This title seems like it is innocuous, don’t you think? A couple of days ago, in my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5), I thought of Christ as my yardstick to measure my behavior, approach to the Sacred, and obligations as a Lay Cistercian (www.trappist.net). I realize that I can never measure up to what Christ is, even though we have the admonition to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Wonder if your measuring stick is unable to be measured? “For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.c“ Matthew 7:2 What are the implications of having a measuring stick that is The Christ Principle?
MY BEHAVIOR AS ONE WHO BELIEVES IN JESUS AS LORD
Jesus alone is the one against whom I must measure my behaviors to prioritize what I consider reality (physical universe, mental universe, and spiritual universe). Humans receive three gifts from God to discover their purpose and how they fit into that purpose. Not everyone will recognize these gifts as coming from God. Not everyone will discover three universes (the World exists in only two universes, physical and mental) comprising what is real. Not everyone will recognize how all of this fits together. Not everyone will grasp the meaning of fierce love (pure love of God’s nature). Not everyone will be able to move past just dying to the next phase of reality, the Kingdom of Heaven. And especially how the cross, far from being a symbol of derision and hopelessness, becomes our way, a way to be what is accurate, and a way to be what is the truth so that our life is our intelligent design (evolution) intended. What does not make sense to human experience using only reasoning and free will, makes perfect sense when I die to myself and my reliance on human energy to rise to what my human nature intended all along but was thwarted by the choice of Adam and Eve, our ancestors.
The only way to measure reality is by the cross, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly for the Gentiles.
Using the right measuring stick is vital that you will miss the spiritual universe altogether if you use the wrong one. To be aware of these three gifts, you must use God’s rules, not your own. To enter the Kingdom of Heaven is a gift of Faith that does not originate with you. Scripture tells us that Christ has chosen us and not the other way around. Why is that?
THE CHRIST PRINCIPLE
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, is not only the center of my life, personally but the center of all reality. That includes the physical universe of what is seen and unseen, the mental universe of what is visible and invisible, and the spiritual universe. Christ is a measuring stick in the physical and mental universes as both human and divine nature, one God, and the key that opened the spiritual universe to humans once again. At the same time, we live but are also incorruptible.
I happen to stumble into this ongoing saga of life for eighty years. Did all this happen by accident? Am I a product of my nature, a noble but flawed experiment? Or, am I what it intended from before there was a before? This is intelligent progress, intelligent design from a higher power, so beyond human conception that our collective hearts fumbled trying to satisfy the collective longing in our DNA to somehow relate to an unseen force within us. St. Augustine captured this existential longing to move from dissonance to resonance when he said: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” Genesis is an early attempt to address our faulted human nature, at once noble yet so prone to do what is not suitable for us, in terms of our terminal intention to be adopted sons and daughters of the Father forever. Reason and free choice are so ingrained in human experience that it comes from the very DNA from which all reality evolves, a force beyond our comprehension that, with a Word (John 1:1) and a thought, began an improbable love study, one that embodies the emotions of Romeo and Juliet from Shakespear, the classic heroic myths of Ulysses and Beowulf, the triumphs of Saints who died to self as examples for us so that we might have the courage to do the same. It is the martyrdom of the ordinary life, not one of blood, although we might be called to such a sacrifice of love.
There are four treatments or applications that help me use The Christ Principle in my living out each moment of my existence in the framework of corruption of matter and mind using the incorruptible design of my ultimate purpose (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:38).
USE THE ENERGY THAT COMES FROM OUTSIDE OF MYSELF TO SUSTAIN ME –– To use this energy, you must know about it, you must be willing to learn how to use it, and then use it to move from your false self tied only to this moral universe of matter and mind to your true inheritance as the adopted son of the Father, paid for by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross to reunite us with God again, to be a ransom for the many and The Christ Principle for all reality. Christ told us to follow his way, seek the truth that comes from his words and deeds, and share this life of God in us with those around us.
FOLLOW THE FOLLOWERS OF THOSE WHO WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHRIST — All those who follow the way are sinners (except Jesus and his mother, and only Mary because the Holy Spirit overshadowed her with grace). To move from the corruption of the effects of original sin to incorruptibility is not a one-time act of belief, and then you are done. Human nature does not work like that. Divine nature does. Because of the effects of original sin, at each moment, we are in a battle between good and evil, the very same one Adam and Eve experienced, the archetype of what it means to be human. Each morning, the struggle begins. I can’t change my human nature from being so prone to evil (or noble and heroic). Our nature is not evil because God does create evil. The purpose of Genesis is to elaborate on why individuals are prone to doing bad things and yet are capable of so much good. In the Old Testament Scriptures, we can measure ourselves by what the tribes do or don’t do to keep the covenant with God. You can measure how well you do if you keep the Law. If you don’t, God is displeased, and bad things happen, such as losing the ten tribes of Israel. But keeping the Law itself does not move Israel forward.
Someone had to come to tell them and show them how to move to the next step without destroying anything essential to the covenant from the past. Some get this, while others do not. The New Testament Scriptures are a record of how Jesus is the Messiah and what to do to claim inheritance as adopted sons and daughters of the Father. John 20:30-31. This record is one of how to love and receive instruction from The Christ Principle. The Old Testament gives us a record of WHY and WHAT for the Messiah. The New Testament gives us another record of fulfillment by moving to the next step of spiritual progression, returning to Resonance, opening up to Incorruptibility, and finally claiming the inheritance intended from the beginning. All of this activity is just for me (and all the other me’s that are born and die within the parameters of our human nature).
I MEASURE THE ENERGY OF GOD NOT BY MY STANDARDS BUT BY MOVING FROM MY FALSE SELF TO MY TRUE SELF, THUS GROWING IN THE CAPACITY FOR GOD WITHIN ME. I get to choose God by a YES or NO. Within the crucible of my inner self, I mix humanity (humanity) and my new life in Christ Jesus in Baptism (adoption). Jesus gave me a way to keep the flames of faith from flickering out. It is not easy and demands work (original sin) to maintain my center and energy to keep the world and its false promises from overtaking the sign of contradiction (the cross). My human nature does not produce this kind of energy. I can only get it from one source, The Christ Principle. The profound reason I joined Lay Cistercians and practice Cistercian practices and charisms in my life is that it is a way I discovered that allows me to die to self so that Christ might grow and I might decrease. It is a daily battle, and I have on my body the many times I have failed to love others as Christ loved me. I carry that burden as part of who I am.
THE YARDSTICK IS NOT OF THIS WORLD. The yardstick to measure scientific problems is the tools of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and medicine, to name just a few languages that uncover the truth. The yardstick of the spiritual universe is The Christ Principle and the languages of faith, hope, and love. The Divine Equation is provided to humans by God becoming human and giving us the way to solve it, the truth to know what it is, and the remainder of our lives to practice being adopted sons and daughters of the Father. We know we got it right because our yardstick is not of this world. What we measure is not matter, time, the energy of physics, or distance, but how much we loved others as Christ loved us?
THE CHRIST PRINCIPLE IS ABOUT DOING; DOING IS ABOUT KNOWING; KNOWING IS ABOUT LOVING; LOVING IS ALL ABOUT DOING. This is the doing that is incorruptible and lasts forever.