Saturday, August 28, 2010

Heaven and Earth

(picture taken from here)

Today at Living Stones prayer meet, Bryan continued with Part 2 of his talk which was entitled "Heaven and Earth".

He began with a wonderful slideshow of the wonders of Nature while the Creation story was being read out slowly - for those who are interested, it's from Genesis Chapter 1 which is available online here.

Bryan impressed upon us the necessity of understanding the reading in its historical context. in Biblical times, the conception of the world is that of a flat plane with a vault/dome/firmament above - which would be the Heavens where the sun, moon, stars were located.

The reading and images gave us a sense of awe and wonder, that only an Almighty Creator could have made this world, and to cap it off, on the 6th day, God looked back at all He had made and saw that it was very good. Note that this was after God had created man - a point which Bryan would elaborate later on.

Bryan explained that Heaven = All Spiritual realities
while Earth = All Physical Realities

It is known that God created Heaven first, and with it billions upon billions of spiritual beings, as many as there are stars in the sky. these were intelligent beings with free choice. through their beauty and the good they do, they praise God.
Indeed, the most brilliant of the spiritual beings had 12 wings, and his name was Lucifer, the bearer of Light
(now, doesn't this name sound familiar?)

Then God created Earth, an act which confounded Lucifer - where was the element of free choice in the creations so far? they seemed nothing more than a vainglorious act of making things just to praise God. But the folly of God is greater than the wisdom of these spiritual beings, and was seen in the ultimate of God's creations on the 6th day: Man. Now, at this point, Lucifer had enough and together with other spiritual beings who agreed with him, decided to abandon God.

Man is both a Spiritual and Physical Being who can bring all realities into praising God.

Praising God is manifested through the following ways:-
  • man's inner beauty and goodness;
  • the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:- wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord; and
  • bringing all physical realities into praising God - by his dominion over the land and creatures of Earth.
Most importantly, it is voluntary, an act out of free will. To worship in the best way possible is to praise God, and we have an entrusted duty to bring all of Creation to praise Him. Here, worship means to cultivate and keep in a good state the physical and spiritual 'gardens' which have been entrusted to us - as was first used in Gen 2:15.

Thus Lucifer has made it his mission to launch an all-out spiritual battle against Man, tempting him to be more animalistic and abandon his role in praising God. the animalistic side of Man is shown when he sins - relating back to last week's topic on the 7 Deadly Sins.

Lucifer's methods are simple, but with terrifying results:-
  • influencing Man into taking advantage of physical realities and each other
  • selfishly enjoying to the limits without transcending Man's own limitations; and
  • destroying resources, others and finally themselves.
All this is done to show proof of the folly of Man. Hence the word 'Devil' is derived from the Greek word "Diabolos', which means 'the accuser' - and Lucifer will stand and accuse us of failing to live up to our God-given role when we die.

Now, take this is a fact - a spiritual man is higher than angels as one of the Sufi mystics put it - although angels are higher than men. This point is made in 1 Cor 6:2-3 as well.

Therefore, it is important that Man fulfils his divine role via free choice and the supremacy of spirit, with the help of the Holy Spirit (The Advocate). We too have a Guardian Angel each whom we ought to get to know!

Reassuringly, God is more powerful than all temptations, and none of these occur without His permission or knowledge. We take comfort in this and seek to praise Him through discipline, freedom of choice and sincere action without any ulterior motives. to this end, we need to get to know our spiritual side, and we can start by attending a silent retreat.


The Earth is awesome. We know that. But even more awesome are the tremendous blessings and role we have to play in praising, reverencing and honouring God.
Long ago, St Iranaeus made this observation "God is glorified when man is fully alive"
In conclusion, we are most fully alive when we have sought to live sinless lives (we can never really be free of sin because of the stain of original sin) and also cultivate all our many charisms in the act of reflecting God's glory and bringing others closer to Him.
Finally, AMDG - Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam = all for the greater glory of God (the Ignatian motto) - it's something handy to remember when we are doing anything at all, that it all goes to the Creator Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Then the Lord God said to the snake "You will be punished for this; you alone of all the animals must bear this curse..I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enermies. Her offspring will crush your head" Gen 3:14-15

    Two thousand years later, we know this woman is Mother Mary and her offspring is Jesus. This has become the Salvation HIStory. From a woman, humanity is fallen. From another woman, mankind is saved and the snake/devil is defeated.

    Realising human is both physical and spiritual; we need food/grace which is both physical and spiritual. Nothing is more graceful than the Eucharist/Sacrement which is both physical and spiritual. So, is it legitimate to have a church without Sacrement? Or should we lack of it? Let's decide using wisdom (the brain is physical) through the eyes of faith.