Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The chart to the left is my conceptual explanation of the Kingdom of God. The first thing to notice is that those in the Pilgrim Church, that is Christians living in the world, initiated into the community of believers through Baptism, are not outside the Kingdom of God. Neither by time or by space. Our life, our existence, is concurrent with Heaven, the saints, and those who have left the Pilgrim Church. That is why praying to saints or praying for a departed relative or friend is a perfectly normal thing. We are not cut off from them or outside their realm. Also notice that Purgatory is a boundary, which could be a physical boundary, as a place or a boundary which is a process of purification. Like passing through a "shower" to cleanse us, making us clean for entry. We are, by our Baptism, already sons and daughters who can call God our Father. We have been joined with Christ, died with Him and have risen with Him. Even though our physical bodies will die one day and will also rise, our spiritual beings have already entered the Kingdom. How then is it that we can lose salvation? We can lose salvation by disobeying God's commandments and committing mortal sins. Mortal sins literally kill our spiritual life. It is only through confession and absolution that we are restored. Also God is present throughout the Kingdom not just in Heaven. He is present in Christ Jesus at Mass each time a priest says those words of consecration. This Lent let us reflect on the Kingdom, and through self denial we remind ourselves that it is not the world that we seek but everlasting membership as heirs of God.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 6:37 PM