Tag Archive | Faith

Be Brave

I was watching a youtube interview with Doreen Virtue who is an American author and   the founder of Angel Therapy, a type of New Age therapy based “on the premise that communicating with angels is the key to healing.” She said, essentially, in order to identify and accomplish your mission you had to be brave enough to admit who you are and what you are trying to do. It made sense to me and I have been working hard at figuring out what I believe and why and what truth means to me. My passion is spirituality, it always has been and I have been seeking truth and understanding for 30+ years.

As a child, I used to meditate in first grade, waiting for the other kids to arrive in the classroom. Of course I never realized I was meditating, but when my teacher asked me to explain to the class why I was so well behaved, I started to explain how I stared until a calmness came over me and then I saw lots of colors. She quickly shut me up and that has been a life long lesson – don’t tell people what you see, don’t tell people what you hear and feel. I have vivid memories of out of body experiences – flying and touching the tops of trees – very wonderful freeing memories. I have astro-projected to the top of a tree to see a hawk and remember running in my dreams – but not running – I was swiftly floating across the floor.

I am a sensitive person and I just realized it is because I actually am a sensitive person. I can feel and intuit what others are feeling and sometimes it is startling and sometimes it is sad, a lot of the time it is overwhelming.

I know there is more to spirituality, I sometimes want to stand up and yell, “No! that is not right!” But I don’t, I continue seeking, trying to verify that what I intuit to be true in actuality is really truth.

I had a religious guru recently tell me I am the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene. He said I reincarnate every life time waiting to come forward and speak up and finish what needs to be done, help people elevate and see the truth. He asked if I was going to do it this time, it was up to me. Maybe, I said, not even fully being able to comprehend what he had told me. I can say that I do feel like I was there when Yeshua walked the earth, I can remember like it was my experience – the surroundings, the heat of the day, the smells. And I intuit we are off track with what is being said about Yeshua’s teachings today.

If I am MM, here is what I would tell you. Because someone else tells you they believe something doesn’t make it valid, doesn’t make it more true than what you believe. Yeshua did say he was leaving, but the holy spirit would be left to teach us from the inside. All we need to know is already in our hearts.

Religious indoctrination has sullied his teachings, violence perpetuated on people to change their beliefs in the name of God would have never been his way. Apathy and acceptance wouldn’t have been either. I am a Spiritual Activist and so was he, he told people what they didn’t want to hear because it was the truth. I am telling you that too, the bible has been corrupted by men as have all religions. Look inside yourself, the truth is there, it starts and ends with love.

The highest truth is what we should seek.

pink rose in fence

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We are seeds? Does that make more sense?

So I have spent the better part of the last 18 years, as an adult, fully understanding my Catholic roots and immersing myself in her beauty and teachings. I didn’t grow up in a faith filled household, so I had catching up to do.

Around 2005 I discovered the apocryphal gospels and realized there was a long and complicated history defining the Church. I have left the Church and gone back to her more times  than I can count always thinking there was something wrong with me and my faith. I have to admit I haven’t found a better alternative, not certainly in the Christian denominations, but not in Eastern traditions either – I have discovered culture plays an important part in religious ritual and when we try to become what we are not – an American chanting in Pali for example, we miss the mark.

We are taught Jesus is the Son of God (and actually is God) who was sent by God the Father (who actually isn’t male of female) to save us from the wrath of God – who is himself?

God sent himself to save us from himself. The mystery of faith.

Eve (and all women) has been forever cursed because she ate of the fruit God planted in the garden and corrupted Adam (he has no responsibility here). She was fooled by the serpent – bad – Adam was fooled by Eve – not bad – Eve is bad.

We eat bread – we are told – that is the actual body of Christ (even though there is no indication what-so-ever) to purify ourselves again in the hopes Jesus can save us from himself. Keep in mind Ancient Hebrews considered “daily bread” the teachings of the Torah and Jesus was Jew. We are constantly reminded we are all sinners, we are bad and can only be saved by the magic formula of faith.

I have tried, I have really, really tried, but maybe it’s not me, maybe it is an ancient faith  that just doesn’t make that much sense anymore. (fear of lightening setting in).

What if we are all seeds, (yup, like sunflowers or tomatoes) and are breaking out of our shells to bloom into our light bodies, our spirit?

What if we just need the living water of Jesus teachings received now from the Holy Spirit? Not the Bible, Jesus didn’t write anything down, but he did say he was leaving and left us the Holy Spirit in his place, to teach us to grow and that the Holy Spirit, along with the kingdom of heaven, is found within – within ourselves. What if he resurrected (burst forth from his seed body) to show us how? And he told Mary Magdalene he was going to do it and that he would remain in contact with her which he did (she lived out her life in communion with him).

