The Nearness of the Kingdom
by Meister Johannes Eckhart, Dominican Mystic
(Kingdom of God)
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)
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.
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
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. 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.
- 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.
of the Kingdom
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
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.