  You know, too many irons in the fire, so to speak.  

"While I went to Mass often and did daily devotionals, I was horribly prone to despair. It got worse after I moved out into the middle of nowhere.  With very few churches offering daily Mass, at times I could not always make it. I was left with a sense of depletion.  Little did I know that all of the graces God was pouring into me were leaking out, due to massive holes in my heart.

"Practicing living in Christ's love has turned my attention to these hidden problems.  The Heavenly Surgeon has kindly shown me the sources to my wounds, gently stitched them up, and is working with me through 'rehabilitation.' 

 "Miscommunication was the knife that stabbed my heart so many years ago.  Miscommunication was the machete that hacked away deeper years later.  And finally, miscommunication was the weapon that I had mistakenly used to smash into the heart of my original attacker on the day of my engagement.

"Sorry I know a ramble a lot, but it has been a very interesting couple of weeks.  Living in Christ's love is painful for me right now.  But I know He is pruning me, so that I can bare the best fruit I can."

"Ruth's" experience is surely what Jesus means when He says if we remain in His love, He will send the Holy Spirit of truth to dwell in us, and we will have the Spirit's truth which is what Jesus and the Father tell the Holy Spirit to tell us!  It is like a spotlight placed inside our soul, highlighting matters that need transformation in love--matters of which we were not aware enough to deal with, and of course we are nothing and God is All.  We need Jesus' healing to heal what we are shown, these holes in our hearts.

"Pio" writes:  I am remaining in His love and trying to and praying to.  I am so grateful to Him for the concept and challenge of remaining in His love.  It does work!!!!!"  Pio also has tried to explain to a friend how to remain in His love, but the friend resists, saying how glad that it is giving Pio benefit.  Pio is wise in pointing out that perhaps at some stage, the friend will desire for herself, this pearl of great price.  Until then, Pio prays remaining in His love.

As for "working", yes, it works.  Remain in My love actualizes the summation of how to live in the Sacred Heart, in the present moment and forever.  "Adel" shares some efforts and results.

"I realized something yesterday and today. Although I read it all the time, it is different when we realize something ourselves, or the Holy Spirit puts it in us. I realized that every time when I slack, and then I pray and ask for help I have Jesus' Love in me, and Jesus in me, and He helps me and straightens me up. He is our stronghold, our Rock , our fortress. But when I don't pray, I start not caring and the love lessens. It makes me realize how wretched I am, that I just cant do anything without the Lord's help. I need him so much!

"I also realized it is my purpose, or job, or vocation in this life, to receive the Love of the Lord, to stay in His Love, to remain in His love, and pass it on, to my family neighbors, and customers.  That is what I am supposed to do! And I have to try and do the best job possible, always praying, to stay in His Love, to have Jesus' Love in me and thereby let Jesus love the other people through me. It really is what all of us are supposed to do anyways. It is all of our job, to pass His Love on. But it is only possible with his help, if we stay in His love, otherwise, we, as poor and wretched sinners are incapable of loving other people like that. 

"I have a button that says. "I love my customers" and I haven't put it on in a long time. I should put it back on, because that is truly, what I am supposed to do, LOVE MY CUSTOMERS no matter what. If they are nice, nasty, grumpy, or disinterested, just love them, like Jesus loves everybody. 

"Since I have been living in the [order of the] present moment, and in Jesus' Love, I have started to talk more with my customers, and started caring more, and am trying to make them happy, and want to know about their problems, and pray about them, and for them.   

Also realized, since the advent season starts Sunday, this is the perfect timing for the discovering of 'Remaining in His Love' just in time for Christmas. 

"Also, yesterday [daughter] was supposed to be home at 10pm from work, and it was after 11pm, and I started to get a little worried. Decided to call her, and her phone rang, but she didnt answer. Started to get more worried, but realized, I have to pray, and started to 'Remain in His Love', and prayed to trust Him, and remain in His love. It wasn't a minute, and the phone rang, and she called and said she was alright, and had to work later, and will be home. That was amazing!! I also think, like you, that [remaining in His love] will not die down, because if we pray and remain in His love, we can remain in His Love forever.  Jesus is always there for us."

Dear Friends in Christ in the Present Moment, we share the joys of our "exercise" (as Seraphim aptly terms it), the repeated, gentle returning of our souls to Christ's love, remaining there in His Sacred Heart. 

