Monday, February 28, 2011

The Hermit Praying (Rembrandt), sent from Seraphim

The Stairway Writing Finished

At least for now, what is written or can be written regarding the Stairway to Heaven is complete.  What remains to be expressed cannot be easily, and it would be but one of many individual expressions of the experience.  No two souls on the stairway would experience the outflow in the same way.  The suffering involved is individually suited.

In one example, joy in the mystical state is entirely different than joy in the temporal state.  Perceptions are altered once one is on the stairway, and yet there is much acceptance and adaptation yet necessary.

As for living in Christ in the Present Moment, the experience continues whether or not a stairway existence.  But there are differences in perception, all the same.  As love has been analyzed in various ways, given famously four types, mystical love is different from temporal love, in the sheer essence and perceptions of the different states of being.

 Today am needing to focus on some work, and this to be done from a sorting process within the soul, filtering through the mind, emotions and body.  Is there comprehension that prayer takes on different essences and perceptions?

For it does.

Now, to work in this present moment, in Christ, without feeling or thinking or even perceiving, other than to know: in Christ.  He knows.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More About Mystics and Love

Just finished reading Journet's The Dark Knowledge of God.  The author builds from the base of Thomistic theology and then into the mists.  He uses the metaphor that the ocean is knowledge of God and of faith, whereas the mists rising from the ocean are mystical theology and the experiential love of God.

I could write quite a bit and quote from this excellent kinda scarce book, but it is more of the same of the natural division from temporal to mystical, and rise of our souls from the known to the unknown.  Journet quotes Denys the Carthusian and prior, Dionysus, St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as St. Angela de Foligno, plus the outstanding Pere Garrigou-Lagrange.

The book is outstanding for its diminutive size and not much more than 100 pages.  Tiny print!  Packed with sure-fire information.  The Da and I discussed the whole thing about the Mystical Body of Christ once again, as well as LOVE.

As I was not comfortable with a descriptive term I used previously, I removed it.  Although I'd been directed to stand my ground, and there was really nothing untruthful, it was not right.  Right is always right.  Over nearly four years' time, I've probably done more praying for some souls than I ever thought possible.  Yet, it seems that standing my ground did at least clear the cyberair, or maybe it is the spam mode that handled the difficulty.  Regardless, I am done standing my ground when the ground is not worth standing upon.  Better just keep my soul in flight, and to love, not slip.

Am very busy these days with living in Christ in the Present Moment, and that has included discovering how impure am I and how pure is He.  It will always be that way until the beatific vision.  Then, although I cannot fathom how, my soul will be out of this body, and somehow my mind and heart and spirit will be His.  This no doubt will occur eons after my earthly death, although yes, I am on the stairway now, once again, all absolved, the soul made whiter than snow (for an instant).

The devil does try to make me lose my balance on the stairway, and has been quite clever in doing so, and of course my own lack of experience in being on the stairway to heaven does not help.  Easy to slip, all the more, when on a stairway than when on the ground floor.  So I must hang on to the banister and keep both feet on the same step, and let thoughts of earthly matters not trip me, out of my own past thoughts and own past negativities.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Save Me in Your Love

Psalm in Office of Readings for this morning snared my heart.  The psalmist sang Save me in your love. I sing this to the Lord especially today.  Much love to everyone.  May we all be saved by God, for He has saved us, and it is all the more potent prodigious if we but realize that He has made us His own.

Also the Readings included much on wisdom.  The Da the other day had discussed Sunday's second reading from I Corinthians. Why do we not hear much about the hidden wisdom, the mysteries?  He said people would not know what to think if it was preached.  But, they would surely be more intrigued, I countered.  Many people would like to know of the mysteries, and how will they find out if not told?  So we must do our reading and praying, and comprehend the Sacraments and Scriptures, ponder and beg for graces to grow. We must live fully in Christ, remain in His love, fully in each present moment.

Our homily emphasized the Gospel reading.  That is always outstanding, as well.  But the topic of the mystical Body of Christ or the hidden wisdom is usually not touched.  Why?  The Da felt that it is because most people are not ready for it, are not able to comprehend, or do not want to know.  He said they are not mature, for St. Paul says it is for the mature.

