Dr. Tim Gray of the Augustine Institute referred to the Ascension of Our Lord as “completing the circuit.” I thought it an excellent metaphor and it set me to thinking it through further. Perhaps many in our non-agrarian culture would miss the relevance of Jesus referring to Himself as the vine and all his talk about grafting and pruning. But plugging into a power source, I think most people nowadays would get.
From His Father in Heaven—the divine power source—Jesus the Master Electrician brought down the divine wire to us in the Incarnation. When he was crucified and died, he descended even further so he could wire in all those who had died before His birth. From there he rose back up to us with the Resurrection and then closed the circuit with His Ascension back to the Father. With the circuit complete, He sent the Holy Spirit to power up his church on Pentecost Sunday.
From that upper room, His journeymen, the Apostles, fanned out into the world, wiring up the divine power grid and wiring souls with plugs—via baptism—as they went so that mankind could reunite with God by plugging in to that mystical grid.
Of course, with free will, we always have the option to unplug ourselves from the divine power grid. Doing so will leave us lifeless, like an unplugged refrigerator. We will still exist, but we won’t run like we’re supposed to and our contents will start to spoil.
Happily, we also have the choice to repent, plug ourselves back in and restore God’s life to our souls.
We light up, which attracts other souls enveloped in darkness. They want to light up too. The souls of the saints and the martyrs shine brighter than those of the church militant. Those of us still working out our salvation in this life are getting D/C (Direct Current). It lessens if we stray away from the source—God. The souls of the church triumphant standing before God are getting A/C (Alternating Current). It stays consistent and strong and helps them shine brighter as beacons for all the other souls trying to find heaven.
The Devil has tried to take down the divine power grid, but has failed at every turn, only succeeding in a few brownouts here and there. However, he is Edison to Jesus’s Tesla and, in the end, will be bested and rendered impotent, no matter how many elephants he kills.
The bishops of the church today have had the apostolic journeyman’s license passed down to them. The priests are their apprentices (though, like in other apprenticeships, there are many priests that know more and better than their journeyman).
Protestants have left the official apprenticeship and have gone the DIY path. There are many talented Protestant spiritual electricians who can still wire up a plug, but they don’t have all the wires the Catholic clergy have to wire up the grid. In liturgical Protestant churches, they have the wire of Sacred Scripture and the wire of Sacred Tradition but they’re missing the wire of the Magesterium which is the grounding wire. For instance, when new moral questions pop up such as the use of hormonal birth control when it was approved for use in the 60s by the FDA. It was difficult to discern the morality of its use in that it wasn’t explicitly talked about in Sacred Scripture and it had never come up in Sacred Tradition in that it had just been invented. It was the grounding wire—the Magesterium—that took the power from the other two wires and safely grounded the issue in the Lord via Humana Vitae. Without the grounding wire, the wiring can still work, but it’s less safe. There’s nothing to take away the unstable currents from power surges or short circuits and ground them.
Bible alone protestants that are only wiring with Sacred Scripture, which is the hot wire, are getting power, but without the wire of Sacred Tradition, the neutral, to complete the circuit back to the original power source, the power is not being circulated through the whole system nor is it being utilized efficiently. For instance, there are many parts of the Bible that can be confusing. Without the efficiency of Sacred Tradition and a Magisterium to help interpret these passages, they could conceivably be interpreted hundreds of different ways and with only the Bible alone to help us, there is no way to discern whose interpretation is correct. So, the passage can be said to mean anything from exactly what God meant by it to the opposite of what God meant by it. This is a very inefficient and dangerous use of power. With only the one wire of Sacred Scripture alone—there is power—but faulty and excess currents can reside in the soul’s outlet creating a lot of instability.
The architecture of cathedrals is meant to draw our senses up, yes. But it also works as a divine lighting rod to attract God’s power. Anyone who has walked through the doors of a cathedral and into the sanctuary within can’t help but feel the divine electricity raising the hair on the back of their neck and giving them goose bumps. The tabernacle at the center is the high voltage cabinet. Within it is contained all the power of the church. One should not open those doors unless one’s soul is properly prepared and outfitted, otherwise one could bring damnation upon themselves, which is even worse than high voltage electrocution.
Thankfully, Jesus gave us the sacraments. They rewire our plugs with surge protection, especially the Eucharist, so that we can weather the power surges and short circuits of earthly life until we go to that great power plant in the sky.