Recounting our joy--is it Jesus' joy made complete in us as He promised?  Surely our joy unites in the joy of the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary, the angels, the saints, and brings joy to all souls we encounter, living and dead, whether or not we see their joy. By remaining in His love, we touch the universe, in Christ's love! 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life or Death Crisis, but Remaining in His Love

Hope to be able to write tomorrow. Today got phone call and told of crisis situation with a family member so went immediately to hospital.  Home now, but will say that just a few days ago had mentioned to guests that I couldn't think of anything that would up-end or rattle remaining in His love.  And this was certainly a test...and a testament to the actuality of remaining in His love and the power and strength of His love: REMAINING.  His love is steadfast, and there is joy even in crises and tears, and healing now for the loved one survived although has quite a journey ahead.  But a good one, for she had wanted to learn more about remaining in His love before calamity struck.

Was able to mention to a couple family members, and just brief explaining of praying, remaining in His love, gave them strength, hope, and now desire to remain in His love.

Again, we are finding this is not a perspective, not a way of thinking.  It is an actuality, a living, eternal gift given by Christ, available for us in every present moment!  There is only goodness and mercy all the days of our lives...eternally...remaining in His love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

St. Leo the Great Unplugged

This morning's Office of Reading's sermon by Pope St. Leo the Great is just what I struggled with guests and on a post in discussing varying degrees of success in remaining in His love and as key to living in Christ in the present moment. 

For the man who loves God it is sufficient to please the one he loves; and there is no greater recompense to be sought than the loving itself; for love is from God by the very fact that God himself is love.  The good and chaste soul is so happy to be filled with him that it desires to take delight in nothing else.  For what the Lord says is very true: 'Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be....'

Yesterday's discussion included the comment that if one remains in His love, even if touching upon the fringe of His garment, other interests will lose appeal.  The things of this world will pass away. Remaining in His love will prevail as desire in His love will grow.  But one disagreed and said that there will always be other interests that are loved and remain in the thoughts.  Not so, I countered.  Christ's love will reign as well as His will and His truth, but the one remaining in His love will participate in tasks and interests from within Christ's love, by His love, and through His love.

'For whatever a man sows this too will he reap,' and each man's gain matches his toil; and where delight and enjoyment are found, there the heart's desire is attached.  Now there are many kinds of wealth and a variety of grounds for rejoicing; every man's treasure is that which he desires.  If it is based on earthly ambitions, its acquisition makes men not blessed but wretched.

'But those who enjoy the things that are above and eternal rather than earthly and perishable, possess an incorruptible, hidden store of which the prophet speaks: 'Our treasure and salvation have come, wisdom and instruction and piety from the Lord; these are the treasures of justice.'  Through these, with the help of God's grace, even earthly possessions are transformed into heavenly blessings; it is a fact that many people use the wealth which is either rightfully left to them or otherwise acquired, as a tool of devotion...'

Pope St. Leo goes on to give example of giving superfluous wealth to support the poor and place the riches where the heart is, in love of Christ, His love of the poor.  By this we amass imperishable riches, spiritual ones, and the poor gain as well.

We have here the discussion of possessions and of being possessed either by the world and its allures or by the love of Christ, remaining in His love, living in Christ always.  An example arose of someone wanting to remain in Christ's love yet cannot give up watching a football game for a few minutes when someone calls to discuss, what else?  Remain in My love.  Without castigating, we do have an example of the struggle in small detail of earthly life, the degrees by which we discern the depth of our desire to remain in Christ's love, living in Him in every present moment.

I was asked what is wrong with watching football?  Nothing is wrong with it, except when the need to watch possesses us, especially when there is something more directly connected with the actualization of Christ's love in the offering.  Of course, there always is something more of Christ if we consider each step in life as one toward heaven or one toward hell, or dreadfully stymied at standstill.

So it was said that perhaps the football affeccionado figured he could talk about Jesus' love with the person another time, later on.  Well maybe, but what if either of them died before the conversation could take place?  Or what if the other decided to not bother speaking of it to him, considering the inability to sacrifice but minutes of a televised game by one who otherwise professed eagerness to remain in Christ's love?

It is a trifling point.  However, in honesty we recognize ourselves in similar present moments with such choices to be made.  If we desire to remain in His love, His love will supersede all else.  Yes, we will function in our daily lives; but it will be from the vantage of remaining in His love, and our choices will predicate the degree of our dedication and desire.  Being perfected in His love includes on-going fine-tuning by degree and desire.  If we seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all these things shall be added unto us. 