How will we become mature so that we can be told the hidden wisdom, be given this grace?  Those who love, who love to learn to love, will desire more and more, and those who desire will be given much, and those who love much will be given even more opportunities to love.

And they will also suffer much.  Pope Pius XII taught this in Mystici Corporis Christi.  Jesus saves us in His love by the love of the Cross.  It is through suffering that love reaches its zenith.

Today a little baby girl is born to one of the members of the Order of the Present Moment.  Olivia Marie enters this world, a Valentine Baby, and her mother and father love her with Christ's saving love.

Congratulations to all who love and who comprehend that we are saved in God's love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Hidden Wisdom

We all should desire the hidden wisdom of God mentioned in St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians (2:6-10).

We have a wisdom to offer those who have reached maturity; not a philosophy of our age, it is true, still less of the masters of our age, which are coming to their end.

What is this wisdom? What is the age of maturity for Catholics?  Are they the new age ideologies that many preach, nor the desires of some women, also, to attain power positions and pontification beyond the most perfectly powerful presence and position of the humble Virgin.

The hidden wisdom of God which we teach in our mysteries is the wisdom that God predestined to be for our glory before the ages began.

Is this the wisdom of the Mystical Head of the Mystical Body of Christ poured out through Christ's Spirit of Truth, one with the Father and the Son.  Is this the wisdom God divinely wills for all of us as co-heirs of Christ, that no longer we might live, not ourselves, but Christ in us?

It is a wisdom that none of the masters of this age have ever known, or they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory; we teach what scripture calls: the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.

Is this wisdom, love? Is this wisdom love that is of God, and is this the love-is-God wisdom?  Is it the wisdom that cannot be seen or heard with human eyes and ears but rather with the Mystical Body, the inner sight and inner sense graces poured into us from the Holy Spirit?

These are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God.


And Jesus says in Matthew 5...

For I tell you, if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.....

We are yet too temporal.  Way too temporal.  We do not love as Christ loves, not even in being able to be rid of lewd conduct, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, bickering, jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

But the life in the mystical world is different than the temporal.  The Mystical Body of Christ of the mystical Catholic world would not only live beautifully in harmony with the temporal body, but would exhibit the fruit of Christ's Spirit: love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity.

Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead.

Pope St. Leo the Great: 

See with your bodily eyes the light that shines on earth, but embrace with your whole soul and all your affections the true light which enlightens every man who comes into this world. Speaking of this light the prophet said: Draw close to him and let his light sine upon you and your face will not blush with shame.  If we are indeed the temple of God and if the Spirit of God lives in us, then what every believer has within himself is greater than what he admires in the skies.

Our words and exhortations are not intended to make you disdain God's works or think there is anything contrary to your faith in creation, for the good God has himself made all things good.  What we do ask is that you use reasonably and with moderation all the marvelous creatures which adorn this world; as the Apostle says: The things that are seen are transient but the things that are unseen are eternal.

For we are born in the present only to be reborn in the future. Our attachment, therefore, should not be to the transitory; instead, we must be intent upon the eternal.  Let us think of how divine grace has transformed our earthly natures so that we may contemplate more closely our heavenly hope.  

We hear the Apostle say: You are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ your life appears, then you will also appear in glory with him, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Cannot we discern the difference between the good temporal, the too temporal, and Christ the Head of the Mystical Body of Christ?

The very devils latch on to the too temporal, and also of their own kind in the errant, false mystical.  But in Christ we have truth, and if matters become too temporal, we have not virtue but vice, and we fall from the graces given us as members of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Yes, we are top-heavy temporal in our time, yet we have Scriptures and writings of the early Fathers and saints galore, besides the mystical Catholic world sacraments, poured out daily and nightly in our beautiful temporal Catholic Church.  But when we become too temporal we lapse from the Spirit's lead.

Mystical Body of Christ: Pope Pius XII Encyclical

Sharing some highlights of Mystici Corporis Christi written in 1943.

