These days, it is successful in waking up and say Praise to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. –Cistercian doxology. Today was one of those days. My Lectio has been four days in the making. No, I did not forget to write it down, as I usually do, but this time, I could not remember the thoughts the Holy Spirit thought I should consider in my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5). I tried for four days to remember that idea that, at the time, I swore to myself that I would never forget (reminds me of what Peter said to Christ in Mark 14.) If you looked at the title, you saw an eight-year-old Lay Cistercian. My chronological age is over 80+, but my Lay Cistercian age is only eight-plus years (or is it seven?).
Peter’s Denial Foretold.*27Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.’h28But after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”29Peter said to him, “Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be.”30Then Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.”31But he vehemently replied, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all spoke similarly.https://bible.usccb.org/bible/mark/14
I am just like Peter in my Faith. Good intentions, strong enough in my own mind, but then I strip over the shoelaces of my own fallibility in my resolve. Each day, I must begin anew. So, four days ago, I naturally forgot my Lectio Divina, the one which I always resolved to remember, within ten seconds of thinking of it. I only remember it four days later because the Holy Spirit wanted me to do so. So, here is what I forgot, and you make your own conclusions. Remember, in all my blogs, I don’t speak for the Holy Spirit but only share what I can remember that the Holy Spirit saw fit to share with me in Lectio Divina meditations and sometimes contemplation.
Of late, I have been romancing the ideas of the polarities of resonance and dissonance. These ideas help me get some kind of grasp on the enormity of God’s grandeur, but do not describe God’s nature.
THE WONDER OF GOD’S RESONANCE AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF DISSONANCE
St. John writes that “in the beginning was the Word.
1 In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.ahttps://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/1
I keep wondering what that Word is, realizing that it is God. I think that God was there before any atoms existed or there was time itself. I asked myself What is this Word? The Word must be something like:
FIRST EPOCH OF TIME: The Birth of Time until the Birth of Christ
The Word contains God’s DNA (that which is pure energy, pure love, pure service, 100% of its divine nature). It overshadows all that is. All that is contains the imprint of God’s nature on it. The Word means intelligence, love, and activity (service). The Word does not have a beginning nor an ending. It just is. The Word “Yes” began all that has a beginning nor an ending. Time, the physical universe, every atom, the minute world of quarks and muons, everything in this Epoch, has some characteristics of its Creator, the Word.
Arguably, my assumption is that there are two universes in this first epoch of time, the physical universe and the mental universe.
The physical universe contains everything we experience (all the galaxies, energy, matter, time itself). A living being is contained in this universe, including humans as animals, before being lifted up to a higher level or universe, which I characterize as the mental universe. Only humans live in this level of existence, despite individuals only living seventy or eighty years if they are strong.
Genesis is an archetypal story about this first epoch. This story is about resonance before the Fall and dissonance for human nature after the Fall. We call that dissonance Original Sin because humanity missed the mark of what God intended for us.
Using the anthropomorphic representations of God (God takes on human form in these stories), humans try to explain why human nature seems to be so full of problems (we have to die, we have to suffer, some people kill us and seem to get away with murder, we have no hope of living forever). The context of Chapters 2-3 of Genesis is a garden (not a farm which would denote work). Thus, Genesis answers the question, If God is so good, why would he permit little children to die and those with cancer to die early?
It goes like this: God prepared a place in a garden and created Adam to tend the garden. God made Eve a helper because the job needed someone with sensitivity and a sense of beauty. God told Adam and Eve that they had total responsibility for this garden to do what they wanted, except to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they ate that fruit, they would die. Like telling a child not to eat cookies in the pantry, you know what happened. Genesis is a great commentary on why humans find themselves in such a mess. Adam and Eve ate the fruit because the snake in the grass (Satan, who was jealous that he was the only one to have denied God) seduced them into wanting to be God. Immediately, things changed. Now, humans will have to work for their food instead of God providing everything they need. Humans have reason and free will to do what is right. It is all about choices. Choosing what God says is the way, the truth, life, or what Adam and Eve choose is authentic living.
