Monday, May 27, 2013
What does it mean to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”
From ancient times and when Jesus Spoke these words, he knew the meaning was the reign of the sovereign God. The coming of the Kingdom was not an eschatological wish, but a process of pushing back and conquering all assaults upon the Image of God, all blight upon His Name, all blight upon us, upon His image WE hold.
We were created in the Image of God and from the very first ancient evil forces older than us have been locked in a singular struggle to destroy humankind. It is not just the destruction of our souls Satan seeks, but the annihilation of the human species also. So everything that is destructive and death engendering is in the playbook of evil. Evil has that one wish, the destruction of everything that is LIFE engendering, true, honest, just, pure, lovely and lovable, virtuous, good, worthy of praise.
When we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come” we are praying a prayer larger than Christ's Body, the Church. We are praying a prayer larger than religion, with concrete meaning in society, in civilization, in politics, in economic affairs and well as meaning for our own souls.
We are rejecting evil and embracing every good in this place, the universe, the earth. After all, it was created by God and remains good. It is damaged, it is suffering from the very evil I have described, but it is just wounded, not intrinsically evil of itself, as so many tainted by Gnosticism believe. They speak as if matter itself is evil, an attack upon God and in need of Hell Fire.
Php_4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We are not just to “think” on the good, as Saint Paul teaches, but also to act on the Good, as Blessed John Paul II taught, having faced the dark night (and for some of us literally the Dark Knight) we are to ”Arise and be on our way.” Engaged in the work of the Kingdom, upon this earth NOW. WE ALL have a job to do. Some of our jobs are pretty "worldly" but God is the judge not other and we must faithfully follow our vocations, no matter how worldly.
A Christian priest in a Soviet Gulag pinned the words, “In the wondrous blending of sounds it is Thy call we hear; in the harmony of many voices, in the sublime beauty of music, in the glory of the works of great composers: Thou leadest us to the threshold of paradise to come, and to the choirs of angels. All true beauty has the power to draw the soul towards Thee, and to make it sing in ecstasy: Alleluia!
“The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets, and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!”
These good things have not only the power to draw the soul toward God but also, the power to push back evil. They are tools of the “coming of the Kingdom” as all goodness, and all good actions and life engendering creativity also is.
The reign of God upon the earth, though powered by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the people of God, extends far beyond that confine, capable of shining Light in every dark and evil corner. When we wrap it in stone and institution and limit it to “inside there” we destroy its community, society, and world changing power. The power to increase HIS reign, and push back destruction, chaos, disease, tyranny, confusion, genocide.
When a drunken degenerate politician accidentally acts for the good, helps create a degree of goodness towards a Liberty loving society, he is with us and has unwittingly advanced the Kingdom. When a scientist creates a true health engendering medicine or therapy, she has acted in the furtherance of the Kingdom. Who would doubt that the very worldly woman, called “Sister” Kenny, who was never a religious a day in her life, was not acting in the furtherance of the Kingdom of God when she pushed back the carnage of Polio with more success and less unintended consequences than any medical doctor or scientist on the face of the earth and to date, even these seven decades later her therapies stand!
When even what is ugly and evil is clearly exposed, a task that brings no pleasure and uplifts no one, it is still a furtherance of God's Reign, since daylight destroys deceit. “Where ever the bounds of beauty, truth, goodness are advanced, there the Kingdom comes” the forces of darkness are pushed back, disease and hatred, demonic distortion and hypnotic delusions, are pushed back.
Who may by their vocation and avocation, hasten the coming of the Kingdom of God? The Doctor, the nurse, the pastor, the priest, the policeman, the soldier, the automobile designer, the auto mechanic, the writer, architect, engineer, the reporter, and yes, even as Pope Francis recently said, “Even the Atheist, when he acts for the good.”
Mothers, Fathers, your JOB is to cause the Kingdom to come in your own lives, so that it may come in your home and in your children and grand children, at your jobs, at your play, at your clubs, at your vocation and avocation. Every human task that is begun with “May your Name be Hallowed, that Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will be done, and finished with the Gloria” . . . “Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen - - That task has become prayer, and PART of the coming of the Kingdom of God, even if it is fixing a leaky pipe, feeding an animal, or exposing political corruption and the conspiracies of Lucifer. As Christians this is our job to consciously DO, to engage on every level. For the non-believer and yes even the atheist, she may unwittingly cooperate. However, the more we are faithful, refusing all falsehoods, all illusions, and all delusion, consciously reaching for the good, we “influence” others toward sanity.
Progressively losing this truth, that ours is the work of the Kingdom here and now, sections of our social services have turned destructive. Sections of our government have turned destructive. Sections of our entertainments have turned destructive. Sections of our educational systems have turned destructive. Sections of our infrastructure are crumbling, some of our bridges are failing, some of our industry is failing, blowing up, burning, parenthood is failing, and greater and greater levels of the chaos of the kingdom of darkness arise.
WE HAVE FAILED in our primary task as the ENGINE of the Coming of the Kingdom, FUELED by the Holy Spirit of the Blessed Trinity, nourished upon the Precious Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, guided by Our Father in Heaven, to Hallow his name, and spread his Kingdom in our wake, as the prophet of old told of such people:
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”
“Blessed are those inhabiting Thy house, Yet do they praise Thee, whose strength is in Thee, Highways are in their heart. Passing through a valley of weeping, they make fountains of wilderness. They make strength of it, they go from strength unto strength.”
They go from the strength of “Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.” to the strength of “Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.”
Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins;
for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.