In my latest Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5), I was struck by the notion of how difficult it is to live in the world and yet also be a citizen and adopted son in the Kingdom of Heaven. This dual citizenship causes anxiety sometimes and often a choice between what seems like conflicting goods.

What brings all this to mind is the controversy in the Catholic Universal Church between ideologies of freedom to adapt the Gospel to modern times versus the freedom that comes with following what the traditions and teachings of the Church have held since the beginning.

I follow the advice that Christ is giving me for my way, his truth, and the life I must lead to reach my destiny as an adopted son (daughter) of the Father. The three battles I speak of are my own battles to move from my false self to my true self. I only offer these as struggles that I face, not those you have.

Here are the three battles (struggles) I face each day as I seek God as I am and wherever I am. As I become more and more aware of what is happening in my struggles, I am aware that these three battles take place in my mind. Still, the context of my humanity inexorably pulls at my free will to choose what I should do as an adopted son (daughter) of the Father.


  1. I have been adopted into the kingdom of heaven as an heir, not just a worker.
  2. Once I had a rudimentary notion of what that meant, I knew that the battleground was my mind and heart. I made a choice that the source of my energy, my center of meaning, and how I become more human is to die to my inclinations of what the world tells me is what it means to be human and accept God’s invitation to be incorruptible and live as humans were intended.
  3. The struggle is that each day, these two world views clash on the battleground of my heart, sometimes pulling me in directions I do not want to do. St. Paul in Romans 5 says it has the best description of the struggle I face along with its resolution.

Sin and Death.*

13Did the good, then, become death for me? Of course not! Sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin, worked death in me through the good, so that sin might become sinful beyond measure through the commandment.i

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin.j

15What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.

16Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good.

17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

18For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not.k

19For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.

20Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand.

22For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self,

23l but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.*

24Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?

25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.m

Being a human being and citizen of the world, I make good choices for myself. Some of these choices are not good for me and can actually cause damage to my promise to “Have in me the mind of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5)

THE BATTLE TO BE FULLY HUMAN AS A MEMBER OF THE WORLD (THE POWER TO GIVE MY POWER TO GOD AS A GIFT) I rarely think about my will and God’s will be in a tug of war, but it is true. I can feel the tension. My battle is to row against the current of life (die to self and the limitations of human love, power, trust, goodness) rather than just coasting down the stream. You know you are a member of the mystical body of Christ when you notice the struggle, and it is difficult (but not impossible). This is the struggle we have because we are of the human species (or any species with reasoning and free choice). In fact, using the rule of opposites, it is only when you give up your will to a higher power than yours that you become fully human. Using the assumptions of the world makes no sense. Using The Christ Principle as the source of power makes perfect sense, although I still do not comprehend how it works.


  • I am the center of my universe (the one that begins with I am born and ends when I die. I make choices that affect my next level of intelligent progression (evolution) during that time. I can reason for a reason and have the ability to choose what I reason.
  • These choices can either come from me or from outside me. My reason is to tell me what choices are good for me and what is terrible for my fulfillment as a human being.
  • My whole purpose in life is to move to this next step in my evolution, the spiritual universe. Not everyone gets to the point where they can even see this. This level is one of knowledge is one of its characteristics.
  • The only way I can move to this next step is by dying to myself (giving up my choice to be the center of my own universe and why I am). Only by dying I can rise to this next level, and only then because someone has accepted me as a citizen of another universe, the spiritual one.
  • Humanity, with all its nobility and faults and failings, cannot help me move higher in my evolution. This power is the Word that formed a base of the physical universe, one on which to build to the next level of evolution, life, but one that continues to progress due to the DNA imprinted by its founder.

