This Lent, Break Through to the Higher Life

This Lent, Break Through to the Higher Life

Called to Be Supermen/God-Men

On the Sunday before Lent, Jesus challenges us to leave behind a base and brute level of existence and break through to the “Higher Life.” So, do not “lower the bar” and simply do what the tax collectors and pagans do, but live the “higher life” as genuine children of God (See HERE).

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote about this “Higher Life” …

Christ’s reason for taking upon Himself a human nature was to pay for sin by death on the cross and to bring us a higher life … This higher life which is divine, distinct from the human, is called grace, because it is gratis or a free gift of God …

 

Man may live at three different levels: the sensate, the intellectual, and the divine. These may be likened to a three-story house. 

 

The sensate level, or the first floor, represents those who deny any other reality except the pleasures that come from the flesh. Their house is rather poorly furnished and is capable of giving intermittent thrills which quickly dry up. The occupant of this first floor is not interested in being told of higher levels of existence; in fact, he may even deny their existence.

 

On the second floor, there is the intellectual level of existence, that of the scientist, the historian, the journalist, the humanist; the man who has brought to a peak all of the powers of human reason and human will. This is a much more comfortable kind of existence, and far more satisfying to the human spirit. Those on the second floor may think their floor is “a closed universe,” regarding as superstitious those who desire a higher form of life.

 

But there is actually a third floor which is the floor of grace by which the human heart is illumined by truths which reason cannot know; by which the will is strengthened by a power quite beyond all psychological aids, and the heart is entranced with the love which never fails; which gives a peace that cannot be found on the two lower levels …

 

The world, therefore, is divided into the ‘once born’ and the ‘twice born’: between the sons of the old Adam, and the sons of the new Adam, Christ; between the unregenerate and the regenerate. There is a real inequality in the world. There are ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ peoples, but the basis of distinction is not color, race, nationality, or wealth. The superior people of the earth are the supermen, the God-men; the inferior people are those who have been called to that superior state but, as yet, have not embraced it. 

Boil everything down, and we see that this is at the heart of the battle today. While we are called to be “Supermen/God-men,” the “influencers” of our culture are pulling us down to that base and brute level of existence. These “influencers,” known as the “ruling class,” are actually the “inferior people” who dwell on the first two floors, who believe and promote that we are nothing more than another animal species. The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, literature — they relentlessly promote the false gods of sexual hedonism and radical narcissism. “If it feels good, just do it.” This is the “law of animals.”

Under the power of supernatural grace, we are called to lift ourselves up, along with the entire world, into the “higher life” of the principals, morals, ethics, values, and virtues of God that raises every society out of darkness and chaos into the light of truth and peace. President Ronald Reagan once famously stated, “We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” Spiritual warfare is about our resolve to become strong in God’s supernatural power; the only power capable of “shining out” the dark and aggressive satanic forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Okay, then this begs the question: “How are we best suited to receive this supernatural grace?”

 

Farming for Faith: 3 Steps for Soil/Soul Preparation

The word “Lent” actually translates to “Spring.” Springtime is when farmers, after a cold Winter, set out to prepare for another “planting season.” How farmers prepare the soil acts as an excellent analogy for how we must prepare the “soul” to receive the seed of faith – belief in the supernatural power of God – and allow it to break open (germinate) in order to reach its fullest potential … how we become “Supermen/God-men” in the power of grace.

Recall the Parable of the Sower:

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown (Matthew 13:3-8).

Using the soil preparation analogy of farming, the following are best practices of an authentically strong Catholic. If you obey Christ and His Church 100% (remain loyal), and practice the following, you will be strong in God’s supernatural grace, and you will live in peace.

  1. Clear the Land. Remove Residue: Remove any wooden residue and weeds that the soil might contain. These can challenge your planting plans, give it a not so pleasant look and even damage or kill the plants. The spiritual equivalent is …
    • Go to Confession – Frequently! (at least once a month) What are the sins in our life that can choke off the Divine Life? The seed of faith thrives in the soil made pure by the Sacrament of Confession.
    • Fasting – Fasting “detaches” us from things we place ahead of God; it disciplines the soul to choose God over things. Fasting is a way in which the Lord gives the underdog victory. Fasting tells God you are “quite serious” about your relationship with Him.
  1. Plow, spade or till the area: Hard clay soil does not allow the seed to enter in and break open. The hard heart is the “superficial heart,” settling for the base inferior life. It is the seed that never geminates and breaks open to reach its full potential. It believes it is just a seed and will always be just a seed, as it flounders in an empty darkness, searching for the next “quick fix” of carnal pleasure. The spiritual equivalent to plowing is …
    • Adoration – Adoration is the most amazing plow that loosens the hardness of our hearts. It is prayer from the heart that “opens” us to be that meek and humble softened soul that wants nothing more than to please God, whom they love so much. In Adoration, we more easily cry out, “My Lord and my God!” Adoration doesn’t require Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. God dwells in the Tabernacle. Come early and/or stay late for Mass just to “be with Him” in silence.
    • Prayer – Yes, to formal prayer, but be in conversation with God all day long. Develop that personal love relationship with God Who is “with you” always.
  1. Fertilize the Soil: Fertilizing enriches the soil and ensures your plants grow well. We must feed our soul with rich nutrients. These are spiritual nutrients we must add to the soul to enrich it …
    • Mary – The first rich nutrient is our devotion to the Mother of God. The Life of Christ flourishes in the soul that loves His mother. Jesus can deny nothing to His mother. Keep Mary close, and Christ will be close to you.
    • Truth – Add the rich nutrients of Divine Revelation: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Also, be an avid reader of the writings from the saints and strong spiritual leaders of our time. Let these be your “influencers.”
    • Treasure Chest of Our Catholic Faith – Also, we must feed our soul with all of the beautiful jewels from the treasure chest of our Catholic faith: Daily devotions, sacramentals, etc. The rosary, saints, consecration, scapular, novenas, etc., etc. all enrich the soil of our souls, helping us to reach our highest potential. God has revealed these through Mary and the saints. Please God by loving what He has given to us.
    • Strong Relationships – Who are the “influencers” in our lives? The forces of the world are strong. Sometimes, we cannot avoid spending time with those who have allowed themselves to be influenced by these worldly, depraving forces. But, we need to do all we can to spend as much time as possible with others who are STRONG. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Being with those who love the “higher life” helps you to stay in the “higher life,” and vice versa.

NB: We have been talking about a “higher life” or a “superior life.” Once you see this as a way to, pridefully, count yourself as “better than others,” grace will leave you in that moment. No, we must see it as a way to “inspire others” to want this “higher life” for them too.

 

The Seed of Faith Germinates

Now we are ready to receive the seed of God’s life found in the Most Holy Eucharist, the greatest gift ever given to man. Now we are ready to say our life is not our own for, like St. Paul, we “become Christ” for others:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20)

Now that seed is able to germinate; break open and reach for its greatest potential, bearing the Fruit of the Holy Spirit:

“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Under the power of supernatural grace, be extravagant with this fruit. Let others be shocked by your lavish love, exaggerated joy, deep peace, etc. (See Fruit of the Holy Spirit above).  This kind of “flamboyant fruit” is what sets your light on a lamp stand for all to see, and to inspire souls to come out of the cold, dark world into the “higher life.”

 

Category Heart, Latest Posts, Soul