The Mystery of Redemption in the Parable of the Sower
"And they shall bring forth 100-, 60-, and 30-fold"
The Parable of the Sower in Further Allegory
It has been a long journey in allegory over the last few months, namely, the developments of the theology of music. Too, my ideas on allegory have been long growing, and now something so mind-blowing has happened that I must be going crazy. What happened over about two months ago is utterly insane. More specifically, I was trying to return to the parable of the Sower, with its numbers, as above, the 100, 60, and 30. As all of you who have been following me know, I see meaning in numbers, like the Early Fathers. Gems, if you will. Well, I never knew what to do with these numbers. I mean, nothing I had fit. For, even if we peeled away the common factor of 10, so that we would have 10, 6, and 3, nothing from previous theology fit. Firstly, 10 might be the ten commandments, but then what of the 6 and 3? Obviously not a division of the ten, since 6+3 is 9, not 10. 3 was seen as the sacraments of initiation, the liberals’ pet, but how is that related to the commandments, and what of six? There are only four sacraments left after the three, and even if we wanted an independent consideration, there are no categories of sacraments that are six. No. There are three categories only [initiation, healing, and vocation], and they all contain up to 3 sacraments, no more. As for six being a subset of the commandments, it doesn’t work because the only way to divide up the ten commandments is between relationship with the Divine [first three commandments] and with fellow humanity [last 7]. So unfortunately, commandments and/or sacraments don’t cut it.
Well, it turns out that some theology that I developed a long time ago, about five years ago, saves the day! Never thought it would come to use, but it does, and perfectly! May be a long stretch, but bear with me and decide for yourself
Sacramental Analogies Already Probed
Here we go. So, again as above , the parable of the sower says 100-fold, 60-fold, and 30-fold. Okay, when we have small numbers, we should give a sacramental interpretation if possible, and this is because, overall, the sacraments are the main small numbered entities of our faith that are important and doctrinal. Admittedly, from our brief discussion above, a first consideration of the sacraments does not fit, but bear with the process. Suffice it to say, let us recall how the sacramental theologies have worked wonders already.
Five Loaves, two fish: heretics lose five sacraments and retain only two.
Seven loaves, few fish: schismatics have all seven sacraments but they are a little unstable in the sea of chaos doctrinally, without Peter.
Three loaves lent in the middle of the night: three sacraments of initiation received in the middle of the might of Easter Vigil.
Similar implications were regarding the five: 500 and then 50 in the parable of the alabaster jar Pharisee scene, then 300 and 30 in the alabaster jar scene with those who say we should care for the poor and not waste oil.
There was also the 5,000 who received the five loaves and two fish, there were the 2,000 swine possessed by demons drowned in the sea (which could image the two fish turned into serpents [what father would give his child a serpent instead of a fish], noting that there were also the two horns of the false prophet like the seven horns of the Lamb), and there were the 3,000 at Pentecost who received, presumably when adults, the sacraments of initiation.
Hence 3 loaves at midnight, 3 sacraments of initiation, 3,000 souls get sacraments of initiation; 5 loaves, 5 sacraments lost by heretics, received by 5,000 souls,; 2 fish, 2 great lies of the fall as serpents in place of fish; 2,000 unclean animals possessed by unclean spirits drowned in the lake (just as God washed iniquity away with the flood); and 2 horns of the false prophet, who speaks as a serpent.
Sacramental Theology of Heaven and Purgatory
In view of these things, we really should, again, expect some metaphorical meaning in the 100, the 60, and the 30. Well, there is a really cool solution, it works marvelousl, and it is sacramental. Let’s examine how this works. To begin, there are actually nine total sacramental steps in life: the seven sacraments, and then natural birth and death on either end of the journey.
Of these nine steps, six will last forever in heaven at least in principle, and three will not at all. We have just been over this in the last music essay: Musical Mystery in the Sacramental Journey II: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. Hence, we have six and three, like 60 and 30 of the parable. From here, we have left 10, that is, 100. For now, let us state that there are 10 commandments, and we will examine that later.
