Prayer For the Glorification of the Servant of God LUISA PICCARRETA Oh august and Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise and thank You for the gift of the holiness of Your faithful servant Luisa Piccarreta. She lived, Oh Father, in Your Divine Will, becoming under the action of the Holy …View full post
The Promises of Jesus for Whoever Does The Hours of the Passion From the writings of Luisa Piccarreta Volume 10 – 10th April, 1913 “Tell me, my Good Lord, what will You grant in return to those who will make the Hours of your Passion on which You had instructed me?” And He: “My daughter, …View full post
Santa Maria Greca Santa Maria Greca Protector of Corato Historical Information in the 3rd Centenary of Her Apparition (1656-1956) Gathered, Edited and Published by Fr. Benedetto Calvi Parish Priest of the Church with same Name, and last Confessor of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta Nihil obstat quominus imprimatur Revisor Eccl. Can. Theol. Ciraselli Petrus …View full post
The Hours of the Passion Dispose You To Receive the Divine Truths From The Writings Of Luisa Piccarreta “The Little Daughter Of The Divine Will” Jesus says in the below passage, that in order to receive the truths we first need to receive Divine Love and Divine Light in our soul in order to have …View full post
Saint Annibale Maria di Francia Apostle of the Divine Will “When I have completed everything, I will entrust my kingdom to my ministers so that as second apostles they will be its heralds. Do you believe it is coincidental the visit of Fr. di Francia, who has shown so much interest in the publication of …View full post
Chaplet of the Divine Will by St. Annibale Di Francia +FIAT+ The Chaplet of the Divine Will by Saint Annibale Di Francia Saint Annibale Di Francia was one of Luisa’s extraordinary Confessors and was responsible for first publishing Luisa’s books, “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will” and “The Hours of the …View full post
Please Support the Cause for Beatification We inform all those who are interested in supporting the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta that the credit card service online is operating on the web site of the cause of beatification: http://www.causaluisapiccarreta.it/pagine/Donazione.aspx Sure that Our Lord reward you with His …View full post
Please petition your Bishop with your Divine Will priest to form a link from your own diocese with the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie-Nazareth of Archbishop Pichierri and The Pious Association “Luisa Piccarreta” Little Children of the Divine Will” in Corato, Italy. Archbishop Giovan Prrichiei on 4.23.07 asked that each Divine Will prayer group throughout the world create …View full post
The Celestial Mama teaches the secret of true happiness
As I was in my usual state, I found myself outside of myself. After going round and round in search of Jesus, I found the Queen Mama instead, and oppressed and tired as I was, I said to Her: ‘My most sweet Mama, I lost the way to find Jesus; I don’t know where else to go, nor what to do in order to find Him again.’ While saying this, I was crying, and She said to me:
“My daughter, follow Me and you will find the way, and Jesus. Even more, I want to teach you the secret of how you can always be with Jesus, and live always content and happy, even on this earth:
fix in your interior that there is only Jesus and you in the world, and no one else; and that Him alone must you please, satisfy and love, and from Him alone must you expect to be loved in return and contented in everything.
If you are in this way with Jesus, you will no longer be affected, whether you are surrounded by scorns or praises, by relatives or strangers, by friends or enemies. Jesus alone will be all your contentment, and Jesus alone will be enough for you in the place of all.
My daughter, until everything that exists down here disappears completely in the soul, one cannot find true and perpetual contentment.”
Did Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophesy about the condition of (many parts of) our Church today?
“[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church … It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”
We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.
The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.
Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.
The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.
A world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all Divine content, it will be the mystical body of the anti-christ. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from our Bishops.
The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves …
The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ …
But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.
(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)
Please make plans on Tuesday to attend Holy Mass, receive Communion, and then go to the Sacrament of Confession – eight days before or after Aug. 2
The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi is (for oneself or for a departed soul) is as follows:
The Portiuncula Indulgence is a grace not to be missed—not only for yourself but for the many suffering souls in Purgatory. …
Sacramental Confession to be in God’s grace (during eight days before or after.) …
Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist …
Recitation of The Apostles Creed, Our Father and also a prayer for the Pope’s Intention (such as an Our Father, Hail Mary, etc.).