...the greatest joy and exaltation are born only of suffering, and hence that we should rejoice if we partake of the sufferings of Christ, that when His glory shall be revealed we may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Our purpose is to throw an added ray of glory on the supreme beauty of the Church; to bring out into fuller light the exalted supernatural nobility of the faithful who in the Body of Christ are united with their Head; and finally, to exclude definitely the many current errors with regard to this matter.

If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ--which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church--we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression, 'the Mystical Body of Christ'--an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.

Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.

...our Lord is the Founder, the Head, the Support and the Savior of this Mystical Body. was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been united to this Mystical Body through the waters of Baptism except by the salutary virtue of the Cross, by which they had been already brought under the complete sway of Christ.

...Christ our Lord sent the Holy Spirit down from Heaven, to touch them with tongues of fire and to point out, as by the finger of God, the supernatural mission and office of the Church.

...He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption.... But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this work of sanctification with His Church, but He wills that in some way it be due to her action. This is a deep mystery, and an inexhaustible subject of meditation, that the salvation of many depends upon the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ offer for this intention and on the cooperation of pastors of souls and of the faithful, especially of fathers and mothers of families, a cooperation which they must offer to our Divine Savior as though they were His associates.

Christ must be acknowledged Head of the Church for this reason, too, that as supernatural gifts have their fullness and perfection in Him, it is of this fullness that His Mystical Body receives....The knowledge which is called 'vision' He possesses with such clarity and comprehensiveness that it surpasses similar celestial knowledge found in all the saints of heaven. So full of grace and truth is He that of His inexhaustible fullness we have all received.

Holiness begins from Christ; and Christ is its cause. For no act conducive to salvation can be performed unless it proceeds from Him as from its supernatural source.
But in virtue of that higher, interior, and wholly sublime communication, with which We dealt when We described the manner in which the Head influences the members, Christ our Lord wills the Church to live His own supernatural life, and by His divine power permeates His whole Body and nourishes and sustains each of the members according to the place which they occupy in the body, in the same way as the vine nourishes and makes fruitful the branches which are joined to it.

...and while Christ alone received this Spirit without measure, to the members of the Mystical Body He is imparted only according to the measure of the giving of Christ from Christ's own fullness. But after Christ's glorification on the Cross, His Spirit is communicated to the Church in an abundant outpouring, so that she, and her individual members, may become daily more and more like to our Savior.

It is He [this Spirit of Christ] who, through His heavenly grace, is the principle of every supernatural act in all parts of the Body....[Pope Leo XIII, Divinum Illud] 'Let it suffice to say that, as Christ is the Head of the Church, so is the Holy Spirit her soul.'

...We desire to make clear why the Body of Christ, which is the Church, should be called mystical.  This name, which is used by many early writers, has the sanction of numerous Pontifical documents.  There are several reasons why it should be used; for by it we may distinguish the Body of the Church, which is a Society whose Head and Ruler is Christ...; and, that which is of greater importance in view of modern errors, this name enables us to distinguish it from any other body, whether in the physical or the moral order.

In a natural body the principle of unity unites the parts in such a manner that each lacks in its own individual subsistence; on the contrary, in the Mystical Body the mutual union, though intrinsic, links the members by a bond which leaves to each the complete enjoyment of his own personality.

But if we compare a mystical body with a moral body, it is to be noted that the difference between them is not slight; rather it is very considerable and very important.  In the moral body the principle of union is nothing else than the common end, and the common cooperation of all under the authority of society for the attainment of that end; whereas in the Mystical Body of which We are speaking, this collaboration is supplemented by another internal principle, which exists effectively in the whole and in each of its parts, and whose excellence is such that of itself it is vastly superior to whatever bonds of union may be found in a physical or moral body. As We said above, this is something not of the natural but of the supernatural order; rather it is something in itself infinite, uncreated: the Spirit of God, who, as the Angelic Doctor [Aquinas] says, 'numerically one and the same, fills and unifies the whole Church.'

Just as our composite mortal body, although it is a marvelous work of the Creator, falls far short of the eminent dignity of our soul, so the social structure of the Christian community, though it proclaims the wisdom of its divine Architect, still remains something inferior when compared to the spiritual gifts which give it beauty and life, and to the divine source whence they flow.