Do we truly want to live in Christ in every present moment?  While on this earth, how many present moments does God grant us? What better place and time to begin than in remaining in His love, now, in this present moment?  How much do we desire to possess His love and be possessed by Him?  May zeal for His house consume us....We may be scorned by those who scorn God...but those who love God's name shall dwell there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Varying Degrees of Success

Am coagulating thoughts from conversations, observations, and experiences.  Up to now have been mostly in research and development, now am merging into sales.  Why is it that some either are not interested in remaining in Christ's love, or resist, or report varying degrees of success?

The Irish Da suggests that some resist due to a sense of competition, one with the other.  A friend to whom I was giving the pitch and remarking on resistance or down right refusal, suggested people fear this.  I have accepted that it could also have to do with the messenger, with some wary, thinking... "off on another tangent". 

But seriously, fear may capture the majority of resistance or refusal cases for trying Remain in My love.  Some may fear the unknown of what might happen, fear the intensity, fear a change, fear it may take work or effort, perhaps fear of failure.  Could be fear of leaving a perceived contentment in life, temporal or spiritual. 

What is behind fear?  Loss of something?  Loss of "possession" or "control"?  Success or failure (and the varying degrees between) resides in depth and focus of desire for Christ and to remain in His love now and forever.  What blocks a person from remaining in Christ's love can be lack of belief, or faith.  He said to believe in Him.  He said to obey His command: Love others as He loves us.  Note no mention of self-love.

In honesty, our greatest "possession" may be ourselves.  Many of us spent years building upon our egos-- and society cleverly promotes the means to do this at a price, monetary and spiritual.  Origen wrote that we must mortify our members.  Mortify means to die to self.  Jesus told the rich young man that to enter the kingdom of heaven he must sell all his possessions.

If we are unwilling or do not recognize our possessions, or if we have not come to a point of dying to self, then we have blocks to remaining in His love from the onset.  If we still possess ourselves and are possessed by ourselves, we cannot remain in His love.  Only when we lose ourselves, lose the deceptive need and desire to control our lives and surroundings, then submit ourselves to Christ, can we remain in His love.

Pride at its root and power is possessiveness.  Pride causes us to possess our selves, or at least to think we are possessing ourselves.  Pride is in the thoughts.  When we desire to love God above all else, we can then be material for remaining in His love.  

Even so, if we have died to ourselves and desire to live in Christ in every present moment, to remain in His love, there will be other possessions besides the main, blocking pride of self love.  These others are like fruit flies that multiply rapidly and bombard annoyingly. While on earth these "possessions" take the form of various attachments but do not constitute a block precluding us from remaining in His love.  When the Holy Spirit of truth shows us these fruit fly "possessions", we brush them aside, or if need be, clap them between our hands, mid-air.  Do not let them feed on our egos or multiply in force.

As example, they could be the books I have accumulated, if they possessed me.  Or as a friend pointed out, could be the gardens here, if they possessed me.  Or could be television programs, football or golf, food, alcohol, shopping, hobbies, collections.  Other "possessions" can be grumpiness with chronic pain, situational depression, disrupting conversations, ill temper, making wrong assumptions, being late, attachment to austerities or charismatic experiences, fame or career.

All that hinders full and perfect union with Christ--the ability to be possessed by Him versus the temporal or spiritual "possessions" that we let possess us--must be brushed aside or exterminated.  These attachments possess us more than we realize.  Cooperate with the Holy Spirit of truth who spotlights these possessions, for they hover and annoy until they are all swept away...and kept away.  This purifying is an on-going process until heaven, as we remain in Christ's love.  

As we remain in Christ's love, calling upon Him always,  the more we are sensitized to any and all that  tempts to possess us.  Thus the more we will expose and rid temporal and spiritual possessions that keep us from secured, divine union.

As for spiritual experiences or mystical phenomena, some think them proof of remaining in His love, of union.  But no.  Remaining in His love is present moment practical.  We know we are in His love by humility's presence.  Perhaps for years Christ was sought in austerities, books, certain devotions, or more humbling--sought very little or not at all.  

Humility is realized when we recognize the "possessions" that possess us, or when we see our foolishness in thinking we were not really attached to or possessed by these possessions: spiritual matters, temporal items, personality disorders, bad habits or corrupting vices.