For now, et us reexamine the nature of the six and three. Again, firstly, there are nine total sacramental steps in life, from birth to death:
Supernatural Birth, or Baptism
Six will remain in heaven forever, either literally from effect, or in principle. Three will not. The three that will not are easier to see:
Anointing of the Sick
Three Sacramental Signs shall Never be Again in Heaven, but will be in Purgatory Temporarily
Confession: There shall never be sin in heaven ever, nor is there penance or healing to do;, we will have been utterly purged and utterly made selfless. In contrast, in purgatory, whereas sin has ceased, the penance needed for sins persists.
Anointing of the Sick: Every tear shall be wiped away; there is no more suffering in heaven, nor need for healing. However, in purgatory, suffering persists until fully atoned for, until one is completely healed of attachment to sin.
Natural Death: though we will have to die naturally, our soul first shall partake of the beautiful life that shall never end, then, at the end of time, our body also: “And death and the netherworld were cast into the lake of fire.” [Apoc 20] However, in purgatory, though one has already died, we note that natural death is the final temporal punishment for sin, and temporal punishment persists in purgatory.
The other six sacramental components of life will last forever in heaven either literally or in principle.
Six Sacramental Signs will Remain Forever in Heaven
Natural life: Forever will we live, even supernaturally.
Baptism: Forever will we be children of God, the indelible mark of Baptism, members of Christ’s Church; forever will we continue to know and love God, the Baptismal Disposition.
Confirmation: Forever will we be a mature member of the Church, sealed with the Spirit, the indelible mark of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost on our Soul.
Eucharist: Literal Eucharist will cease, but forever shall we commune with our brothers and sisters, forever shall we feast on God's truth and love and one another's love; forever will the eternal Sabbath last, the supreme day of the Eucharist.
Marriage: Literal marriage will cease, but forever will we be spouses of the Christ, both individually and collectively, receiving into our inner being the love and truth of God and offering ourselves back to Him in unfathomable ecstasy.
Holy Orders: Forever will we be marked a servant of Our God, whether by the literal, eternal and indelible mark of Holy Orders, or by the vocation that God gave us as servants and handmaids: mediating grace as a priest, as a biological father, as a single lay person in his talents and gifts, or too, in the feminine sense, motherly gifts and service, sisterhood.
The Three Dimensions of the Church, the Three Numbers of the Parable of the Sower
So actually, these two sections of theology give us two dimensions of the Church, 6 for the six signs of heaven, or the Church Triumphant, and 3 for the three signs of purgatory, or the Church Suffering!
What about ten then? Well, again as hinted at above, there are ten commandments, and in this life, keeping the ten commandments is the way of salvation; it is war against the worldly dragon, who fights the ten commandments with his ten horns, like his child that bears his image in the flesh, the beast.
And that can explain the ten factor, for in the parable, we have not 10, 6, and 3, but ten times these, or 100, 60, 30. Yes, if a ten-horned dragon and beast are of the world, then 10 x 10,, 6 x 10, and 3 x 10 can image the Church that triumphs over the world in all its THREE dimensions:
Church Militant (10 commandments)
Church Triumphant (6 Sacramental signs of heaven)
Church Suffering (3 Sacramental signs of Purification)
The Church brings forth her fruits and redemption of humanity in three great dimensions, 100-, 60-, 30-fold! The communion of saints! And if t hat were not enough, the “-fold” factor implies an overflowing abundance of multiplcation. And where in Catholic theology do we see such in a spiritual sense? That is right, the fuller doctrine of the communion of saints, indulgences! Yes, the treasury of merit in heaven and on earth can be multiplied to assist the merits and punishments of the souls on earth and in purgatory, in a mystical connection! Amen! Awesome!