Mark your calendar for the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels beginning at Vespers (Noon) on the First of August to August 2nd at Midnight. Tell everyone of the magnitude of this gift. Once again, we see the unfathomable Divine Mercy of God.
Vol. 14 – July 10,1922
Now it is necessary that you Luisa to rise (to Heaven)
and carry with you Luisa, My Life, My Divine Will,
so that My Volition of the earth and that of Heaven May Fuse Together,
and you Luisa, may Live for some time in the womb of the Divinity (in Heaven),
where your volition shall be acting in Mine,
in order to expand it as much as a creature can be capable of.
Then, you Luisa, shall descend again upon the earth,
bringing the Power and the Prodigies of My Divine Will on earth,
in such a way that the creatures shall be Shaken,
they shall Open their eyes,
and many shall Know what it means to Live In My Divine Will
– to Live In The Likeness to their Creator.
This shall be the Beginning of the Coming of My Kingdom upon earth,
and of the Final Fulfillment of My Divine Will.
Volume 36 – July 18, 1938
all created things await you Luisa,
but do you know why?
Because, Thanks to My Fiat which Animates all,
they feel their Union with you Luisa,
their inseparability from you Luisa;
and since the creature Luisa has the Supremacy,
they all await you Luisa in their midst,
so that together with the creature Luisa
they can Glorify and Love Us, The Triune God,
each one according to the Office assigned by Us.
Each created thing Possesses the Fullness of its own Good.
The Sun possesses the fullness of the light,
and each act of light it produces,
each effect and good it unleashes from its womb of light,
is like a continuous little sonata of glory and love that it gives to Us.
But it doesn’t want to give it alone, rather, it wants the one,
Luisa, for whom it has been created.
Only then are We Truly Loved and Glorified:
when the creature Luisa animated by Our Divine Will,
Flows into that Act of Light,
Loving and Glorifying Us with the Love and Glory of Light.
So We feel Our Purpose – the Reason for which We created light
– when We find the creature Luisa,
hidden inside that light, Loving us with the Fullness of the Light and Heat.
We find in her (Luisa’s) Love that Wounds Us,
Love that Sweetens Us,
Love that says,
Therefore We placed the Sun in the Power of the creature Luisa, to Love Us.
But if We don’t find the creature Luisa in the created things, We are not Happy.
They remain like instruments with no sound or life;
at the most We Love and Glorify Ourselves,
but it is not the creature Luisa Loving and Glorifying Us.
So our purpose fails.
PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2016 • WRITTEN BY DEACON GUADALUPE RODRIGUEZ
FILED UNDER: FAITH
Jesus says, “You are gods.” (Jn. 10:34) How is this possible?
At baptism, we become “partakers of the divine nature,” (CCC 1265 or 2Pt.1:4) or as St. Athanasius states that we are, “becoming by grace what God is by nature.” The Catechism quotes St. Athanasius to explain this teaching, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God,” (460) and furthermore it explains, “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that He, made man, might make men gods.” (CCC 460)
For most of us, the concept that “You are gods.” (Jn. 10:34) or that we are being “divinized” is difficult to grasp so let us first look at Jesus’ baptism when the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus and the Heavenly Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) Likewise, the Holy Spirit also descends into our souls at baptism, and we, too, become His sons and daughters as the Psalmist states, “You are ‘gods’; you are all sons of The Most High.” (82:6) The Heavenly Father’s words also apply to us as when St. Faustina hears Him say, “You are My delightful dwelling place; My Spirit rests in you.” (Diary 346)
St. Paul reminds us that we are temples of God, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” (1Cor.6:19) and “For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.” (CCC 1988) Divinization also mans that the Holy Spirit makes us, “a new creature.” (CCC 1265) However, it is not just the Holy Spirit that dwells in our souls, but it is also the Holy Trinity. The Catechism explains that baptism is the “entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity,” (1239) and we become “the indwelling of His Presence in us” (2781).