THE BATTLE TO BE FULL HUMAN AS A MEMBER OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN– (THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION IN MY MIND AND HEART) It all comes down to this: Can you die to self and all the assumptions that keep our humanity from reaching its intended potential, even if it goes against your human senses and reasoning? The Divine Equation contains the six questions each person must answer to get to heaven as an adopted son or daughter of the Father and become fully human as nature intended. This is a battle between the world and the spirit. Because of human choice, we have the free will to select whatever makes us fulfilled but simply lack the energy to move to the next level of our evolution, the incorruptibility of the spirit. The Divine Equation is God becoming human to show us not only the Equation (hence the Divine part of the title) but also the answers. They are answers of the heart and require us to give up what we think our humanity is to possess what it truly is, adoption by the Father. This is a struggle because we made the free choice to give away our free choice in favor of “Having in us the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). We began this struggle when the cross was made on our foreheads, and God accepted us as adopted sons and daughters.


  • I have reason for a reason, but I also can choose for a reason. The problem comes with human nature (good but flawed). The evil option is not a part of our choice (Genesis 2-3), and we can choose evil without recrimination in this lifetime from birth to death.
  • This power comes not from me or any other human who ever lived. The power of Love itself manifests through this Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us to tell us what to do and how to do it.
  • Like all humans, I have the power to say YES or NO to anything. If I choose YES, I become a citizen of the kingdom of heaven here on earth, preparing to live in incorruptibility and learning how to love with all my mind, heart, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:36).
  • Christ is the Messiah because he taught those who will listen and be baptized with water and the spirit to say their individual YES mingled with the YES of creation. This power or energy comes through the Holy Spirit and enables each of us to say YES to the sign of contradiction (the cross) when reason says, “It doesn’t make sense.”
  • We have access to the KNOWLEDGE that can free us to move to the next step in our intelligent progress. We also can choose what is authentic and will lead us to incorruptibility due to The Christ Principle showing us how to move to the next level of our covenant relationship with the one God.
  • What is left is me, the individual, actually good what is good for me here in the world or what is good for me now which is suitable for my new creation as adopted son or daughter of the Father. It is not that the world is terrible (good and bad choices are part of being human).
  • The world lacks the way, what is accurate, and what is the life that we should live. I am a pilgrim in a foreign land (the world) when I am Baptized as the Father’s adopted son (daughter). All words, actions, and behaviors are the opposite of the ones we can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell).
  • I am not only challenged to love others as Christ loved me, but I also have the power to do that through contemplative Lay Cistercian practices of placing myself in the presence of Love and just waiting, hoping for mercy for my shortcomings, yet humbled by the opportunity to be called a friend by Christ. (John 17)

THE BATTLE TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE (THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD OR EVIL) There is another battle we face and must face until we die. It is the same battle Adam and Eve faced. It is the battle of knowing what is good for us and what is bad for us. If the first battle was one to know what is good or evil, then the second battle I must win (and it takes a lifetime of struggle to win) is that of using that knowledge to love as one adopted by God as heir to the kingdom. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that knowledge precedes love. I believe that. I might add that this must be the knowledge from God as revealed through Jesus Christ.


  • This third battle is about the Church Universal. As an individual, I show up for seventy or eighty years if I am lucky. Why? What do I add to what has already gone on? As one who has been accepted by God as adopted, and as one who has given his freedom to choose to God as a gift he does not have, I, and all those who are signed with the cross form a gathering of those who wait for the Lord until he comes again in glory. Wait where?
  • I wait on this earth until I can continue my citizenship as an adopted son (daughter) of the Father. While I wait, I practice those charisms to be closer to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is called serving others. Matthew 25.
  • God is One. The Church is One with God; those who are still struggling to have in them the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) (militant), and those who are judged worthy of being in the present before the Throne of the Lamb (triumphant), plus all those not yet perfect and awaiting their second chance (Purgatory).
  • The Church Universe is a school of love with Christ as Magister Noster (our teacher).

What do we learn? The purpose of life is to KNOW, LOVE, and SERVE God in this world until death so that we can be happy with God as an adopted son or daughter, in the next life and fulfill what it means to be human.


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