Who is the most powerful person you know? My answer is, my wife! To make it more specific, “What is the most powerful object in the universe?” I had to look it up on Google Search. Turns out that there is a Youtube video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DFdAHiDljc In the face of such power, humans would not last a nano-second. Power is one of those interesting phenomena that seem to captivate the curiosity of many of us. In one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5), I thought about the different kinds of power I had experienced in my lifetime, none of which contain the hyper-nova mentioned above.

As I always do when trying to decipher the reality about me, I use the “three universes” description to break down what I observe into three distinct, separate universes, each with their own assumptions and measurements. I refer to the physical universe in which all time, matter, energy, and humans reside. There is the mental universe, in which only humans live (unless you know of some other sentient beings). Finally, there is the spiritual universe, where God lives and it encompasses all three universes. This is a universe where you must seek admittance.

Let me walk you through how I use the three universes to distinguish levels of power. Let’s say that the most powerful object in the physical universe (all matter and time) is a hyper-nova. No question that it is able to destroy everything around it and no human or any life form could exist within the range of its influence. But, is it the most powerful object in all reality? To answer that, let me ask you a question; “Why is it that you know about a hyper-nova but it does not know about you?” If you can even ask the question, much less answer it, you live in a universe composed of only humans who have reason and the ability to choose what is good for them, the mental universe, for lack of a better title. We have reason for a reason and the ability to choose what that reason tells us is good for us. So we have physical power and mental power to discover the why, where, how, what, and so what of all matter and its properties. We develop languages to search for meaning, both outside of us and within us. Sciences of the physical universe and the mental universes all have their languages, many of them only known to a few. We humans have learned how to harness some power to help us live more comfortably. Everything in both the physical and mental universes has a beginning and an ending. We humans find ourselves on a rocky planet of gases and water trying to find out how to use what we have to better ourselves. There is the power of a power plant that makes electricity, or wind energy to help us light our houses and cook our food. In the mental universe, there is an added dimension because of reason and the freedom to choose. Sometimes these choices are bad for either us or for society. Humans developed laws to help keep order and to uphold the dignity that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But, is that the only type of power that exists in reality?

There is another power, one not accepted by all humans (remember, they have the ability to reason and to choose whatever they think is good for them), the spiritual universe. In our lifetime, we are defined, not by our accomplishments in life but by the choices we make and their consequences. Remember, the spiritual universe may only be entered if you have an invitation and you accept that free gift and you accept the conditions of membership. You always will be a part of the physical universe. On top of that, you are a member of the mental universe with all its consequences. The two universes, the platform for life and the platform for human reasoning and choice are there to allow you to choose the spiritual universe or not. In the mental universe, you begin to realize the importance of immutable values and meaning, especially what it means to love. Why is this? Where does that choice take you? This next level of power is not human at all. It is the power of God, for lack of a better term. How do you know that? Because He revealed it to us. Humans from time immemorial, created gods of stone and myth to satisfy a desire for communication with a higher level of power, one outside of themselves. They created gods such as the Greek Pantheon of Gods or Roman deities.

Jesus Christ becomes one of us (Philippians 2:5-12) to tell us AND to show us how to use the power of being adopted sons and daughters of the Father to know, love and serve God and others and to be fulfilled as a human being in Heaven. Here are some characteristics of this spiritual universe that you need to be able to do to have power to move from self to God.

  • Heaven is God’s playground and if you want to play in his sandbox you need to respect His rules.
  • There is only one rule: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
  • Everything in the spiritual universe doesn’t make human sense to the world. St. Benedict, in Chapter 4 of the Rule, provides us with a list of those things we need to do to become more like Christ and less like our sinful and inconsistent selves. https://christdesert.org/prayer/rule-of-st-benedict/chapter-4-the-tools-for-good-works/
  • Taking up your cross daily means to seek God where you are and as you are. If it is easy, you are probably carrying the wrong cross.
  • All power and energy in the spiritual universe come from God. It is the energy of love, the relationship of service between Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • The gulf between God and humans is so great that Christ (Son of God, Savior) had to become one of us to give us an inkling of what our inheritance is as adopted sons and daughters of the Father.
  • In the physical and mental universes alone, individual humans are the center of their lives and they are happy to do what makes them satisfied. In the physical, mental and spiritual universes, the fulness of what it means to be human may be realized, not because of individual power but because all reality is in resonance and not dissonance. All reality is One.
  • When we say the Lord’s Prayer privately or recite it together in the Eucharist, we say: “For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, Forever and Ever.” In humility, we approach the Father through Christ to make a profession of Faith, a daily conversion from self to God.
  • https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s2.htm
  • In our own age, being corrupted by hatred and calumny and detractions, there are those whose center is hatred and burn incense at the altars of their own selves. These choices seem strong to their believers but won’t last long. They have no power.

To God belongs all Power and Glory. Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who will be, forever and ever. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology

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