Some may say they experience being in His love for years, and perhaps true.  Only the soul and Jesus know for sure, and it is really nothing to canonize ourselves about, our remaining in His love.  Some cite spiritual experiences and feelings as proof of union in Christ and insist that this comes and goes.  From our experience thus far, remaining in His love can very much be now and forever.  However,  we have no need to debate where others remain, or to what degree.

But we should know how to discern for ourselves, privately and honestly, with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the angels, saints, or our confessor.  Sign posts will be the actual fruit of the union: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22).  Selflessness is born of divine union, remaining in Christ's love, He in us and us in Him.  While our annoying attachments hover or attempt to possess us, by the grace of His love, we are His possession and in Him possessed.

Humility will blanket us and tuck us in, all the more quietly, simply, remaining in His love.  We will experience enduring love, not feelings, but the actual effects of remaining in His love, as His promises state in Scripture (cited in previous posts).  Our souls silently sing and glow, remaining in His love.  The past will not haunt us nor hinder, nor create a false hedge in ego or fame.  What will prevail is the now and forever key to His Heart: Remain in My love

Princes and Princesses of Christ the King!

We continue to realize our role living in His Kingdom, remaining in His love, every present moment.  Our inner and outer deportment must reflect the refulgent facets of His love.  We must learn and demonstrate, within and without: patience, kindness, humility, gentility, generosity, docility, compassion, long-suffering and selflessness. 

As princes and princesses of Christ the King, we represent Him as emissaries of His Kingdom.  Thus, we do all we can with our inner and outer appearance and bearing to reflect the nobility and grace of which we share in His Person, created in the image and likeness of God.  

The inner reaches of our souls are scrubbed clean in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, souls refreshed and as new as in our Baptism, for sacramental confession is a re-baptism as rains washing afresh a parched earth.  Freed from sins, over and over, our souls worthily may receive Christ's true Body and Blood in the Sacrament of Eucharist.  All, His love.

We are men and maids in waiting of the Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  She prepares us for His royal service.  The Queen is the dispenser of all graces, and from her we develop from the depth of grace, into willing subjects eternally transformed in His love.  Not only do we learn virtues but also how to work hard at our temporal tasks, to gain discipline and obedience, loyalty and respect, to grow in wisdom and stature so that we may represent the King and His Kingdom with ease and decorum.

When we comprehend that we are the princes and princesses of the King of Kings, and begin responding to the responsibility and honor bestowed upon us--to think that He considers us for such inclusion into His love forever--we cannot help but rejoice in His love, His will, His truth!  Jesus thanked the Father for giving us to Him, and He called us gifts!  He so loves us, His gifts, that He wants us with Him where He is, always.  Imagine!  So we willingly cooperate, those of us who desire, more than anything, even ourselves, to remain in His love, to obey His command to love, to live in Christ in every present moment...His love, His will, His truth.

This is the first Solemnity of Christ the King in which I have experienced from remaining in His love and as prince or princess.  I perked when the priest mentioned recent world news of a prince and his princess, and who the world considered the greatest king, the wealthy King of Thailand.  The priest, of course, explained that is of the world, and in the Kingdom of God, Christ is our King!  Yes, and my heart exclaimed, and we who belong to Him, who remain in His love, are His princes and princesses forever!  We do not belong to the world but to the Kingdom of God!

In this morning's Office of Readings, Origen writes of this and more.  The kingdom of God, in the words of our Lord and Savior, does not come for all to see; nor shall they say: Behold, here it is, or behold, there it is; but the kingdom of God is within us, for the word of God is very near, in our mouth and in our heart. Thus it is clear that he who prays for the coming of God's kingdom prays rightly to have it within himself, that there it may grow and bear fruit and become perfect.  For God reigns in each of his holy ones.

Pinch ourselves, those who are remaining in His love!  And those who are not yet grasping, pinch yourselves with the reality that we all can actually be His holy ones!  Believe in Him, obey His commands, remain in His love!

Origin continues his discourse. Note this too about the kingdom of God.  It is not a sharing of justice with iniquity, nor a society of light with darkness, nor a meeting of Christ with Belial.  The kingdom of God cannot exist alongside the reign of sin.  Therefore, if we wish God to reign in us, in now way should sin reign in our mortal body; rather we should mortify our members which are upon the earth and bear fruit in the Spirit.  

