21 January 2009

Hugh of Balma: The Second Petition in the Lord's Prayer

Continuing with Hugh of Balma’s mystical reflection on the “Our Father,” next is the second petition which according to Hugh is made so that we “might not turn aside to leap over the boundaries of the rules of truth.”

“The Kingdom of God is established on its lasting Throne in the soul.” In order for this to be so, however, “an ardent force of love” must prevail “in the spirit.” There has to be a dismissal of “the rebellion” of the excessive “inner senses” and by the power of this force of love, “all actions” are to be subjected to “the judgment of reason.” This is necessary in order that there is a striving “by every action to do what” has been “discerned to be more pleasing to the Beloved,” being subjected “entirely to the Beloved, through the light He radiates, recognizing in advance what pleases Him,” and then “carrying it out with discernment.” We “ought not seek” our “own interests,” but rather seek the interests of God. This is how God alone will reign in the soul. “In the end” it is fitting and right that the Creator alone should reside in His creation, the soul, by resting there. Thus, the soul “should be preserved intact under His rule,” and “find sweet refreshment in Him.” The prayer, “Thy Kingdom come” truly occurs when the soul “is seated under the shadow of the Most High.” The soul, “as far as human weakness permits”… “is completely consecrated to God and not at all subject to any creature.” When this is the will of the soul, the Kingdom is truly attained.