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.

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