Theology of the 10 Commandments, the 6 Great Sacramental Signs of Heaven, and the 3 Great Sacramental Signs of Sin, Suffering, Punishment, and Death
Ok, so we have 10, 6, and 3. We just saw that the ten was the Ten Commandments, the six was the 6 great sacramental signs of Heaven, and the three was the three signs that shall never be in heaven and only in purgatory or hell. Well it just so happens that the Ten Commandments are entirely implied by the 6 great signs of Heaven. Let us consider it; here is the thesis that we shall demonstrate: the Ten Commandments have an if and only if relationship with the six great sacramental signs of heaven, and if they were observed perfectly on earth, we would have heaven on earth. That is, there would have no need of confession (sin or penance or temporal punishment), and no suffering, and no death (anointing of sick and natural death). But actually, that is what existed before the Fall. And surely, Adam and Eve lived the Decalogue implicitly in their hearts prior to the Fall, for there was no suffering, sin, punishment or death.
Christ came to restore this. More specifically. to the degree that men and women live the ten commandments in our fallen world, there shall be, to the same degree, less need for confession, less suffering, and easier deaths. But to the degree that sin multiplies, so punishment, pain, suffering ,and death, become worse. Also, Christ and the Church reveal that without grace, whether sanctifying or actual, the human person cannot keep the Decalogue in the truest sense. Hence, as the Decalogue goes, so goes heaven on earth, and so goes suffering and death.
How, then, do we correlate the 10 commandments to the six sacramental signs of heaven? We can work it out!
10 Commandments Imply 6 Sacramental Signs of Heaven
1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me
Through this first of the Commandments, we love God,; we are his children. The first commandment means love of God and faith: believing what he has revealed and giving him ourself; recognizing our dependence on him. All this flows in baptism, especially: faith, repentance, and childhood toward God the Father. It also involves our natural birth. God gave us life. We owe him our life. We owe all to him.
2. Thou shalt not take the Lord thy God's Name in vain
Taking His Name in vain implies Baptism: we must respect God, which flows from our relationship to God as Father, that we are His children. Keeping oaths fits here as well: Baptism implies truth, or faith, just as the profession of vows to God. Confirmation fits here also, testifying by oath one’s desire to become an adult faithful Christian.
Confirmation implies the first two commandments. More specifically, in confirmation, we offer ourselves to God completely. We complete our life in the Church. We say to God, I am totally yours. We take an oath, we make a stand, in the corporate words. The priest asks the kids, do you this and that...like baptism, but more. If they do not mean it, it is mortal. They are lying to God.
3. Keep holy the sabbath day
Obviously, this is especially fulifilled in the Eucharist. Why? Because that is the day that we must, effectively, partake of the Eucharist. Daily Mass is optional, but the Sunday Mass is normatively obligatory. In fact, the heavenly banquet looks forward to the new sabbath, of which Sunday signifies.
4. Honor they father and thy mother
This is an extension of Baptism. How? Baptism means acknowledging our dependence on God as children, in worship and honor of Him. Our parents stand in for God, and so we must show them love and respect.
5. Thou shalt not kill
This clearly hearkens back to our natural life. Life is sacred. We have no right to end innocent life, just as our life is a gift. This carries with it the full implications of harming life. We are body and soul. Hence, killing can be of body or soul, too, harming. Hence, any physical harm of life is wrong and even spiritual or emotional. Mocking, ridiculing, slandering, or abusing, whether physically, spiritually, psychologically, or emotionally.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery
Obviously, Marriage is here.
7. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Again, Baptism is testifying to the truth. Faith implies truth. Also Confirmation, as above.
8. Thou shalt not steal
Actually, I didn't realize this till later in that time a long time ago: theft has to do with *holy orders* and your natural life as well, or natural birth. Why? Because holy orders is service and stewardship. Our lives are not our own. If we use our lives for our own selfish ends, we are stealing ourselves away from God. Our lives are priceless, and they have been purchased by Our God-man and Savior Jesus. God has given us our lives completely freely, without reserve. But they are not free! They come at the price of offering them back God for His good purpose. And His purpose will not disappoint. It is in His will that we find our true happiness and fulfillment.
If we throw it away, we are stealing, because waste is stealing; if we throw away half of our food when there are starving people, we have stolen from them [the dishonest steward]. God has called all of us to a vocation; failure to try to find that vocation as best as we can and to live it is dishonest to God, and squandering His gift. And that is theft! Therefore, holy orders, as well as marriage, testify to our calling.