There should be in us a kind of spiritual paradise where God may walk and be our sole ruler with His Christ.  In us the Lord will sit at the right hand of that spiritual power which we wish to receive. And He will sit there until all his enemies who are within us become his footstool. 

And so, what is corruptible in us must be clothed in holiness and incorruptibility; and what is mortal must be clothed, now that death has been conquered, in the Father's immortality.  Then God will reign in us, and we shall enjoy even now the blessings of rebirth and resurrection.

So we know this with assurance, that we may remain in His love and all these things shall be added unto us.  And to remain in His love is to remain in His will and His truth.  

But if we find we are not in His love, we call upon His name day and night for help, expressing our desire to remain in His Kingdom now and forever.  Each time we pray...Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...we are praying to remain in His love, in His kingdom that is for those who believe in Him and obey His commands, who remain in His love, now on earth as in heaven.  

The entire Lord's prayer is a flowering of: Remain in My love.  Ponder, pray, sing anew.  Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil...for Thine is the Kingdom, and the Glory, and the Power forever! Amen.


Friday, November 19, 2010

More Verses: Jesus Gives His All

With these final verses in what is known as the prayer of Jesus or Jesus' last discourse, Jesus speaks to the Father about those who the Father has given Him--those who believe in Jesus and who are called out of the world yet live in the world.  He prays for us. That is any of us who believe in Jesus Christ, remain in His love, obey His command.  Jesus iterates that we know that He comes from the Father, and He asks that we be made one as they are one.

John 17:3  'Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.'

John 17:6-11  'I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 

'I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.'

Jesus reveals much in His words confided to the Father and expressed to us through Scripture.  He protected us when He was with His followers on earth, and He secures our protection from the Father after He returns to the Father.  Only Judas was lost, in order for the Scripture to follow its course.

John 17:12-19 'When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. 

'I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. 

Jesus repeats that we may share in His joy completely.  He explains why the world hates His followers:  We do not belong to the "world" any more than Jesus belongs to the "world".  We belong to the Kingdom of God.  Yet Jesus asks that we be protected from the devil, and we have been and are protected...unless we choose not to remain in Christ's love and obey His command.

Jesus next asks the Father to consecrate us in His word which is truth.  Jesus already consecrated Himself for us so that we may be consecrated in the truth.  To consecrate means to make sacred, to dedicate formally to a divine purpose.  We are consecrated to the truth [and the holy Spirit of truth] and sent into the world.  Why?  To fulfill our consecration, our sacred purpose, which is to tell the world the truth of Jesus Christ, His words and salvation for all souls.

'Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

Again Jesus tells His heavenly Father that He prays not only for us, but for any who will believe in Jesus through what we tell them.  The divine purpose is that we all may be one with Jesus Christ and the Father, as they are one.  This is a Trinitarian union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  

We are consecrated with the divine purpose to tell the world about Jesus and our salvation, that He redeemed our sins, laid down His life for us.  Jesus repeats that He has given them the glory that the Father gave Him, so that we may be in union and brought to perfection as one, and that the world will know this as a testimony that the Father sent Jesus, His Son, and loves us as the Father loves the Son.

John 17:20-26 'I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. 

And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. 

Jesus makes clear that we are the Father's gift to Him.  A gift is something freely given to another, without payment.  Can we fathom the height of Jesus' love for us, that He considers us a gift, when He gave up His life in reparation for our sins, so that we may have salvation for eternity?  

Then Jesus desires us to be where he is, so that we might see His glory and the love of the Father since before the earth existed.  In being with Him, does Jesus mean in the spiritual perfection of divine union, as well as in the reality of the truth of Jesus' being one in the Father and the Holy Spirit? 

Jesus states the reality: the world does not know God. But Jesus knows God the Father, as He they are one, and we know Jesus was sent by God because we believe Jesus, believe in Him. And Jesus has made it known to us that the love that God has for His Son may also be in us, and Jesus in us...because when we believe in Jesus we may remain in His love.

'Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.'

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Princes and Princesses

Although St. Silouan the Staretz advised not reading newspapers in order to better focus on the spiritual ascent, I admit to looking some at news online.  I used to never until recently, and yes, I do pray for the various situations and people involved.  So it is that I noticed a prince is engaged to a lovely young woman, a soon-to-be-princess.  The world seems caught up in the royal romance, flames fanned by the media.

