What History would Always be in a Fallen World, Part III: the Way of the Saint for the Peoples of God

In the first essays on the Greater Ages in Abstraction, we saw that God must have an Old Testament to prepare for the Incarnation in any fallen world, and that such OT consists of two preliminary, preeminent phases of sin and chastisement for all of humanity, then the formation of Prefiguring Covenant, God espousing Himself to a little “underdog” amongst the many to be His special “People”, His "Bride". Now, in this essay, we ask if any ages must come within this very Prefiguring Covenant before God can most efficaciously send Incarnate One into the world.

Chapter 4:

The Way of the Holy One in a Fallen Material World

Now, we ask, how long, or more specifically, what stages, must transpire before the Prefiguring Covenant has reached maturity, so that Incarnate One can come?

The answer, in theory, is seen in the Catholic Way of the Saint. Catholic psychology has analyzed the spirituality and lives of the countless saints for centuries and unearthed a great theological treasure: a general spiritual process of stages unfolds in most saints who live a fuller life, namely, the three greater successive stages as follows:

The Purgative

The Illuminative

The Unitive

We can assume from this incredible similarity that the stages of this spiritual path are predestined, an intrinsically necessarypath, for any fallen material creature of a fallen world that is to journey in a covenant of revelation and grace in progressive holiness.

But then, the theory is, just as what is true of the individual child extrapolates historically to man, so also what is true of the individual human saint extrapolates to the People of God, so that, therefore, the stages of the historical Covenant also follow this three stage process, precisely because, even though the religion of the Prefiguring is merely full of physical signs, it involves revelation and grace, as with the individual holy material creature.

This means that the three general ways are necessary to progress historically for the Prefiguring People, after which time, Incarnate One can come.

Let us now probe this process of the saint, and thereby also, of the People of God of a potential material world.

From previous essays, we can argue that the fall is the same in any world that happens to fall: the creatures impacted by the fall are like the following:

  • They don't care about knowing or loving God in this life.
  • They live for this world and its goods instead of for the next world, the Creator, the Uncreated Good.

But if they are this way, they too will have original sin, like us, the absence of supernatural grace that would enable them to seek God's will. Because they live for created goods and this world, they are driven toward, and enslaved to, the physical things in exaggerated proportion. Therefore, they shun pain that is sacrificial, and they love pleasure and the goods of this world rather than God and discipline.

Hence, when a person repents in such a world, that is, converts to God, and therefore acquires sanctifying grace, they will still have these dispositions of sinful tendencies. How much more then will they, by virtue of their, as of yet, concupiscence, like our world, need to purge themselves of these before anything else can be done.

For, whereas all creatures there are called to know, love, and serve God, love is essential before knowledge, for knowledge alone does not save. Therefore, the saint must first rid himself of the greater sinful tendencies before moving on to greater knowledge of God.

And so, we see the necessity of the purgative way in any fallen material world as the first necessary greater stage, penance exercised to beat the material flesh into subjection to the Spirit.

Obviously, however, God does not desire the creature to remain in greater sinful tendencies. Therefore, by grace, the creature that perseveres in walking with God will eventually work out those larger sinful tendencies.

Then, by way of implication, since, again, the purpose for any creature is to love and know God in any world, now that loveis firmer and devoid of the more significant cross of disposition toward the material order, the creature can begin to grow in knowledge of the Divine Mysteries, which by nature also increases love. Hence, the illuminative way: the creature grows in holiness by knowing God on a much deeper level than merely the seed creed of such covenant, which, for the creatures in pre-Incarnate times, is the Prefiguring Covenant [Judaism], and for the creatures beyond Incarnate One, the Incarnate One’s Covenant, the fullness of truth and grace (derivatively, the universal kingdom of all nations beyond the Prefiguring People, in this world, the Catholic Church).

To move on, if we recall that the creatures disposed toward the fall are not interested in either loving God OR knowing him, it follows that as the holy creature’s personal knowledge of Divine Mysteries grows, the sharing of such is received with colder and colder response from the outside world, so that, just as the purgative way has physical desolations from the pain of denying the flesh, so the illuminative way has spiritual desolations from an outer environment that is progressively hostile to the deeper immersion in Divine Mystery and Revelation.

Of course, by intrinsic necessity, the desolations grow toward a total frigidity toward knowledge, the dark night of the soul, when all consolation of Divine intimacy is lost by the saint. And so we have the culmination of the illuminative way in a spiritual darkness.

However, once again, God desires to draw light from darkness, as the literal day of this world, the sunrise from the sunset.