I thought of this too. Time is of the essence. Hence, even within our primary vocations, we must be diligent to use our time wisely. And that includes rest and leisure. The Church effectively teaches that human persons need adequate rest and leisure to function well. One day is definitively set aside for rest and leisure, namely, the New Sabbath, Sunday. Hence, the Sacrament of Eucharist is intrinsically bound up with theft. For Eucharist signifies rest and communion. Communion implies at times, leisure, and leisure should often be corporate, considering that humans are social creatures. Not keeping the sabbath is robbing ourselves of rest and what we owe to God. And not making good use of our time, such as by having leisure in excess or in useless or superficial form, is theft.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods
Greed is also part of theft, and so applies to all immediately above.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife
Similarly, lust is caught up in marriage.
6 Sacramental Signs of Heaven and the Commandments
And so all six sacramental signs of Heaven are implied by the commandments:
No other Gods: Baptism, natural life, Confirmation
Oaths: Baptism, Confirmation
Honor Parents: Baptism
Murder: natural life
Dishonesty: Baptism, Confirmation
Theft: Holy Orders, natural life, Eucharist
Greed: Holy Orders, natural life, Eucharist
The 14 Partitions of the Fingers, the 14 Steps of the Sacramental Journey
Now, there is an amazing application to all this. More specifically, I wrote an article on the parts of the fingers many years ago that wonderfully spells out an incredible analogy here. Let's review it now. For an image to follow along, see Sacraments Upon the Fingers.
What we noticed first is that the complete sacramental journey of the man who receives all seven sacraments (that is, a married priest or deacon) has, in an ecclesial sense, 14 steps. That is right, 14. How in the what? Just bear with me! Of course, there are only 7 sacraments, not 14. However, as we have been perusing, we have actually *9* steps when we throw in natural birth at the beginning, and natural death at the end (7 + 2). Well that is only 9. Where do I come up with 14, which needs 5 more steps. Answer: the PRIESTS! How? Because 5 times in the journey, the soul shall have to pass through a priest to get to the sacrament that is coming up. Why? Because 5 and only 5 sacraments absolutely require the Episcopate, which is to say, 4 sacraments absolutely need a priest, and one absolutely needs a bishop. The other two do not require a priest and can be done by a deacon, or even a Protestant minister. Those are Baptism and Marriage. The five that need a priest are Confession, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, and Unction. So here is our fourteen in the list of life, Roman Rite [because God prefers Peter over any other Bishops or Patriarchs], noting that a "priest" step must precede the sacrament that requires it:
1. Natural Birth
11. Holy Orders
14. Natural Death
Ok, good, but now, you may ask, why did I divide them up the way that I did? Well, you guessed it: because the fingers have 14 total parts, or phalanges, as they called, which is to say, the single sections between the knuckles, and the parts on each finger correlate to the divided list above, in that, the dotted line divisions are dividing up the fingers. How? Well notice that there are five sections between the dotted lines above, and those are just the five fingers, starting with the thumb. We can make this more precise, as follows: note that in the divided list, all the sections are three elements, sparing the first, which is but two elements. Well, that is actually how the fingers work, namely, that all the fingers have three parts except the first one, the thumb, which has 2. Hence, the parts of the fingers can be seen more clearly as 14 total: 2 in the beginning, and then four fingers each with 3 parts: 2 + 4*3 = 2 + 12 = 14.
Now, when we correlate the list to the fingers, some marvelous observations occur. Firstly, note that, for clarity, the first section is the thumb, the second is the index finger, the third, middle finger, the fourth, the ring finger, and the final one, the pinky.
Well, notice this: EVERY SECTION [FINGER] CONTAINS ONLY ONE KIND OF SACRAMENT! That is right; for, what are the categories: they are initiation, vocation, and healing. Let us walk through it.
The thumb [first section], has natural life and baptism. Consequently, the one sacrament on this finger is baptism, and it is initiation.
Similarly, the index finger contains only confession, which healing.
