Skip to main content

The Way of Life II

IN order to find the Kingdom we have to put into practice our Lord’s teaching, and to follow Him all the way. “Not easy,” you say? No, but blessed beyond description. Think of it! The Lord of Life says: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Our blessed Lord, King of High Heaven and all the earth, gives us this loving invitation, and we say: ‘’It is very difficult.’’ And so it is from a human standpoint, but not if we are “swallowed up of love.” “For my yoke is easy,’’ says our Lord, ‘’and my burden is light.’’

In order to find the Kingdom we have to forsake all and follow our Lord. We still continue in the world, but we are not of it. This is a spiritual and mystic separation. It does not mean that we are to sell up and give the proceeds away and live in a monastery, but rather to be different entirely within, loving only the things of the Spirit, instead of those of the world and the flesh. Yet we have to be willing literally to give up all, and even to suffer the death of martyrdom, if called upon to do so. We become non-attached to “things” and “personalities” and at-one with the Spirit. This does not mean that we cease to love, but rather that our love becomes more unselfish, impersonal and universal. The sun of our love has to shine upon both the evil and the good, therefore out Lord says concerning this: ‘’Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect”.

And the whole of our life has to be dictated by love. We have to love all, even our enemies and slanderers. We have to forgive freely those who try to injure us and hurt us. It is only as we forgive others that we enter into forgiveness ourselves. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’’ (Matt. 6: 14, 15.)

We have to be the humblest on the earth. We must possess no vain pride, but must take the lowest seat at the table. We must not retaliate when ill-treated, but must be prepared to give up our life, if necessary, for God.

We have to leave off sinning, in word and thought and deed. Our Lord delivers us from all sin, if we only rely entirely upon His Spirit. We have to give up all sin, if we are to enter the Kingdom. Our Lord came to deliver us from sin, and the power of sin, so that we should sin no more.
But all this is only the groundwork, or beginning. We have to follow our Lord into the wilderness to be tempted just the same as He; and because He conquered and was without sin, so also is it possible for us to overcome, in the strength of the Spirit, and through no power of our own.

And this brings us to the kernel of the whole teaching: doing the Will of God our Father, even as our Lord carried out His Father’s Will. Because this is one of the stock phrases of organized religion, doing the Will of God may have become nothing but a pious platitude to us, yet in it is the deep secret of all attainment.

What do we mean by doing the Will of God?

God has a most wise plan concerning the life of each one of us. This plan is both wonderful and glorious, and if we will only fall in with it, harmony and peace become ours, and happiness and joy, to an almost unbelievable extent.

We do not have to plan our life. It is already planned for us. This may be a cause of stumbling to beginners, but when we become more advanced we realize that God has a wonderful plan concerning our life, and that the best thing we can do is to fall in with it. Obviously there can be no harmony until we do. Our life is perfect as planned by “our Father.” It can become perfect in expression only as we allow God’s plan to manifest. We have not to perfect our life: we have only to allow God’s perfect plan to be carried out, in every action of our life.

Probably the greatest event in our spiritual experience is when we learn to say with Cardinal Newman: ‘’I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou Should’st lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on.’’

And again in the first verse:

“Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me.’’


Syndicate content