St. John Paul II enlightens us that “‘Divinization’…occurs through the admission into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life”, (Novo Millennio Ineunte no. 23) as when the Holy Trinity speaks in the soul of St. Faustina, “‘You are Our dwelling place.’ At that moment, I felt in my soul the presence of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I felt that I was the temple of God. I felt I was a child of the Father,” she said. (Diary 451)
St. Faustina says, “Divinize me so that my deeds may have supernatural value,” (1242) but she remains a meek and humble student of the indwelling Presence. She accepts to be molded regardless of her sins and frailties. Jesus explains to St. Faustina what He can do despite our faults and failings, “Your heart is My constant dwelling place, despite the misery that you are. I united Myself with you, to take away your misery and give you My mercy.” (Diary 723) She learns to worship the Holy Trinity within her soul so well that the Blessed Virgin Mary appears to her explaining the divinization going on in her soul, “You are a dwelling place pleasing to the living God; in you, He dwells continuously with love and delight. And the living presence of God, which you experience in a more vivid and distinct way, will confirm you, my daughter, in the things I have told you.” (Diary 785)
St. Faustina continues to plead with God, “Divinize me that my deeds may be pleasing to You,” (Diary 1289) so the Blessed Virgin Mary gives her instruction on how to live continually with the indwelling Presence, “My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest. Adore Him in your heart; do not go out from your inmost being. My daughter, I shall obtain for you the grace of an interior life which will be such that, without ever leaving that interior life, you will be able to carry out all your external duties with even greater care. Dwell with Him continuously in your heart. He will be your strength. Communicate with creatures only in so far as is necessary and is required by your duties.” (Diary 785)
Divinization is difficult to understand due to the way we view ourselves, “we hold this treasure inearthen vessels,” (2Cor.4:7) but Instrumentum Laboris instructs us that the “Eucharist is the summit of the Church’s life, since communion with the Lord leads to the sanctification and “divinization” of the person.” (1) Similarly, to help St. Faustina comprehend, Jesus tells her that as she sees Him outside so He is within, “I am dwelling in your heart as you see Me in this chalice.” (1820) But, why is all this relevant or important to us now? Because “The hour is coming when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:23)
Yes, the hour is coming very soon when there will be no physical Church to worship in as Pope Benedict XVI explains in the year 2010:
“This passage in chapter 4 of John’s Gospel is the prophecy of a worship in which there will no longer be any temple, but in which the faithful will pray without an external temple in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Gospel, in communion with Christ; where what is needed is no longer a visible temple but rather the new fellowship with the risen Lord. That always remains important, because it signifies a major turning point in the history of religion as well.”
(Light of the World, pages 16-17)
Finally, believe and understand that He wants to divinize us not by the “counterfeit divinization of eros,” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est no. 4) as when the serpent says, “you will be like gods,” (Gen.3:5) but by being humble, intimate, and living temples of God as when Jesus states, “We will come into him, and make Our dwelling in him.” (Jn. 14:23) Therefore, in these turbulent times trust and have confidence that His loving indwelling Presence is always with us day and night to divinize us as Jesus tells St. Faustina, “You are my dwelling place and my constant repose. For your sake I bless the earth.” (Diary 431) ST FAUSTINA PRAY FOR US.
Broken Crosses on Spirit Daily Blog
1. [More than a month ago alleged seer] Mirjana Soldo [of Medjugorje] received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross, in the presence of a fairly large crowd. After the apparition, she shared the following message:
“Dear children! My motherly heart desires your true conversion and a firm faith so that you may be able to spread love and peace to all those who surround you. But, my children, do not forget: each of you is a unique world before the Heavenly Father. Therefore, permit the continuous working of the Holy Spirit to work on you. Be my spiritually pure children. In spirituality is beauty. Everything that is spiritual is alive and very beautiful. Do not forget that in the Eucharist, which is the heart of faith, my Son is always with you. He comes to you and breaks the bread with you; because, my children, for your sake He died, He resurrected and is coming anew. These words of mine are familiar to you because they are the truth, and the truth does not change. It is only that many of my children have forgotten it. My children, my words are neither old nor new, they are eternal. Therefore, I invite you, my children, to observe well the signs of the times, to ‘gather the shattered crosses’ and to be apostles of the revelation. Thank you.”
