Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Kingdom of Light

" For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory."    (Doxology from the Didache)

In a recent post I spoke of how we create "ugly little kingdoms" for ourselves. We are like selfish little despots ruling over our kingdoms with iron fists. Woe to those who don't abide by the rules of our kingdoms! The rules of these kingdoms may be enforced by anger, intimidation, manipulation, silence, withholding love, impatience, grumpiness, a sickly sweetness, sarcasm, verbal abuse, judgments...and the list goes on and on.  The manifestations of these kingdoms can be very subtle or quite obvious. 

Let's use road rage as an example of someone whose heart is full of anger. Have you ever been stuck in front of a person who is in a rush to get somewhere? They honk, make gestures, and yell because you have interfered with the rules of their kingdom. The honking and gestures are ways of intimidating you through fear to get you moving faster. This person truly believes that his life is more important than the person's in front of him. We see this on the road so much these days.

Our kingdoms aren't always as obvious as this. Ever held onto a grudge for a while? Ever get home to a messy house, pat yourself on the back for not saying a word about it, meanwhile your heavy sighs are saying it all for you? Ever sit in church and grumble in your head about the noisy children in front of you, "Good grief! Why don't they stay at home if their children can't behave in church! And what's with these new Mass changes?!"

Still not subtle enough? How about this:
Have you ever gone through a day without thinking about yourself once? (Not counting normal care of the body or prayer and examination of the conscience.) I attempt it and fail every time. Were it not for our fallen natures we would be quite unaware of ourselves. Instead we wear masks and facades because we are overly aware of ourselves and fear showing ourselves in our utter fragility. And yet it is this very fragility that calls out sweetly to the Lord. Who could fail to help a child?

Which brings me to the next point:
Only the REAL you can enter Heaven. The ego is the false self and cannot enter God's Kingdom. This false self is what the Lord is trying to rid us of. There are no masks or facades in Heaven. God purges us and tears down our false kingdoms because He LOVES us, not to hurt us. He knows these things have no place in Heaven. He doesn't want an impostor pretending to be someone they are not running around His Kingdom. Besides, this would cause immense suffering in that person because they are in the presence of God which allows no falsehoods to stand.  He wants His child that He created in all his or her unique spiritual beauty. The real you is utterly acceptable to Him and deeply loved and cherished, for He created you. You are one of a kind and irreplaceable.

God can always see the real person inside of us. He seeks this person, even if he or she has become so covered in the muck of sin that they don't seem recognizable to others. He knows and recognizes them and wants to heal them. I often hear people say, "God loves you just the way you are." Yes, He certainly does love us, but maybe the truth is:

God loves us too much to leave us just the way we are.

Like so many today, I have walked in darkness. When the Lord called me out of this darkness, I heard Him. I have seen so many glimpses of His Kingdom  since then.... but the truth is I am still as yet unable to stay in it permanently. I KNOW the joy of His Kingdom but because I am still in a state of purgation I lose sight of it often. The purging is good, I am assured of God's healing but I often wish it were finished. I joke around and ask the Lord, "Is today the day?"

The point of this post is that we CAN begin our heaven on earth. As I said in Kingdom of Darkness, hell is a state of being as well as a place. The same is true of heaven. With God's grace, we can reach the holiness to which He calls us to and dying would be as simple as walking through a door since heaven already reigns in the heart.

First we must renounce our own kingdoms. I do this every day. We all have personal agendas whether we are aware of them or not. These agendas keep us from being truly free.

So what are we asking for when we pray? Are we asking for God's Kingdom to come? Or are we really saying "My kingdom come, my will be done."

Something to think about.


  1. Mary,

    You make some very good points in this post.

    People are focussed on themselves and their "me ... me ... me ..." kingdoms because they have excluded God from their lives.

    Stop in the street and ask people if they believe in God. Some may say "Yes" but how many are true believers and behave in a way that you can see Christ in them?

    When we look in the mirror; do we see Christ there?

    God bless.

  2. Great and awesome post dear one. Many points to ponder. To look within. Blessings and hugs to you. Especially on this Sonday!

  3. Thanks Mary. This post makes an excellent exam of conscience.

  4. Wonderful post, Mary! I could see so many of my "kingdoms"....

    Thanks for the reminder to work harder on purging them. Just be one of those souls who can actually walk from this life into the next, because they live always in God's Kingdom.

    You are a beautiful blessing!

    PS Thanx to Karinann who linked up to this wonderful post.

  5. Hi Victor,
    You are so right about people overly focussing on themselves and excluding God. We live in a world of radical individualism. Have you read Matthew Kelly's book, Rediscover Catholicism? He discusses this in his book. Michael wrote a post on the community blog (about the disease and the son whose blood was needed to save everyone from death) that was taken from this book. It's really an excellent book!

    God bless!

  6. Hi JBR,
    I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Considering the world we live in today I thought it would be a good reminder that we can still have heaven in our hearts despite what goes on around us.

    God bless you, my friend!

  7. Thanks Karin! Thank you for linking to it too :) God bless!

  8. Thank you, Patricia. You are a beautiful blessing too :) God is good!

  9. Mary,

    I had the opportunity to listen to a good spiritual talk today. Father was speaking about how we should long for Heaven; we should feel homesick for our true home.

    He was also talking about purgation. In Purgatory our self love is purged away. If we have any faults at death and are allowed to enter Heaven as we are, those faults would enter Heaven too. For example, if we have a problem with impatience and we take this into Heaven with us, then Heaven would no longer be Heaven.

    Beginning our heaven on earth? Yes! We can do this with God's grace. Thank you for the reminder.

    God bless you!

  10. Sue,
    Thanks for the comment - I love hearing stuff about Heaven and Purgatory. Your priest makes good sense! I especially liked the part of Heaven no longer being Heaven if we took our faults there.

    I do long for Heaven. Purgatory? Not so much ;) Best to allow God to do as much purging of our souls as possible here on earth. Still, if I die please pray for me (lol...but serious). I'll do the same for you!

  11. Mary - another eye opening post. It is so nice to see you blogging regularly again. My soul thanks you ;)

    God Bless.

  12. "God loves us too much to leave us just the way we are." Yes, and He is a terrible nag about it, too. Which just makes me want to burst out in praise as I struggle to dump my kingdom into the ditch.

    Thanks for this post, Mary.

  13. Hi Michael,
    Thank you :) I'm back but won't be posting as frequently as I used to. It's hard to keep up with at times. God bless!

  14. Hi Barb,
    Your comment gave me a good laugh!! Yes, He is a terrible nag about it, isn't He? Lol! It's a good thing He doesn't let up :)

  15. Mary, I love this post. CAn I quote you on "God loves us too much to leave us just the way we are"? I'm compiling a list of my favorite blog quotes. It'll link back to you, I promise.