...Christ as Head and Exemplar of the Church is not complete, if only His visible human nature is considered..., or if only His divine, invisible nature...but He is one through the union of both and one in is it with His Mystical Body since the Word of God took unto Himself a human nature liable to sufferings, so that He might consecrate in His blood the visible Society founded by Him and 'lead man back to things invisible under a visible rule.'

When, wherefore, we call the Body of Jesus Christ 'mystical', the very meaning of the word conveys a solemn warning.  It is a warning that echoes in these words of St. Leo: 'Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member.'

Here, Venerable Brethren, We wish to speak in a very special way of our union with Christ in the Body of the Church, a thing which is, as Augustine justly remarks, sublime, mysterious and divine.... 'He (Christ) is the Head of the Body of the Church,' the unbroken tradition of the Fathers from the earliest times teaches that the Divine Redeemer and the Society to which His Body form but one mystical person, that is to say to quote Augustine, the whole Christ. Our Savior Himself in His sacerdotal prayer [John 13-17] did not hesitate to liken this union to that wonderful unity by which the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son.

But if the bonds of faith and hope, which bind us to our Redeemer in His Mystical Body are weighty and important, those of charity are certainly no less so. If even in the natural order the love of friendship is something supremely noble, what shall we say of that supernatural love, which God infuses in our hearts? 'God is charity and he that abideth in charity abideth in God and God in him.' 

How many children of the Church, on fire with this heavenly flame, have rejoiced to suffer insults for Him, and to face and overcome the hardest trials, even at the cost of their lives and the shedding of their blood. For this reason our Divine Savior earnestly exhorts us in these words: 'Abide in my love.' And as charity, if it does not issue effectively in good works, is something altogether empty and unprofitable, He added immediately: 'If you keep my commandments you shall abide in my love; as I have also kept my Father's commandments and do abide in His love. And love one another as I have loved you.

And from here, the encyclical becomes yet more mystical in its teachings of the Mystical Body of Christ.  'Remain in My love.' Christ in the womb of Mary, even then embracing all members of his His Mystical Body by His redeeming love.

Christ is in us through His spirit, whom He gives to us and through whom He acts within us in such a way that all the divine activity of the holy Spirit within our souls must also be attributed to Christ....This communication of the Spirit of Christ is the channel through which all the gifts, powers, and extra-ordinary graces found superabundantly in the Head as in their source flow into all the members of the Church, and are perfected daily in them according to the place they hold in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Thus the Church becomes, as it were, the filling out and the complement of the Redeemer, while Christ in a sense attains through the Church a fullness in all things.

...the mystical Head, which is Christ, and the Church, which here below as another Christ shows forth His person, constitute one new man, in whom heaven and earth are joined together in perpetuating the saving work of the Cross: Christ We mean, the Head and the Body, the whole Christ.

The encyclical continues with more explanation of divine mysteries, given to anyone but some more than others.  Why?  It has to do with our desire and by His grace.  Faith. Hope. LOVE.

In that celestial vision it will be granted to the eyes of the human mind strengthened by the light of gory, to contemplate the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in an utterly ineffable manner, to assist throughout eternity at the processions of the Divine Persons, to rejoice with a happiness like to that with which the holy and undivided Trinity is happy.

The encyclical moves into the Sacraments, and both the Eucharist and Penance [emphasis on frequent and of all venial sins] are highlighted; but of course we must have baptism and confirmation, the necessities of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.  Then we have Holy Orders for the dispensing of Sacraments, and Marriage for the perpetuation of humanity and of souls. And Pope Pius XII writes of the divine will as well as the importance of prayer to Christ as Head of the Mystical Body, of the Church, as Son of God the Father, one with the Father.  We are exhorted to love the Mystical Body in thought, word and deeds.

At this point we are instructed: Nor does it suffice to love this Mystical Body for the glory of its divine Head and for its heavenly gifts; we must love it with an effective love as it appears in this our mortal flesh--made up, that is, of weak human elements, even though at times they are little fitted to the place which they occupy in this venerable body....As the vastness of the charity with which Christ loved His Church is equaled by its constant activity, we all, with the same assiduous and zealous charity must love the Mystical Body of Christ.