2. Shattered Crosses
Many people have asked us about the meaning of this sentence: “Therefore, I invite you, my children, to observe well the signs of the times, to ‘gather the shattered crosses’ and to be apostles of the Revelation.” Mirjana asked that the phrase “gather the shattered crosses” be put in quotation marks; this means that the Blessed Moher is referring to something which is already known. An explanation can be found in the messages Bruno Cornacchiola received in 1947 at The Three Fountains, in the outskirts of Rome, where St Paul was beheaded.
A brief flashback is required here: Bruno, who fiercely opposed the Catholic Church, devised a plan to kill Pope Pius XII by stabbing him. On the eve of the crime, Saturday April 12, 1947, he was with his family at The Three Fountains, where his children were playing near a cave. He was working on his book which spoke against “The Immaculate”. When the time came to go home, his youngest daughter remained in the cave, so Bruno said to his son, “Go fetch your sister!” He went, but didn’t come back. Bruno then sent his other son, but he didn’t come back either. Bruno, who was angry, went himself and found all three of his children on their knees, hands joined in prayer and their eyes in ecstasy. They remained deaf to their father’s call.
Bruno was then thrust to the ground on his knees, against his will. When he raised his eyes, Our Lady was there, looking at him. She told him:
“I am she who is in the Divine Trinity. I am the Virgin of Revelation. You have persecuted me, now it is enough! Come back to the holy flock which is the Celestial Court on earth. God’s promise is unchangeable and will remain so. The nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart, which your faithful wife persuaded you to observe before you walked down the road of lies, has saved you.”
Bruno shared how the Blessed Mother made a gesture with her right arm, pointing at the ground with her index finger. Lying there at her feet, he saw a shattered cross, a piece of black cloth and a cassock.
The cassock thrown to the ground represents the abandonment of the priesthood by so many priests. She said, “this is a sign that my sons will leave their habits…. You, be strong in the faith!” (The “sons” Mary speaks about here are the members of the clergy). The broken cross, near the cassock, represents the martyrdom of priests who remain faithful to Christ in the persecution.The black fabric symbolizes that the Church will become a widow, left to the mercy of the world. Our Lady said to Bruno, “The Church will be persecuted, broken.”
Then the Virgin Mary revealed to Bruno what was going to happen, especially the defection of so many priests, and how much he should love and serve the Church despite all that was happening. She added that, “even when priests are in an infernal whirlwind”, said Mary, “they are dear to me. They will be trampled upon and massacred.”
Bruno converted on the spot. He even became a fervent apostle and a great defender of the Church until his death in June 2001. (His cause for Beatification has been opened in Rome). During all those years, he received words from Our Lady, especially through dreams, like St. John Bosco. These messages are prophetic, they concern the near and distant future of the Church, and the internal tragedies the Church is experiencing, (See PS 2).
Why is Our Lady telling us today about the shattered crosses we need to gather? It looks like she is flashing a warning light to us, who desire to serve Christ and His Church, amidst the great confusion and deep pain in this spiritual battle. Our world is swimming in murky waters. It is no longer just a single shattered Cross (that of 1947) but many shattered crosses (those of 2016)! Mary is expressing to us her immense pain at the defection of so many Christians, priests and lay people, the betrayals within the very heart of the Church herself and the widespread apostasy of our time.
Mary revealed to Bruno the name by which she wants to be invoked in this place: “I am the Virgin of the Revelation”. She held in her hands a little book: the Apocalypse of Saint John, also known as “The Book of Revelation”. The Virgin of the Revelation invites us today to be the “apostles of the Revelation”!
She clearly indicates the characteristics of these apostles who will remain loyal in the midst of tribulation. “They do not complain, they keep quiet and they do not rebel.” Didn’t she herself experience these characteristics during her earthly life?
The Book of Revelation is a partly sealed sacred text. It announces the fate of humanity and the victory of God over the Dragon and the Beast, after a terrible fight. How can we not open our eyes and see that indeed, today as never before, the fight against the Beast is violent and decisive? Satan knows that his days are numbered, and he is playing his last few cards with the energy of desperation. Does Our Lady want to tell us that we are in a key moment, a significant turning point in the life of the Church? A time when the realization of the Apocalypse is near and when everyone will have to take a stand, to be with Christ or against Christ? I believe so, because in her messages she never alluded to another apparition, (apart in August 25, 1991 when she referred to her apparition in Fatima). Why, this month, is she bringing up the key points of her apparition at Three Fountains?