If the Word created everything with a YES, then Adam and EVE destroyed trust and the correct disposition of resonance in creation with a NO. NO is a blocking word. You might be wondering, as I did, why all of this took so long from Creation of Matter to the Dissonance of the Mind and choice. Humans were still free to choose what was right or wrong after the Fall but had only themselves as guides to what it would take to restore resonance. Humanity tried and tried but could not, with only human nature, bridge the gap between divine and human natures. For lack of a better term, people called this dissolution by the name Original Sin. It is a key concept in the flow of time toward possible resolution. The whole of the Old Testament is about one people Israel being the seedbed of eventual reunification between God and humans. They were being tested to see if humanity would be suitable to pick up the clues left by the Prophets and events in the history of a people moving from being wandering Armenians to a people who would keep God’s covenant.
The Old Testament is no different than in the time of Christ and the founding of the Church on Pentecost. Peoples and false teachers want to make God into their image and likeness over and over.
THE SECOND EPOCH OF TIME: The Birth of Christ, the Christ Principle, until the birth of the Church.
Only God could give humans The Divine Equation and how to move to their next level of evolution. This level is not automatic since it begins with Baptism and my realization that I am an adopted son (daughter) of the Father. Natural evolution still continues in the physical universe (decay), moving from everything that has to begin and end through the mental universe, which keeps accumulating knowledge collectively and individually. The third universe began with the Christ Principle (birth, teaching, the mission of Christ, teaching the Apostles and disciples that they must love others as He loves us, healing those sick in mind and spirit, passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and finally, sending the Second Advocate, the Holy Spirit on all those who lived and come to believe that Jesus is Messiah, Son of God, Savior.)
THIRD EPOCH OF TIME: The birth of the Church at Pentecost until the end of time. Another paradox of the sign of contradiction is that Christ entrusted his Church to sinful Adam and Eve. It is like saying, let’s get it right this time. It is even more fantastical that, knowing what would actually happen to the Church as it tried to live out that one command, “Love one another as I have loved you.” I encourage you to read the total passage below to get the feel of what the author wants us to bring inside us and make part of our way of listening to Christ “with the ear of the heart:. (Prologue to the Rule). The whole purpose of the Church is to be present to the Holy Spirit so that the teachings of The Master become a way of thinking, a way of acting so that we can “have in us the mind of Christ Jesus.” Whoever is the branch of this Vine is a sinner, one affected by the sin of Adam and Eve, yet entrusted with bringing the Good News to future generations.
The Vine and the Branches.1* “I am the true vine,* and my Father is the vine grower.a2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes* so that it bears more fruit.3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.b4 Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. 6*c Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.7 I f you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.d 8By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.e9 As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.f10If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.g11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.h12 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.i13* No one has greater love than this,j to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends,* because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.k16It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.l17This I command you: love one another.mhttps://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/15
This Church is a living branch with Christ as the Vine and the Holy Spirit, the roots in the soil of time and space.
This Church began with Pentecost and will last forever, beyond the end of time. As such, it begins in space and time and continues on in the spiritual universe in Heaven.
The Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
The Church Universal are all those who have died and rest in the peace of Christ; those who still await their judgment while continuing on earth; and those who are in penance for their sins and await their acceptance into Heaven.
Outside the Church, there is no salvation.
The Church wrote down the activities and sayings of Jesus for subsequent generations. There were lots of stories written down about Jesus, says St. John (John 20:30-31).
Conclusion.*30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book.s31But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.t
FOURTH EPOCH OF TIME: From the time you are physically born until you accept your adoption as a son or daughter of the Father in Heaven. Your world began with your birth into the physical universe and mental universes. You did not ask to be born and will only survive if your parents care for you. You are the only you in all of creation and you have reason for a reason plus the ability to choose what is good for you. The spiritual universe begins for you when you are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. After that, you spend the rest of your life struggling to keep yourself centered on Jesus. Original Sin is the condition that causes our centers to wobble and sometimes completely disappear if we don’t remain diligent.
The Church helps each individual to seek God daily. When two or three are gathered in His name, there Christ is in their midst.
This is not a gathering of individuals with no purpose. There is One Lord, One Baptism, One Faith,.
Unity in the Body.1* I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,a2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love,b3 striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:c4* one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call;d5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;e6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.f
My spiritual journey is not one in the vacuum of time. Still, I freely gather together with others bearing the sign of contradiction (+) to give glory to the Father through, with, and in the Son, in unity with the Holy Spirit.