What if we see what we want to see individually and collectively and create our own worldview? Jesus did say thoughts are actions – think of the teaching of lust in your heart. What if thinking we are sinners makes us sinners and keeps us needing the Church to absolve us? The Gospel of Mary teaches us there is no sin. Man-made laws create sin by giving us laws to break.

Jesus gave us peace and compassion and a new way of thinking so we can grow and bloom. Maybe that is where we need to begin.

lilly

 

Eve and The Oppression of Women

The oppression of women started with Eve. She became the icon of all that was wrong in the world, the ultimate progenitor of original sin and humanity’s fall from God’s grace.

IT IS A MYTH.

We are emanations of God separated like rainbows through a prism.Female separated from male as the energies fractured and were split. The Adam and Eve myth helped early people understand through storytelling where man originated. Because of the state humanity was in and still is in, there needed to be someone to “blame”. Women have been oppressed, marginalized, maligned, abused and forced to “own” their guilt which doesn’t exist. This ancient indoctrination has been so strong it has perpetuated through out history and pervaded every aspect of society. The “Fathers” of the church were all too happy to assign their rage to the temptress associated with all women. Mary Magdalene became the new whipping post – once again falsely accused – but the error indoctrinated by the power brokers of the church whose only goal was protecting their power base.

Christianity was corrupted the instant it was recorded. Men used it through all ages to support their political and power driven agenda by assigning “the will of God” to their proclamations.

As early as Constantine in 325 AD, the “will of God” was seen as a political tool, when religion and the state were so intertwined that the emperors were convening ecumenical councils that were not even attended by the seated Pope. That was the case for choosing the books of the Bible as well – The Council of Nicea, 325 AD, the Emperor Constantine saw the Roman Empire losing influence and political strength. He watched as Christianity gained zealous followers and knew there was an opportunity to shore up his flailing empire and give it new life.

He chose the books of the Bible that supported obedience, not spiritual growth, that called upon people to peacefully co-exist and be obedient to civil authorities because it was the “will of God”. He and the church then systematically eliminated any opposition and conquered all of Europe with the new religion. The religion of obedience to the Roman Empire that was now officially ordained by God and officially oppressed women all descendants of Eve.

Eve didn’t fall, Adam didn’t fall. We didn’t fall from God’s grace. Our material bodies block the light of  God, the power brokers of religion support that falsehood because they too are indoctrinated and then fall prey to supporting their power base. As long as we see error as truth we are in bondage. As long as we see negativity and incompleteness we will think ourselves not worthy. What we see is what we are reflecting from inside ourselves.

We can not live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

Sycmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have we lost our way following The Way of Jesus?

I spend a lot of my time searching, wandering, wondering if Jesus came back today would he be happy with contemporary Christianity? What was he really trying to teach us? Have we lost our way in trying to follow The Way? Are we a part of the small band of followers who really hears him and will make it through the “narrow gate” or have we followed the masses mindlessly like lemmings – victims of life long and multiple generations of indoctrination?

I fear the later.

We are close to our celebration of Christmas, many state that Jesus truly wasn’t born December 25th – I am not sure it matters, he was born one day during the year and there doesn’t seem to be a strong record of exactly when that was, he was born on a day so December 25th is as good as any. The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 apparently originated in the 4th century. Did the Catholic Church want to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity’s existence? Or was it an early attempt at inculturation? Incorporating local custom into liturgical celebration to ease the transition of the faithful in line with Church (and Roman) practice. Most likely. But to celebrate Christmas is a part of our culture, maybe not an accurate expression of faith.

Has Catholicism and Christianity suffered the same fate as all of history? To the victor goes the spoils and the record of events.

My starting pain points:

  1. Jesus never called us to worship him, he said worship “my Father” – our Father – find him worthy. Jesus called himself our friend, our brother.
  2. Jesus said call no earthly man “Father” why do we call our priests “Father”? Matt 23:9
  3. He loved women, does our Church?
  4. Why does Mary have to be a Virgin? Mary’s virginity was not doctrine until the Council of Nicea in 325AD, which also determined the canonical Gospels.
  5. Paul was not an apostle and never met Jesus, yet his letters represent maybe 60% of the New Testament.

More later, Merry Christmas, have compassion and empathy during the holidays. I think Jesus  would like that, even love is misused and misunderstood.