On this occasion, it is important for us all to re-read the Book of Revelation, especially chapter 12, where “The Woman” (Mary!) is present. She said to Bruno: “Before I withdraw, I say this to you: The Revelation is the Word of God and this Revelation talks about me. This is why I took this title, the Virgin of the Revelation.” (Let me point out that it is the only Book of the Bible where a Beatitude is offered: “Blessed is he who reads these prophetic words.” Rev. 1:3)
It is also important to realize during a heart to heart fervent prayer, how much Our Lady is expecting us to make reparation for all the offenses against Jesus in the Eucharist and the Priesthood that He entrusted to men. “My Immaculate heart bleeds,” she said on April 25. She is not asking us to “gather the broken Crosses” in order to criticize and make negative comments against certain priests and prelates, or to become discouraged. No, she is inviting us to do everything in our power to help them and to support them through our prayers and sacrifices. What a consolation we can bring her by uniting our hearts to her broken heart! Yes, her heart is bleeding, but it is also confident in the final victory and in her triumph that is drawing closer each day!
That is why she is seeking souls that are willing to be at one with her soul!
3. Jolanda Cornacchiola
The wife of Bruno Cornacchiola, Jolanda, is an admirable example that will be a path to Holiness for many spouses experiencing hardship in their marriage. Despite Bruno’s repeated betrayals prior to his conversion, Jolanda remained faithful to him, fervently praying, to the point that Our Lady herself praised her! “God’s promises are and will remain unchanged” she said to Bruno. “The Nine first Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart which your faithful wife persuaded you to observe before you walked down the road of lies, has saved you!” Isn’t this beautiful? This simple devotion saved Bruno from perdition! (See PS3) The Blessed Mother never experienced this type of problem with her husband Joseph, thank God! But she came to the defense of Jolanda, asserting to Bruno that she had remained faithful to him and had never committed the sins of which he accused her. In fact he would beat her, probably unloading on her the remorse for his own infidelities, until the night that preceded the apparition. (One could suggest to the Holy See to beatify Jolanda at the same time as her husband!) And Our Lady continues saying, “The Ave Maria’s that you pray with faith and love are like many golden arrows that reach out to the Heart of Jesus.”
P.S. 3. At Paray-le-Monial (France), in 1675, Christ gave Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque 12 promises for those who venerate his Sacred Heart especially during 9 first Fridays of 9 consecutive months. These are as follows:
I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their families.
I will console them in all their troubles.
They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be removed.
The all-powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of 9 consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; my Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
Conditions. In order to be worthy of these promises, it is necessary to:
1. To receive Communion in the state of grace: If you are in mortal sin, then confession is required.
2. Devotion must be continued for nine consecutive months. For those who leave out even one communion must start over.
3. The pious practice can begin on the first Friday of every month.
Cardinal Burke Calls Our Nation to Pray 54 Day Rosary Novena
Each Kingdom Requires a Lord – Whose Will Reign? – OnePeterFive
By Genevieve Kineke on
A few pages of Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, by Pope Benedict XVI, has highlighted for me some troubling trends in the Church. He sifts carefully through Catholic thought as it differed historically from extra-ecclesial trajectories, but what must concern today’s reader is that many influential leaders in the Church have accepted non-Catholic premises in their views of the world.
In his explanation of the Kingdom that Jesus preached, Benedict reminds us that Origen had two basic thoughts on the topic. First was that Jesus himself is the “autobasileia, that is the Kingdom in person … the Kingdom is not a thing, it is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms” (p. 49). In this way, those who come to know Christ Jesus come to know God who dwells among them, and who wishes his divine will to prevail.
Origen didn’t stop there, though. He insisted that not only does God dwell with his creatures, but He dwells in them. In a mystical way, it is understood that “man’s interiority [is] the essential location of the Kingdom of God”. And Benedict quotes from Origen’s On Prayer:
“Those who pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God pray without any doubt for the Kingdom of God that they contain in themselves, and they pray that this Kingdom might bear fruit and attain its fullness. For every holy man it is God who reigns … So if we want God to reign in us, then sin must not be allowed in any way to reign in our mortal body … Then let God stroll at leisure in us as in a spiritual paradise and rule in us alone with his Christ” (p. 50).