Moving on, the middle finger becomes the first finger that has more than one sacrament, namely, Confirmation and Eucharist. Lo and behold, these two are both the same in category, initiation!
In a corresponding way, the ring finger also has two sacraments, marriage and holy orders, and these, too, are only one category, vocation.
Finally, the pinky only has anointing, which is healing.
Kewl, huh? Well, we are almost finished, in this: not only does any finger only have one category, but also, no finger mixes the six and the three, meaning, an element of the heavenly signs and an element of the purgatory signs are never on the same finger together. That is, any one finger is either all heavenly signs (elements of the six sacramental steps) or all purgatory steps (the three sacramental signs). Don't believe me? Well just work it out:
The thumb contains only baptism and natural birth, both of which are heavenly steps.
The index finger contains only confession as a step, since the other two parts are priest steps, so that this is a solely a purgatory finger.
The middle finger contains only Eucharist and Confirmation, since the other part is just a priest, and these two are both heaven.
The ring finger is similar: marriage and holy orders are heaven, and then there is just priest between them.
Finally, the last finger is priest, anointing, natural death, which are the last two sacramental steps, both of which are purgatory.
And actually what this means is that the sacramental steps of sin, punishment, suffering, and death are summed up exclusively in the index finger and the pinky: confession, anointing, death.
Is it any wonder then, that Christ's redemption is ultimately meant to eliminate these. Yet, it is suggested that the gesture of holding up the index and pinky fingers is the devil sign, which makes sense. The devil wants us to inherit the eternal possession of these horrors: sin, punishment, suffering, and perpetual death and, at the same time, to scoff at them, which is to say, to scoff at one’s need for repentance from sin and to embrace the cross instead of seeking illicit pleasures. But what Christ wills for us, the full other three fingers: the thumb, the middle finger, and the ring finger, is heaven!
An interesting aside, while we are here:
The Thumb, Baptism, is Special
The thumb stands apart from all the other fingers: It is the strongest, and it protrudes from a different side of the hand than all the other fingers: that is, the thumb emanates from the side of the hand rather than the top of the hand, as with the other succeeding fingers. Well, the only sacrament on the thumb is Baptism, and Baptism is unique to all the other sacraments in two great characteristics:
It is the one sacrament necessary to be received before any others can be, i.e., it must be the first Sacrament received.
Baptism is the only sacrament that is absolutely necessary for salvation, either literally or by desire.
The Levels of the Parable of the Sower and the Fingers
Now for the crown jewel. The parable of the sower has four levels:
The one who rejects everything outright
The one who receives initially with joy, but falls into sin when testing arrives
The one who converts, but then worldly pleasures and cares choke the word.
The one who bears full fruit.
This is so profound in how this works on the fingers. Utterly profound. Let us proceed:
Firstly, exercise the following: liken the hand as we have just seen, in one dimension, to the fullness of the sacramental steps, all 14, which persist in this life.
Now! Initially, we all start out with a closed fist, open to none of the Gospel. Progressively, as we accept the Gospel more and more, we bring forth fruit, and our fingers open up.
So, let us consider the first case, the child of the evil one. When the Divine Sower brings grace, immediately, the serpent tears the sinner away from ever opening up at all. This is the man who remains with a closed fist, rejecting the first two components, natural life and baptism. He vehemently rejects that his life is a gift, and that he needs to turn toward the Father for truth, love, and childhood. Hence, the thumb, remains firmly tucked in with all other fingers.
The next level is, as we see above, the one who accepts the Gospel with great joy at first, but falls away in temptation. Here, we can say that the person has aversion to confession, to turning away from sin and seeking righteousness. Why? Because all sin comes from a test, not merely persecution. Any time one is tempted, they are being tested. And so, again, the one who falls away at difficulty is not prepared to turn away from sin and seek confession frequently through prompt repentance to attain greater holiness. And here, let us note a parallel: if one has aversion to fighting sin and confession, one is necessarily in aversion to anointing of the sick as well. Why? Because the anointing involves the forgiveness of sins also! Hence, now that we have a theology of the one in initial joy who falls away, we see that the sacraments of healing are a no go.