WISE First Light

In the palace of nowhere

Oh, to be Catholic again… to be Catholic again… may seem like an odd thing to say, like faith is decision that can be changed like one changes jobs, as if you pick and choose where and when to practice your “faith”.  I guess I am proof you can do that, but I have come to discover it really isn’t a choice at all, it is more a lack of commitment with perhaps a bit of arrogance and ignorance mixed in. I have come to realize that for me, faith has become about experiencing God through the Church’ s teachings.

The Church gives me a headache, she really does. I have argued with her, fought with her, wrestled with her history, wrestled with her priests. I have left her, begged her to take me back, fought with her some more, doubted her, turned my back on her, left her again. I have looked other places, at other churches, at other religions – I have chanted with the Buddhists, reasoned with the Unitarians, practiced the remembrance with the Sufis, stopped just short of being slain in the spirit and rolling on the floor – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it…All looking to fill emptiness in me that I thought the Church, our Church wasn’t doing a good enough job providing for me. I kept looking and couldn’t find anything, so once again, I came back to her, to her open arms, like a mother hugging me, her child, who had run away. It was important for me to realize that the Church is a human organization flawed certainly by the sins of the fathers and honestly, by us. These flaws can be distracting, but if we look beyond them and at our experience of Christ, we can perhaps maintain our faith in Christ and His Church. I am not for a minute suggesting that any of the deepest wounds the Church has made should be over looked or minimized, but as we look to repair that damage – and perhaps Pope Francis represents our best chance at that – our foundation of faith shouldn’t be shaken. It is a goal we can always work towards – I know it was one I have to work hard at still, it is a constant conversion. The Church still gives me a headache, but now it is the headache families give each other. The angst we get when we are short with our spouse or kids, or have an argument with our brother. We still know we are family.

Jesus patiently sits at that well where we go again and again trying to be satisfied, waiting for us to ask Him about the living water that will satisfy us.  Sometimes when I am praying, I see myself reaching into the tabernacle, deep into it, and I see a beautiful new world. It is at those times that I think I am seeing with Jesus’ eyes. I think, in my busy, busy life, I forget. Seeing with Jesus’ eyes does take quiet time with no distraction just to be with him, to let Him show me what He sees. He waits for me and for all of us to notice, I think.

“The core of our being is drawn to the quiet depths of each moment where God waits for us with eternal longing. Like stones skipped across the surface of the water, we are kept skimming along the peripheral, one dimensional fringes of life. To sink into the unknown depths of God’s call to union with himself is to lose all the false self knows and cherishes. “

 ~ James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere – One of my favorite quotes from a book about one of my favorite Catholics – Thomas Merton.

The Indwelling

In order to take possession of me, my God, you who are so much more remote in your immensity and so much deeper in the intimacy of your indwelling than all things else, you take to yourself and unite together the immensity of the world and the intimate depths of my being.  

~ Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe

Father all around me, Son standing next to me, Holy Spirit inside of me and yet it took me this long to recognize you. Your persistence ever present unceasingly causing the longing I feel to know you. You are there when I wake, you are there when I go to sleep you are there when I stop my busy-ness for one moment and take that moment to hear and acknowledge your polite persistence. And yet the generosity of your giving knows no limit, my unfaithfulness deserves no requite, but you are boundless in your giving. My heart finally split open with the recognition of your endless presence results not in my giving – even in my willingness to give you my heart – but you who split my heart make small your own and place it in mine tenderly, reduced to a priceless token to carry with me always. I feel my heart glow with the gift contained therein and do offer my promise of faith and my prayer for grace – your grace – to be able to keep this promise.

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Kiss of the Cross

The origin of faith is a burning desire set a blaze by the source of which at first you don’t know. Droplets of truth start to satisfy the endless burning, a delicate balance held by the fire that would be doused by too much water and the fire that could easily consume and burn out. I want to see with the inner vision of the mystics, what was (is) their communion like?

Faith is not the right word to describe the union of desire and the object of that which is desired or truth of that object. It is much more personal I am finding. It is being faithful as to a spouse, a lover, family or friend. To be able to be relied upon the same as to rely on, to stay the course, to be faithful and dependable to each other. It is a subtle semantic distinction, but being unfaithful is so much more dire than having no or little faith. The realization makes me weep.

 

My hand is in His Sacred Heart

His blood runs down my elbow

and yet, I recognize Him not.

As my hand tightens around His heart,

my unfaithfulness clenched in a fist,

choking Him,

He gives more. 

 

 

The kiss of the Cross renews the face of the earth.

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