[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


sunday's rest & reflection

last week i was caught up in talmage. this week, i'm caught up in msgr. romano guardini. listen to what he has to say about the kingdom of god (a favorite topic of mine):
kingdom of god means a state in which god is king and consequently rules . . . . what would life be like if god did rule in me? then i would know -- not by strenuous, conscious effort, but spontaneously, from the vitality of constant encounter: he is! his would be the one name, the one reality before all others. i would know him as i know the beauty and freshness of a meadow in full bloom, and i would be able to speak of him, as i speak of its richness, deeply conscious of what i meant . . . . then god would stand with all the power of his being in my soul, as the point of departure, the sense and goal of everything. my heart and will would experience him as the holy being who appraises every value, the sense behind all senses; as the one who rewards not only ultimately, but who alone, here and now, lends the most insignificant earthly act its intrinsic justification and meaning. then his summons would really reach me, and shaken and blissful, i should know that my human personality consisted of nothing but the manner in which he calls me and the response i make to that call . . . . from that moment on my conscience would clearly recognize its duties, and overstepping mere conscience, the ultimate in human experience would stride into my life: love fulfilling its holy destiny between god and me alone.

where this is so, there is the kingdom of god.
(romano guardini, the lord (washington, d.c.: regnery, 2002)) wow. wish i could've written that. forget having written it, i just wish i was able to live a life anywhere close to that. my friend jeremy has probably the best developed understanding of the kingdom of god of anyone i know personally. maybe it's b/c the guy grew up on tolkien (check out what he does for a living, for crying out loud), but he just intuits implications of a theology of kingship. ok, so i played lancelot in camelot once (horrible experience #7: falling down on astroturf in elementary school gymnasium while rushing the stage in blue tights and pennyloafers to save guinevere), but i'm an american, by god! kings, monarchies and potentates are about as familiar to me as the nuances of wicca. but jeremy used to talk for hours (his eyes would generally glaze over just before his soliloquy) about kingship, what it means for us today, how the concept unlocks the entirety of the bible.

and i've just about got it, but not quite. i'm working on it, i'm working on it! suffice it to say i'm getting better versed in the basics: there is only one great king, and he is the god of abraham, isaac and jacob; whether you recognize his kingship doesn't really matter, b/c he's king whether you like it or not; he made everything, everything man!, and it's his to do w/ as he pleases. there are, indeed, other powers who seek to dethrone him, but their foolish attempts are but tiny pebbles slung @ a giant (imagine throwing skittles @ warren sapp), and ultimately he will place everything under his feet, all other powers will be thrown down, and all creation will acknowledge him as the one, true and rightful king. the cool part is that his kingdom began in earnest just about 2 millennia ago (as if it didn't exist before then, just in a different form) when jesus defeated death, the final enemy. now we live w/ a foot in the present age and a foot in the age to come, the eternal age. and we pray "thy kingdom come" w/ fervor (if i don't pray it w/ fervor during mass or the daily office, then i need to take a few weeks and think about what i'm re praying, then start praying w/ conviction, dadgummit!).

if you look about you, god's kingdom is coming. it's already here and it's coming. how weird is that? it's "already" and it's "not yet." our job is to work for it. we're the knights of god's round table. but we don't bring the kingdom in by blowing up abortion clinics or sporting "god hates fags" signs (or trying to force our form of government on people who don't want it, for that matter), but by prayer, by sanctification, by doing good works, service, self-denial, fierce and uncompromising love. we're a "kingdom of priests," and what do priests do but make sacrifices? and what are our sacrifices? it's just us, a bunch of living sacrifices, created in christ jesus to do good works. when we do good works, not to be seen by others but to mysteriously bring glory to god, then we're doing war to bring in the kingdom. we're battling our natures, the spirit of the world and this age, all that has ever stood over against the coming of the kingdom of god. sort of gives a little more weight to not checking out that girl's butt next time, doesn't it.

from this sinner to youse guys, sinners all -- have a blessed sunday. and may god's kingdom come on earth, even as it exists in heaven.


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