For nearly fifty years, I have attempted to grapple with the concept of God and where I fit into the Divine Economy. At age 72, I finally reached the age of reason when I became a Lay Cistercian of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit (Trappist) Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I had lived a good life, albeit one lacking the perspective of spirituality that says I must die to my false self to obtain new wineskins to put the ever-new wine of daily living I receive from the Holy Spirit. In essence, I lived a life of what I thought it meant to be a follower of The Master, but now, I am fitting together all the pieces, slowly and surely. Like St. Paul, I still have a long way to go, but I know what I must do daily to have the mind of Christ Jesus in me. (Philippians 2:5). I take up my unique cross daily to see how to place myself in the upper room (Matthew 6:5) of my heart and wait.

While waiting in that room, a Lectio Divina meditation inspired me to come up with the idea that because I am an adopted son (daughter) of the Father, there are three principles that God has presented to humans to let them know how to become what their nature intended. Adam and Eve are spoiled by choice of their will over God’s will.

It just happened that I tripped over the chart below by Teilhard de Chardin in trying to use his system to better understand how I might become more human by using what God has communicated to humans about how to receive and maintain the adoption of a kingdom that is partially visible and primarily invisible (like the photo of an iceberg).

The chart above has a succession of ever more sophisticated progression, which I have called intelligent progression (because evolution causes some to shut down their critical skills process). These human evolution milestones begin with the creation point Alpha, but you will notice that the Omega Point has no end.

I observe three distinct points of Creation in this example. (Creation, Christ, and Pneumasphere or the Spirit). At each of these points, Creation moved forward with intelligent progression.

CREATION — This is the Genesis Principle. My thoughts are that in Creation (bottom left), God the Father created all that is (THE LIFE) and left His fingerprints on each atom and all matter to move towards an unseen destiny (Point Omega).

It is essential to realize that all of these human attempts to discover who we are as a race are the same rationale we have to reach for the stars. The difference is that spirituality looks at the other universe that is the key to unlocking the hidden realities of what it means to be human that has always been right in front of us.

CHRIST —– This is the Christ Principle; the stone rejected by builders has become the cornerstone. This Christ Principle is the template given to us by God to help us make sense of human nature and rationality that does not know how to measure invisible reality or to love others as God shows us how humans should do if there was no Original Sin. The Son (THE WAY) paid the price or ransom for the many and bought back our heritage by giving up, freely, his will to the Father as a pattern for us to follow.

The Christ Principle is the power in the kingdom of heaven for us to give glory to the Father through, with, and in Christ. In Eucharist, we tag along with Christ once again as he Ascends to the Father, taking along our imperfections, those failures of our to do God’s will instead of our own, and legitimizing our adoption again as heirs to the kingdom of heaven (on earth as it is in heaven). The problem I have when I face these three principles is to sustain my Faith to keep from sliding back into thinking God doesn’t matter and all this spirituality stuff is pointless. Lay Cistercian practices help me keep my focus each day on Christ Jesus by using those good works tools outlined in Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule. I recommend that you try to become what Chapter 4 embodies. “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ,” as St Benedict tells his monks.

Suppose you actually take The Christ Principle seriously. In that case, you are a pilgrim in a foreign country (on earth until you die) and need the food of Eucharist and Reconciliation to sustain you in the struggle. This is the rule of opposites. When atheists, agnostics, or even believing Catholics and others look at reality and do not know how to solve The Divine Equation (with the Christ Principle, you must die to self to be able to wake up and see that the spiritual universe is the opposite of what you live in as a pilgrim in a foreign land), they are essentially correct. It is a bunch of fairy tales and stories. The purpose of the Christ Principle is to translate that confusion and seduction by false teachers and prophets (Satan and those who subvert the message of Christ Crucified for one of cotton candy and convenience) into what will actually allow humans to be fully human as nature intended (before the Fall).

THE PNEUMASPHERE — The Principle of Pure Energy is the Spirit of TRUTH. I receive the Christ Principle and the Gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism to sustain me in my daily endeavor to keep myself focused on The Christ Principle. This Holy Spirit helps me focus on Christ’s redemptive sacrifice and how I might share in those sufferings as reparation for my sins and failures.

St. Paul expresses this mysterious third level of heaven in 2 Corinthians.

I* must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)

4 was caught up in Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter.a

5 About this person* I will boast, but about myself, I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.

6Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me

7 because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated,* a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.b

8Three times* I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,c

9* 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.d

10Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ;e for when I am weak, then I am strong.*


At the core of all three principles is the energy of God.

Humans can absorb this energy only insofar as they have the capacity.

Prayer (capacitas dei) and the Love of Christ cause us to grow in Jesus and get rid of our false selves.

Nothing happens with work.

The Teilhard de Chardin diagram helps me see the flow of intelligent progression from the beginning of time to my destiny in heaven.

Humility and Obedience to God’s will for me each day sustain me (most of the time).

I sit on the back bench of the Church, eyes lowered (Custos oculi) and repeating, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


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