My last couple of Lectio Divina’s has centered on how my Lectio (Philippians 2:5) influences resonance. I don’t take credit for this way out of thoughts as they apply to Holy Scripture. They just come, and I take them down for you to decipher.
In thinking about how I might more fully “Have in me the mind of Christ Jesus,” the thought came to mind that everything is tied together in ways we either know about or don’t yet perceive. My focus on Lectio Divina has been around two or three themes:
1. The Divine Equation, or how to make sense of what clearly doesn’t make any sense.
2. How does it all fit together, and what principle ties all of reality together, even if we don’t comprehend it all.
3. What is powerful enough to cause cosmic resonance of matter and ideas and free will?
I. THE DIVINE EQUATION: My lifelong ambition, which I still pursue, is to continue to see how all reality fits together into one while maintaining the integrity of three distinct and separate universes, all existing at the same time. For many, many years, I have struggled to comprehend or master the mystery of the Blessed Trinity: One God, with three persons, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. What I failed to grasp until quite recently is that The Trinity is not only the sign on my soul placed there by Baptism, but it is also the template by which I look at all reality and try to peel off the layers of meaning with the tools I have acquired in my lifetime. The Church Universal is the toolbox of many ways others have tried to “Have in them the mind of Christ Jesus.” I have the accumulation of all that wealth of trial and error all the way back to Christ, the Principle into which all reality has meaning, and from which we all can use as the way, the truth, and so live a life authentic for our human species. I can reason for a reason and free will, which allows me to even choose what is inauthentic. If I was just a human, I only have the reasoning and free choices of the world (physical and mental universes) to determine what is true. What does not make sense to the world makes perfect sense when applying the Christ Principle to reality.
When I enter the spiritual universe at Baptism with a free choice of my will, although I face a lifetime of trying to love others as Christ loved us, everything is the opposite of what the world promises with health, happiness, meaning, and fulfillment. The Second Reading for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time just popped out at me this Sunday as I listened to it (thankfully, our parish, Good Shepherd, Tallahassee, Fl) has two large screens with all the writings displayed so that an old Lay Cistercians like me can read it. Read this inspirational passage from St. Paul in II Corinthians, and remind yourself why the Scriptures were even written down so that you could hear and come to believe that Jesus is Lord.
Brothers and sisters:https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070421.cfm
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Holy Scriptures are there for people in each age to take the Christ Principle that comes from God (The Divine Equation) and apply it to their daily lives as they move down their seventy or eighty years of life if they are lucky. The Church in each age does not make up new doctrine or anything but Christ Himself left us. The Church helps those of each age to see Jesus now. Read the Conclusion of St. John’s Gospel and “listen with the ear of your heart .”
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.thttps://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/20
When you are signed with the mark of the Trinity, all the words you say, where you find meaning and purpose, how all things are, how all things fit together, and the meaning of love is the opposite of what the world says. That is why our faith is “folly to the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews.” In the passage from II Corinthians above, St. Paul says…”when I am weak, then I am strong.” The assumption here is that with the Christ Principle, everything is as it should be, consistent with who God is and with the natural law.
II. HOW ALL THAT IS FITS TOGETHER Given that you can accept the Divine Equation as a way to look at one reality with three distinct universes, then the next step is to unravel the six thresholds of life that ask the key questions everyone must ask and answer correctly before they die. They are:
I have been romancing these questions and possible answers for the past twenty-one years. Using Lectio Divina and the Holy Spirit’s help, sixty-five books plus my blogs are the results of just sitting in the presence of Christ and listening. The problem was, the World cannot provide either the questions or the answers because what is true in the spiritual universe is the opposite of what the world says is true. In The Divine Equation, these six questions must be answered using correct or authentic solutions. Since both the questions and the authentic answers are from God, only He has the answers. That is one of the reasons Jesus, Son of God, took on our pitiable nature, to show us the way, to explain that the truth in contradiction from God is more real than that of the World, and allow us to be adopted sons and daughters with the life that lasts not only while we live on earth but continues in Heaven forever.