Let us probe this theology further. When a person is not committed to fighting sin through grace in the confessional, they will hardly be able to live the ten commandments, and that means, as well, that they will not be able to live the 6 sacramental signs of heaven either, since these same six sacramental signs are fused in meaning with the Decalogue. Hence, until they at least open up to firm repentance, the other initiation and vocation sacraments will not really get off the ground.
If we move on, suppose that one, like the parable, opens up to repentance and confession but is not yet ready to relinquish one's trust to God in worldly cares, to carry the cross of suffering, and to avoid the worldly pleasures—that is, to fully embrace the sacrament of anointing and death—which are the cares and worries of the world. Well, here, one might progress in some ways in Eucharist and Confirmation, since one is shirking sin, but we can be honest with ourselves about the vocations: the vocations carry us through life. They all have the cross. The cross means suffering and dying to self, just as the anointing is the primary sacrament of suffering and is proximate to our natural death, the ultimate suffering. If we worry for our future, as the Christ testifies in the parable of the lilies of the field—such as our economic well being, our medical situation, the prospect of becoming homeless or poor, and any other possible challenging or unfortunate circumstance—or, in opposite pole, to get carried away in worldly pleasures—which are the antithesis of holy suffering—the word will indeed be choked, and our vocations will be strangled by anxiety and distractions, which lead to anger, greed, and selfishness.
If we apply this theology to fingers, it is telling and wonderful. First, consider the person that is not even with confession. Here, they are like a hand with the thumb open (initial joy in baptism) but with THE index finger and pinky tucked in [remember, the index and pinky fingers are the sacraments of healing, confession and anointing]. Now! Consider this! Take your hand by itself (either one will do, since the fingers are the same! :D) and hold the thumb out, but then tuck in all the other four fingers, that is, have them all bent fully like an upside down u. Now, while keeping the index and pinky fingers bent in this way fully, TRY To raise up the middle and ring fingers. Again, keep the index and pinky as tightly bent as you can. Don't hold them in with your other hand. In this position, what you should discover is, YOU CANNOT HARDLY RAISE THE MIDDLE AND RING FINGERS VERY MUCH. But what do those fingers represent? Yes, the other six sacramental signs of heaven, the Eucharist and Confirmation, and Marriage and Holy Orders. Bingo. When a soul closes itself to the repentance for sins in confession, the life of grace [initiation, vocation] can hardly get off the ground.
Now, try this: let loose the index finger fully, or confession, and keep the pinky down. What do you see? Now, the middle finger can get higher, meaning, Eucharist and Confirmation can get off the ground more, like we saw above. But notice: with the pinky still down, the ring finger is still in a woeful state: it can hardly get up! Bingo! Even if one is turning away from sin, as in confession, if one is not prepared to embrace the sufferings of life--which implies also foregoing immoderate worldly pleasures--the cross, to already begin to die, day by day, and to surrender the future to God, the final and most important stretch of life--our vocation will not get far, or bear fruit. The pinky chokes off a little of initiation and very much our vocation.
And now, there is even a final gem. All this was using only our hand by itself. We never applied outside help to pin down the fingers, like our other hand. What this means is that if we bring a pressure down on our hand from an outside source, to hold the index and pinky fingers down, then we CAN raise up the middle and ring fingers completely without difficulty. Yes! What does that mean? It means that, in another dimension, if holding down the index and pinky with outside assistance (grace anyone!) means STRENGTHENING us to embrace those sacraments of healing, which are avoiding sin and taking up our cross in suffering, penance, and dying to self, then it implies that on our own (with just our single hand) we cannot do anything salvific, but with God’s grace, the ten commandments and the six tastes of heaven are easily attained.
"With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible!"
"Come all you who weary and laden, and I shall give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden, light!"
Ok, we are not even done yet! We are going to put it all together in the ending explosion of allegory! Here goes!
