The Nearness of the Kingdom

God's 'Ultimate' Kingdom at the End of Time, the New Jerusalem - by Paul Gustave Doré . . . . . And I John saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband [Rev 21:2]. From the Catholic Encyclopedia, the following Scriptural Terms apply to God's Kingdom: the Kingdom of Heaven; the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom of the Father; the Kingdom of Christ; the House of the Father; the City of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem; Paradise; Life; Life Everlasting; the Joy of the Lord; Crown of Life; Crown of Justice; Crown of Glory; Incorruptible Crown; Great Reward; Inheritance of Christ; Eternal Inheritance. The Kingdom of God is Infinite (∞), as God is Infinite (∞), and will have no Limits, no Confines, no Boundaries.

 

Luke 21:31 -- "Know that the Kingdom of God is Near".

eckhart.jpg (9206 bytes) Meister Johannes Eckhart (1260 - 1327) is one of the Great Mystics in the Dominican Order. Eckhart expounds the Eternal Mysteries in a style that is Fresh and Original in the Best Sense. Through the Vividness of his use of Imagery, Eckhart directs us to that which lies beyond Image.

In 1985 the Pope John Paul II, said: "Did not Eckhart Teach his Disciples: 'All that God asks you most pressingly, is to go out of yourself - and let God be God in you'? One could think that, in separating himself from Creatures, the Mystic leaves his Brothers, Humanity, behind. The same Eckhart affirms that, on the contrary, the Mystic is Marvelously Present to them on the only level where he can truly reach them, that is in God".

 

The Nearness of the Kingdom

by Meister Johannes Eckhart, Dominican Mystic

angelbar.gif (3645 bytes)

Supernatural Order
(Kingdom of God)
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Natural
Order

Supernatural
Order

Natural Body/
Lower Powers
(Subordinate-Partner)

Natural Soul/
Natural Virtues
(Dominant Partner)

Sanctifying Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

Our Lord saith that the Kingdom of God is Near us. Yea, the Kingdom of God is within us as Saint Paul saith "Our Salvation is Nearer than when we Believed". Now we should Know in what Manner the Kingdom of God is Near us. Therefore let us pay Diligent Attention-to the Meaning of the Words. If I were a King, and did not Know it, I should not really be a King.

But:

if I were Fully Convinced that I was a King,
and all Mankind Coincided-in my Belief,
and I Knew that they Shared my Conviction,

I should Indeed be a King, and all the Wealth of the King would be mine. But, if One (1) of these Three (3) Conditions were Lacking, I should not really be a King.

In Similar Fashion, our Salvation Depends-upon our Knowing and Recognizing the Chief Good which is God Himself. I have a Capacity in my Soul for Taking-in God Entirely. I am as sure as I Live, that Nothing is so Near-to me as God. God is Nearer-to me than I am to Myself; my Existence Depends-on the Nearness and Presence-of God. He is also Near things of Wood and Stone, but they Know it not. If a Piece of Wood became as Aware-of the Nearness-of God as an Archangel is, the Piece of Wood would be as Happy as an Archangel. For this Reason, Man is Happier-than the Inanimate Wood, because he Knows and Understands how God is Near him. His Happiness Increases and Diminishes in Proportion-to the Increase and Diminution in his Knowledge of this. His Happiness does not Arise-from this, that God is Near him, and In him, and that He Possesses God; but from this, that he Knows the Nearness-of God, and Loves Him, and is Aware-that "the Kingdom of God is Near". So, when I Think-on God's Kingdom, I am Compelled-to be Silent because of its Immensity, because God's Kingdom is None-other than God Himself, with all His Riches. God's Kingdom is no small-thing: we may Survey-in Imagination, all the Worlds of God's Creation, but they are not God's Kingdom. In whichever Soul God's Kingdom Appeareth, and which Knoweth God's Kingdom, that Soul needeth no Human Preaching or Instruction; it is Taught-from Within, and Assured-of Eternal Life. Whoever Knows and Recognizes how Near God's Kingdom is to him may say with Jacob, "God is in this place, and I knew it not".

God is equally Near in all Creatures. The Wise Man saith, "God hath Spread out His Net over all Creatures, so that whosoever Wishes to Discover Him may Find and Recognize Him in each one". Another saith, "He knows God Rightly who Recognizes Him alike in all things". To Serve God with Fear is Good; to Serve Him out-of Love is Better; but to Fear and Love Him together, is Best of all. To have a Restful or Peaceful Life in God is Good; to Bear a Life-of Pain in Patience is Better; but to have Peace in the Midst-of Pain is the Best of all.

A Man may go into the Field and say his Prayer, and be Aware-of God, or, he may be in Church and be Aware-of God; but, if he is more Aware-of Him because he is in a Quiet Place, that is his own Deficiency and not Due-to God, Who is alike-Present in all Things and Places, and is Willing to give Himself Everywhere, so far as Lies-in Him. He Knows God Rightly who Knows Him Everywhere. Saint Bernard saith, "How is it that Mine Eye and not My Foot sees Heaven? Because Mine Eye is more like Heaven than My Foot is. So, if My Soul is to Know God, it must be God-like".

Now, how is the Soul to Arrive-at this Heavenly State that it Recognizes God in itself, and Knows that He is Near? By Copying the Heavens, which can Receive no Impulse from Without, to Mar their Tranquility. Thus must the Soul, which would Know God, be Rooted and Grounded-in Him so Steadfastly, as to Suffer no Perturbation-of Fear or Hope, or Joy or Sorrow, or Love or Hate, or anything which may Disturb its Peace.