Last evening as I watched video clips of an interview with the couple, then finished waking thoughts by reading more in St. Francis de Sales' Treatise on the Love of God, I fell asleep wondering the worth of time spent watching the video clips.  Should I have not?  Was it a distraction?  I prayed not but felt the loss of that chunk of present moments never to return.

This morning while readying for early Mass the thought of princes and princesses recurred.  On the way to the Cathedral, yes, remaining in Christ, I realized that women who remain in Christ's love are true princesses to our Divine Prince, and men who remain in Christ's love are true princes of Christ the King. 

If we could fathom that we are genderless souls, we could simply revel in being His spouse.  But the romantic aspects of being true princesses and princes works well since we are in our bodies on earth and know of such royal possibilities from childhood fairy tales to real-life media publicized icons.

So we (if women) are princesses to Jesus our Prince, and we maintain ourselves outwardly and inwardly as royalty ought.  Our Prince loves us exceedingly and protects us from harm.  He woos us and delights in our desire to be with Him always, never leaving His side, enrapt in His heart. We look to our Prince in all that we think, say and do.  He is our one love, and as royalty we live the role destined us, to be united to our Prince, living happily ever after in His Kingdom, and doing His bidding, help to make His Kingdom and all in it a glorious realm.

So we (if men) are princes to Christ our King.  We maintain ourselves outwardly and inwardly as royalty ought.  Our King teaches us to follow in His footsteps, to defend the Kingdom of God, to love and protect all within His realm.  He is pleased immeasurably with our desire to learn of Him and to serve Him in all we think, say and do.  We devote ourselves in love to His honor and glory.  As royalty we live the role destined us, to be loyal and united to our King, our sovereign Lord, living nobly within His Kingdom, doing His bidding to make His Kingdom and all in it a glorious realm.

Well, something like this, and more, of course. Today I pondered the romance, love, nobility, loyalty, decorum, and beauty of princesses and princes of the Kingdom of God.  I thought of Hildegarde de Bingen, called a saint by Pope John Paul II although her cause did not progress beyond Blessed, several centuries ago.  He called her a saint, and she is vox et populi a saint.  

Hildegarde and her religious sisters were quite the scandal in her day.  They dressed in flowing, gossamer gowns and wore floral crowns in their hair.  They danced, they sang, while Hildegarde the saint in their Medieval monastery played a lap harp. 

Hildegarde's was a mystic, a poet, an herbalist, artist, composer and musician.  She had supernatural graces of healing and prophecy besides being beloved of the country folk and at least a cleric and prelate to defend her against the opposition--mostly men and women religious of other monasteries who lived their lives in utter austerity in a time period already dank and dreary with hardships.

Hildegarde and her sisters were not up-ended by their critics' misunderstanding the joyful living and supernatural realities occurring in the Medieval monastery overlooking the Rhine.  They prayed and worshiped, worked hard, suffered persecution (at one point not allowed to sing), and loved Jesus and the Holy Catholic Church to which they'd avowed themselves for life. They were brides of Christ, after all, and why not exist then, as brides of the King of Kings? 

Whether princesses or princes, something of the reality of Christ--our Prince, Beloved, Lord and King--ought shimmer through our lives in every present moment.  It is beginning to happen to those of us blessed in learning to remain in His love and to obey His command to love others as He loves us.  Yes, as He loves us, and He does love us, definitely, infinitely.  It is His joy that enters our souls, making joy complete. 

Perhaps it is this reality of remaining in Christ and the shimmering joy that causes those who know us to balk, for I've had some people balk when they ask how I'm doing, and I am able to respond in more than happiness, but in joy, that my life has turned around and around, upside down, inside out in deep conversion. 

Two persons called today, and each seemed themselves and could not fathom my difference.  One commented that I do seem happy. I said I remain in His love, and His joy dwells in me and makes my joy complete.  I tried to explain, but the caller was in a hurry to run errands.  The other was wary and said had looked up the verses in John but they were not there. But of course they are there, and I repeated them once more. But being Catholic and the other not, suspicion hinted that somehow I was making it all up from some wrong kind of Bible.

Well, we princesses and princes can remain in Christ's love, spiritually happily ever after.  The world remains the world, and we pray to make a difference, to lovingly touch souls living and dead within the love of our Prince, our Beloved, our Christ the King to whom we are espoused. He chooses ears to listen, who will respond, through us or through others.  Not the wary nor critics can dampen the spirit of princesses and princes in love.