Mystical Numbers of Redemption in the Parable of the Sower
So, we have 10 commandments, 6 sacramental signs of heaven that are equivalent in principle to the 10 commandments, and 3 sacramental signs of the way of the cross: repentance, penance, suffering, and dying to self in sacrificial love. OK, BUT, the parable says not 10, 6, and 3, but, as we saw earlier, 100-fold, 60-fold, and 30-fold. We had that solution, which we can bring in here: the extra factor of 10 symbolized the world, since the dragon and beast have ten horns and are of the world. Hence, our symbolic essences of 10, 6, and 3--images of redemption in the moral order of grace and sacrament--when multiplied by 10, symbolize that by these great redemptive dimensions is the world defeated. "In the world, you shall have trouble, but fear not, for I have overcome the world."
Also, we can see how the harvests flow through one another.
Firstly, we have the 100-fold. The Gospel is ultimately had in the life of morals and grace, for "if I have faith to move mountains, and know all mysteries, if I have not love, I am nothing!" [1 Cor] Hence, the beginning of all salvation is to keep the commandments. Incidentally, this is only had by sanctifying grace, and we know that sanctifying grace is a foretaste of heaven. "...that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature" [2 Pet 1:4] And again, "and it is impossible for those, who have tasted the good gift, and the powers of the age to come..." [Heb 6]. And that actually confirms our earlier thesis, that the ten commandments, of their very nature, flow into, fully, the six sacramental signs of heaven. And that of course is then the 60-fold!
This leaves us with the 30-fold. Here, now, we can call in two other precious Scriptures: the futility of the mere keeping of the commandments apart from the fuller way of perfection, the cross, and the aforementioned parable of the lilies. They are both self-evident and preeminent in our Beloved Savior's lessons.
The rich man has kept all the commandments, or so he thinks. Jesus says, one thing you lack to be perfect: sell all, give to the poor, and come follow me. Now, obviously, Jesus cannot mean this literally to all of us.
For if everyone in Church was selling everything and buying nothing, nothing can happen. Alas, then, the only solution would be to hold all things in common. Actually, we know that that was the early church. Of course, as the Church's geography expanded vastly and structures changed, such a mode of existence was no longer practical.
Hence, Jesus is really asking us this: I just don't want you to keep commandments, even if you do it in love. That is, I just don't want you to go to confession and root out sin. IF YOU WOULD BE PERFECT, GIVE ME YOUR WHOLE LIFE! Abandon EVERYTHING into my care! Take up your cross and follow me! Embrace your sufferings and difficulties and die to your very self!
How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Amen I say to you, whoever does not deny his very self, and his life also, and take up his cross is not worthy of Me.
Hence, the commandments are not enough. Getting a foretaste of heaven in six great sacramental signs is not enough! Really? Really!
Your natural life is a gift! Yes! Amen!
You are child of God! Yes! Amen!
God gives you His Self as FOOD! Yes! Amen!
God marks you a mature member, seven wonderful gifts! Yes! Amen!
God wants to MARRY you in ecstasy forever! Yes! Amen!
God has given you a wonderful vocation of service! Yes! Amen!
And yes, in all these heavenly foretastes on earth, the devil flees, for where the joy and love of God and creatures is, the dragon cannot stand the light. He hates it like hell!
BUT!!! WE MUST GRADUATE TO THE ANOINTING and DEATH! The 30-fold!
For the Anointing is mystically tied to suffering. Suffering and misfortune are the lot of the Christian. It is the cross. We MUST take up our cross and follow Him.
And natural death! We must prepare for death, and we must already START DYING to ourselves, for if we do not start dying to self now, we will never possess the heavenly things. And embracing the cross means not worrying, but putting all cares into the hands of God.
Look at the lilies of the field, they neither sow nor reap…
And so it is that besides the dimensions of the Church in the 100-, 60-, and 30-fold, that is, the Church Militant, the Church Triumphant, and the Church Suffering, also revealed there is the way of salvation:
The 10 Commandments flow into the 6 foretastes of heaven, and culminate in the 3-fold repentance, suffering, and death of the cross
Confession, Anointing, and Death, all of which, ultimately, are conquered in eternal life!