The Heavens are Everywhere-alike, Remote-from Earth; so should the Soul be Remote-from all Earthly Things alike, so as not to-be Nearer to One, than Another. It should keep the same Attitude-of Aloofness in Love and Hate, in Possession and Renouncement, that is, it should be Simultaneously Dead, Resigned and Lifted-up. The Heavens are Pure and Clear, without Shadow of Stain, out-of Space and out-of Time. Nothing Corporeal is found there. Their Revolutions are Incredibly Swift and Independent-of Time, though Time Depends-on them. Nothing Hinders the Soul so much in Attaining-to the Knowledge-of God as Time and Place. Therefore, if the Soul is to Know God, it must Know Him outside Time and Place, since God is neither in this-or-that, but One (1) and above them. If the Soul is to See God, it must look at nothing in Time; for while the Soul is Occupied-with Time, or Place, or any Image-of the kind, it cannot Recognize God. If it is to Know Him, it must have no-Fellowship with Nothingness. Only he Knows God, who Recognizes that all Creatures are Nothingness. For, if One (1) Creature be set-over Against another, it may appear to be Beautiful and Somewhat, but if it be set-over Against God, it is Nothing. I say moreover: If the Soul is to Know God, it must Forget itself and Lose itself, for as-long-as it Contemplates Self, it cannot Contemplate God. When it has Lost Itself and Everything in- God, it Finds itself again in-God when it Attains-to the Knowledge-of Him, and it finds also Everything which it had Abandoned, Complete-in God. If I am to Know the Highest Good, and the Everlasting Godhead, truly, I must know Them as They are in Themselves, Apart-from Creation. If I am to Know Real Existence, I must Know it as it is in itself, not as it is Parceled-out in Creatures.

The Whole Being-of God
is Contained-in God alone.
In God there are Three (3) distinct Persons:

yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Father - Has no Origin
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Son - Proceeds from the Father
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Holy Spirit - Proceeds from Father & Son

Each Person has the One (1) same Divine:

yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Substance
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Nature
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Essence
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Being
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Power
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Intellect
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Knowledge
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Love
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Will
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Mind
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Godhead
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Divinity
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Consciousness
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Wisdom
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Holiness
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Majesty

 

The Whole Being-of God is Contained-in God alone. The Whole-of Humanity is not Contained-in One (1) Man, for One (1) Man is not all Men. But in God, the Soul Knows all Humanity, and all things at their Highest Level of Existence, since it Knows them in their Essence. Suppose any one to be in a Beautifully Adorned House: he would Know much more about it than one who had never entered therein, and yet wished to speak much about it. Thus, I am as sure, as I am of my own Existence and God's, that, if the Soul is to Know God, it must Know Him Outside-of Time and Place. Such a Soul will Know Clearly how Near God's Kingdom is.

Schoolmen have often asked how it is possible for the Soul to Know God. It is not from Severity that God Demands-much from Men, in-order-to Obtain the Knowledge of Himself: it is of His Kindness that He Wills the Soul, by Effort, to Grow Capacious of Receiving much, and that He may Give much. Let no Man think, that to Attain this Knowledge is too Difficult, although it may Sound-so, and Indeed the Commencement of it, and the Renouncement of all things, is Difficult. But when one Attains-to it, no Life is Easier, nor more Pleasant, nor more Lovable, since God is always Endeavoring-to Dwell-with Man, and Teach him, in-order-to bring him to Himself. No Man desires anything so Eagerly, as God Desires-to bring Men to the Knowledge of Himself. God is always Ready, but we are very Unready. God is Near us, but we are Far-from Him. God is Within, and we are Without. God is Friendly; we are Estranged. The Prophet saith, "God Leadeth the Righteous by a Narrow Path into a Broad and Wide Place, that is into the True Freedom of those who have become One Spirit with God".

May God Help us all to Follow Him,
that He may bring us to Himself.

Amen

 

- End of Homily by Meister Eckhart -

 

The Kingdom of God is
Under Construction by
the Power of Holy Spirit

Kingdom of God,
~ Mystical Body of Christ,
~ Holy Catholic Church (A Divine Society),
~ Holy Bride of Christ (cf. Song of Songs), and
~ the Communion of Saints.

Beginning
of the Kingdom

Ultimate Kingdom,
New Jerusalem

Established in 33AD - by the Passion and Death of Christ, which Defeated Satan, and prompted the Sending of His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church

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We Pray for the Coming of the Kingdom in the 'Our Father':

"Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy Will be Done,
On Earth, as it is in Heaven"


Fully Complete at the
End of Time - the
Second Coming of Christ,
the Day of Final Judgment.

Christ's Work was to Initiate the Kingdom. The Church is to Complete that Task.
The Kingdom of God is also another Name for the Mystical Body of Christ. Both Concepts express our Union with Christ through Grace; both include the Church Militant on Earth, the Church Suffering in Purgatory, and the Church Triumphant in Heaven. Yet, when considered as the Kingdom of God, it is seen more in the Light of Christ's Reign in the Minds and Hearts of Men, their Recognition of His Sovereignty and Obedience to His Laws.
The Building of the Kingdom of God is a Continuing, On-going Effort in which we are all called to Participate, with the Help of the Holy Spirit Residing in the Essence of our Soul.
At the End of Time, Christ’s Temporal Power will be Manifest, and all will Submit to His Rule, Willingly or not, to the Eternal Anguish of those who Freely Refused to Recognize and Submit to His Authority during their Life on Earth.
Those in the State of Mortal Sin are no longer in the Kingdom of God, but can be Reinstated by Sacramental Confession.