The two images are not contradictory, but layered, so that Jesus is the kingdom, and Jesus is in the man of virtue, so as that man grasps the grace offered through the passion of Christ, he is both more Christlike and the garden where Christ can reign.
Subsequently, Benedict shows that traditionally there is a third image of the Kingdom, which is the Church:
To be sure, neither the interpretation in terms of man’s interiority nor the connection with Christ ever completely disappeared from sight. But nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theology did tend to speak of the Church as the Kingdom of God on earth; the Church was regarded as the actual presence of the Kingdom within history (p. 50).
Then Benedict explains that the Enlightenment sparked specific trends that proved antithetical to this traditional understanding. There was the radical individualism championed by Adolf von Harnack, and the corollary belief that morality was more important than ritual. Others preferred to see the kingdom in more communitarian terms, pitting ethics against sheer grace, and all of these efforts were upended by Albert Schweitzer’s book, Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. His thesis was still tied firmly to the notion of God and the saving work of Christ, but it was far more eschatological in the sense that it was “a proclamation of the imminent end of the world, of the inbreaking of a new world where, as the term kingdom suggests, God would reign” (p. 52).
Surely the trauma of the First World War led many believers to wonder what place such massive blood-letting among Christians meant in the unfolding of world history, but the accompanying trains of thought went wildly off-course from that point.
Since that time, a secularist reinterpretation of the idea of the Kingdom has gained considerable ground, particularly, though not exclusively, in Catholic theology. This reinterpretation propounds a new view of Christianity, religions, and history in general, and it claims that such radical refashioning will enable people to reappropriate Jesus’ supposed message (p. 53).
Previous shifts of emphasis were not nearly as dangerous theologically as that final lie, which carries the sympathetic soul from a generic theocentrism to regnocentrism without God. And yet that is where we are today in much of the world, ‘where peace, justice, and respect for creation are the dominant values” (p. 54). How many times have we bit our tongues not to “proselytise” (the name of Jesus being so “divisive,” or the boundaries of the Church appearing so threatening)? Benedict acknowledges the temptation:
This sounds good; it seems like a way of finally enabling the whole world to appropriate Jesus’ message, but without requiring missionary evangelisation of other religions. It looks as if now, at long last, Jesus’ works have gained some practical content, because the establishment of the “Kingdom” has become a common task and is drawing nigh (p. 54).
But Benedict ultimately decries this utopian approach which removes God from the mission. The politicisation of the kingdom has marginalised religion, which already must genuflect to the state in so many settings. “This post-Christian vision of faith and religion is disturbingly close to Jesus’ third temptation [in the desert]” (p. 55).
We must keep this in mind as we consider how we approach all government promises in the near future. We see clearly the dangers of hoping that “princes” will advance our pet causes, for those power-brokers can turn on a dime and leave the Christian empty-handed. We must also recognise the dangers of ecumenical endeavors that rejoice in works that are mute about the faith that motivates them. We’ve attempted to baptise so much in the name of tolerance and compassion that we run the risk of losing the meaning of the very names in which we baptise.
When Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God, he is quite simply proclaiming God, and proclaiming him to be the living God, who is able to act concretely in the world and in history and is even now so acting. He is telling us: “God exists” and “God is really God,” which means that he holds in his hands the threads of the world … “Kingdom of God” is therefore an inadequate translation. It would be better to speak of God’s being Lord, of his lordship (pp. 56-57).
In an upside world where androgyny is to be preferred to man and woman, and “toxic masculinity” is thought to be at the heart of all our woes, we would do well to remember that Lordship has its place–both in the Son of God and those particularly called to live in persona Christi. Kingship carries within it many layered meanings, but primarily the understanding that hierarchy is preferred to mob rule, that sin corrodes the community, and a material kingdom is not what we seek. We cannot allow either the language to be diluted or the mission to be derailed, for Christ must be Lord, now and forever. Amen!