I’ve enjoyed reading several things by the British spiritual writer, Caryll Houselander. I reently came across something she wrote about the notion of Kingdom that relates to what we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer when we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Houselander writes
The kingdom is in man’s heart; the patient soul who rules her own heart with an ordered tenderness, pity, and kindness, the mind that keeps the poetry of life in flower, even now, that is the soul who possesses the kindgom of God. But if most Christians, most people, had this inward kingdom, cherished it, then there would also be a visible kingdom, not a kingdom based on materialism, not a kingdom based on power, but conditions of life based on simplicity, brotherly love and sacrifice, which would make it impossible to go to war, impossible to have slums or destitution, impossible to have enmity bewteen countries, classes, or individuls.
What is in your mind when you pray the words, “Thy Kingdom Come”? I suspect that we don’t often contemplate the meaning of the line when we recite the words of the prayer. But we should. And one of the things we need to understand is that there can’t be kingdom outside unless there is kindgom inside.
Houselander continues, “We are told to pray it may come, and come it can and will, first in heart after heart, midn after mind, coming as the growth of love, as a light flooding the mind, until, aware of the wonder of it, we shall dare in Christ’s name either to live for it or die for it.”