Yet, with all its seeming complexities, The Divine Equation is accessed by a humble act of Faith through belief in the Christ Principle just with one Yes, as did the Blessed Mother when she said, “Be it done to me according to your Word.” With just one act of love, Christ said to His Father on the cross, “into your hands, I commend my Spirit.” With this seemingly insignificant action, all reality changed. The debt to God was paid back (Goel in Hebrew) when a family member (The Trinity) bought back that which was pawned by Adam and redeemed by Christ. Prayerfully read this passage from Romans in its entirety (I suggest three times), pausing to drink in the life-giving words from the Word.
Faith, Hope, and Love.*1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace* with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,a2through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.b3Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,4and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,c5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.d6For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly.7Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.*8But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.e9How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.f10Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.g11Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Humanity’s Sin through Adam.12* Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world,h and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned*—13for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law.i14But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come.j
Grace and Life through Christ.15But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many.16And the gift is not like the result of the one person’s sinning. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal.17For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.18In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all.k19For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.l20The law entered in* so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,m21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.nhttps://bible.usccb.org/bible/romans/5
As a Lay Cistercian trying to place me in the presence of Christ and listen to the Holy Spirit, I try to remind myself of the five levels of spiritual awareness when listening or reading the word of God in all my Cistercian practices (Eucharist, Lectio Divina, Rosary, Reading Scripture, Praying in the silence and solitude of my inner self, Eucharistic Adoration).
Because God’s nature is divine when our human nature is just in the presence of such pure energy, we are transformed into what is greater through no power we have but through the power of the Holy Spirit to lift up our false selves to become adopted sons and daughters of the Father. What we can do is to recognize what is going on (reason) and align our wills with that of God’s (thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven). This is the resonance that only I, as a human, can give to God, the only thing God does not have (nor does he require it to be God), but it completes the dissonance of Adam and Eve.
What is God’s will?
To love others as Christ loved us.
To prefer nothing to the love of Christ. (St. Benedict, Chapter 4, Rule)
To deny oneself, pick up our cross daily, and do what Jesus did.
To die to our false self and rise with Christ to new life.
To make all things new each day through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
To daily ask God for mercy in the Morning Offering and seek to give mercy to those we not only love but to those who wrong us and hate us for Christ’s sake.
To seek God each day in whatever comes our way.
To see Jesus in the Eucharist and adore Him in Eucharistic Adoration.
To read Scriptures as love letters from God on how to “Have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.”
To realize that I am loved by Christ as a brother and friend and that I am an adopted son (daughter) of the Father.
To see Jesus when I encounter the Holy Spirit in my fellow Lay Cistercians on Gathering Day and in watching Bishop Barron’s YouTubes.
To be grateful that Jesus has allowed me to offer my cardiac arrest (2007), Leukemia (2014), pacemaker implantation (2020), and ongoing health problems as a torn in the flesh and realize that “my grace is sufficient” for anything that I face.
To give glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who will be at the end of the ages. –Cistercian doxology
To experience the joy that has no human counterpart whenever I join with others in proclaiming Jesus is Lord, to the glory of the Father.
To be vigilant against the wily attacks of the Devil, who is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
To be proud to wear the mark of the cross on my forehead, on my lips, and in my heart.
III. WHAT IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO CAUSE COSMIC RESONANCE IN THE MIDST OF ORIGINAL SIN?
Jesus caused resonance with the Resurrection and Ascension to the Father.
I am powerful enough to cause cosmic resonance when I offer my obedience to the Father that “what is done in Heaven be done on earth.”
With the Christ Principle, I am powerful enough to identify the elements of the Divine Equation, although I may not have all the pieces in place.
With all this pure energy flowing here and there, it is good to remember that God is still God, and I am just one who calls upon the Lord to be saved.