Therefore, God predestines in this ordeal the resurrection from spiritual aridity . He vindicates the Revelation. Consider, for example, how the village and world ridiculed the children of Fatima until the Great Miracle of the Sun vindicated them. Or how the prophets’ darkness of being rejected and mocked by their People led to their similar vindication, the exile, which proved their earlier warnings authentic.

And so we have the unitive way: the holy one vindicated, resting in the certitude of God’s truth, and having endured the remaining purgation through the illuminative way, the saint now rests in Divine consolation, practically every step taken being in the Will of God, enjoying its reason for existence to the fullest possible in the material world, knowing and loving God.

However, a final darkness awaits before death carries the saint to his reward, a martyrdom. For, remember, we have seen in previous essays that the Divine desire for the redemption of a fallen world is to love so much as to suffer for them and to give such redemptive suffering to the just creatures themselves. How much more should the saint follow the path of his Incarnate Savior, whether He will have come or not, by going into the total abandonment into God’s love, stretching out his creaturely faculties to embrace all the horror the material world can sting his flesh with, so as to follow in the footsteps of His God-Man Redeemer.

Of course, following, the saint crosses the threshold of death into eternity, a “new age”.

We can similarly argue that a major Society of Holy Ones under a Divine Covenant would likewise follow such spiritual stages relative to the sinful world around them, as follows.

Hence, just as the flesh rebels against the incoming spirit of the individual holy one and stings the saint who must resist it with pain, so the outside world feels threatened by the infusing Spirit of God’s Holy People and stings them by oppression and persecution. In the case of the Prefiguring Nation, it will be a single predominant nation that oppresses them. In the case of the Universal Society of Incarnate One, it will be the universal collection of nations around them.

The People are delivered into the Illuminative way, the Prefiguring Ones, into their literal nation of bounty, the New People of Incarnate One, into a spiritual kingdom, spiritual freedom.

Then the Holy Societies contemplate and grow in the understanding of the Divine Truths, the mysteries; the People of Prefiguring, through their Prophets, the People of New, through the development of doctrine by the Teaching Office of the Church amongst the nations.

Punctuated desolations assault the Holy Ones who ponder the mysteries, culminating in an age of unfaithfulness, the dark night of the soul. In the case of the Old, the majority of the Prefiguring nation resists the prophets, and in the case of the New, the majority of the general nations that had received the Divine Revelation reject the teaching office of Incarnate One’s True Society.

Then, the vindication: the consequences of sin and lack of faith fall upon the unfaithful. The faith is restored, the People and their surroundings walk in peace and love, the unitive way. In the Prefiguring case, the People are restored to their literalland, in the case of the New Covenant, the world is restored to the spiritual land, the Church.

Finally, just as the flesh stings the saint a final time, so the world around the holy ones stings them in a concluding episode, martyrdom. In the case of the People of Old, a manifestation of persecution, as in Maccabees, in the New Covenant, a similar persecution, NT Antichrist.

Then a new age is crossed, the Holy Incarnate One comes: after the Way of Old, the FIRST Coming, after the Way of the New, the SECOND Coming!

 

Here, then, are the necessary greater ages of a fallen world that receives an Incarnation, according to our theories:

 

Summary of the Ages of Any Fallen World that is to Receive an Incarnation

 

Early Fall of Man, Two Greater Ages:

 

I. Anti-Baptism

1. The Fall and Wickedness of Noah's day

2. The Flood, an Apocalyptic Baptism

 

II. Anti-Marriage

1. Tower of Babel

2. Confounding tongues, Marriage to Prefiguring People (Abraham)

 

The Three Greater Ages of the Prefiguring Covenant:

 

III. The Purgative Way:

1. Dark Night of the Senses: Oppression by glory-seeking pagan power (Egypt)

 

IV. The Illuminative Way:

  1. Exodus and Preaching of Prophets, development of OT doctrine on the Law
  2. Dark night of soul, intermediate Jewish apostasy from Old Law

 

V. The Unitive Way:

1. Exile, Vindication of Prophets, Repentance of Jews, Restoration to Holy Land, Restoration of faithfulness to OT Covenant

2. Martyrdom: The Crisis of OT Antichrist and final Jewish apostasy (Maccabbees)

 

*******First Coming of Incarnate One***************

The Three Greater Ages of New Covenant:

VI. The Purgative Way:

1. Dark Night of the Senses: Persecution by glory-seeking pagan power (Pagan Rome)

 

VII. The Illuminative Way:

1. The Development of Church Doctrine

2. Dark night of soul: intermediate apostasy from New Law

 

VIII. Unitive Way

  1. Minor Chastisement, Vindicating Church, Restoration of Christian Unity and Catholic Christendom, Age of Peace
  2. Martyrdom: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist, Great Persecution and Tribulation

******* Second Coming of Incarnate One ***************