Our united prayer should rise daily to heaven for all the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ....and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one who 'do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church.'...For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church.

Among instruction on graces and mortification, Pope Pius XII teaches of Mary, the Queen of Martyrs, the Mother of all members of Christ who more than all the faithful filled up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ...for His Body, which is the Church;' and she continues to have for the Mystical Body of Christ, born of the pierced Heart of the Savior, the same motherly care and ardent love with which she cherished and fed the Infant Jesus in the crib.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mystical Body of Christ

Visited the Da yesterday.  He is deep into the Fr. Leen book given him at Christmas.  Says he wished he'd read it back in seminary days...70 or more years ago.  Says Fr. Leen is a mystic.  And what is a mystic?  Someone who seeks and has union with Christ.  Live in Christ in the present moments, and remain in His love so He remains in the mystic.

And the Church should be made up of mystics, for it is called the mystical body of Christ.  We should all be mystics, and then there would be fully the mystical body of Christ.

The temporal Catholic world has clashes and missteps.  Seems for me the curtain between worlds (or is that the stairway to heaven?) has been rent (or I am on the stairway?).  When the Da and I put out the two worlds, we asked, "If we had three days left to live, which would we choose?  The temporal Catholic world or the mystical Catholic world?"

We chose the mystical Catholic world, for that is merely what God wills, is it not?  If all were mystics in the mystical body of Christ, the temporal would unfold in faith, hope and love.  There would be no need for committees and counsels, or for councils and canon laws.

Recently a cleric hit the wall.  He had been stalked and harassed by a parishioner for a long time, and humiliated by the person.  Finally he had to get protective orders through the court against this person.  Then the temporal Catholic world moved him to a larger parish in a different city.  He did not need more and different.  He simply needed some support and help.  He'd been through hell for several years.  

So he left.  Wrote the bishop he was leaving.  The diocese knew but kept it quiet, told no one.  Finally the family found out and filed a missing person's report with police.  He was located a month later. Police and family honored his wishes to be left alone. 

The temporal Catholic world wanted the departed, depressed man to get in touch.  A statement to the press asked the priest to call, as the diocese had not been contacted, so they could offer him assistance if needed [too little too late], and that they must validate his leave of absence since it was unauthorized as it stood.

Mystical body of Christ would offer assistance early on in the stalking ordeal.  Mystical body of Christ would search for the lost lamb until found, not hushed his disappearance for 17 days.  Mystical body of Christ would say call us for we want to help you (and are truly sorry we were insensitive).  

Temporal Catholic world needs the paperwork validated for an authorized leave of absence....  

Of course, mystics in the mystical body of Christ in the mystical Catholic world would not stalk anyone to the point of breakdown, nor would there be a skeptical or unwelcoming view of mystics because all would be mystics in the mystical body of Christ in the mystical Catholic world.

But we have one tiny example of the difference between how the mystical body of Christ should exist and move and have its being, compared to many examples one can find in the temporal, temporal Catholic world--a temporal world with far too many temporal Catholics in it.

Recall the theologian who wrote that if by the end of the [20th] century we are not all mystics, then we will be nothing.

The Da wanted me to write about the mystical body of Christ.  He said, "You understood it a year or two ago!  You were describing the mystical Catholic world!  You have to get people to understand!  Write a blog or something!"  

Am thrilled he's with me on this now, for I told him many others had ridiculed it.  The Da said, "Well that is someone who does not get it! This is what we all are to be: In Christ and His light through us, in the mystical body of Christ!  The other does not matter!  Our bodies are temporal, yes, but we are to be mystics and exist in the mystical body of Christ!"

I guess if you get it, you get it, and that must mean you have at least a foothold on the stairway to heaven.  To be in Christ in every present moment, to live Him and not any more be self but Christ--in Christ, through and with Christ--is to be on the stairway.  

It may also mean not being so welcome in the temporal Catholic world anymore, or to find it tremendously distracting due to the varied and temporal, temporal Catholic world distractions.  If we are Christ lives, not I, there should be no temporal distractions in the mystical body of Christ that exists and breathes in the mystical Catholic world.