Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Requesting God’s Grace

Some mystics wait just for the pure experience of grace and the divine. Grace is the word we give to the power of God that we recognize in our lives. We long to make this power so real that we can hold it in our hands, or feel it like heat running through our bodies. We want to know that this divine substance is real and that it protects us and heals us and flows down from heaven when we request it. Caroline Myss, Entering the Castle Page 17
We have the ability to recognize that God gives us his grace—his power to heal us in body and spirit. Personally, I have never felt God’s grace in a tangible way, such as a sensation of holding his power in my hands or feeling the heat of God’s grace running through my body, though some do have this ability, I believe.
However, I do believe that God’s grace is real and can heal us from our bodily ailments and our spiritual ills and does so if it is the right thing for us in a particular moment of time.
I believe this and know this because I have experienced God’s healing grace in my life. We do not have to be mystics in order to know and believe in God’s grace and the power of his healing love; but the more we spend time in God’s presence the more we will be aware of God’s grace in our lives.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Union with God is a Union of Hearts

Plotinus the ecstatic is sure …that the union with God is a union of hearts: that ‘by love He may be gotten and holden, but by thought never.’ He, no less than the medieval contemplatives, is convinced …that the Vision is only for the desirous; for him who has ‘that loving passion’ which ‘causes the lover to rest in the object of his love.’ Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism P. 252
A union with God can be accomplished only through a joining of hearts—the heart of the mystic with the heart of God. Thus God and the mystic may be joined together through love of one another but will not find it possible to be joined through thought of one another alone.
A Vision of God may be ascertained only by that one who is desirous of the vision of God. The contemplative or mystic must have a loving passion for God and desire to rest in God, the very object of his love.
c Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be Open to Receive God’s Plan for You

I believe that the divine is everywhere and exists within even the most intimate details of our lives. All that we experience today has its purpose in tomorrow’s events; sometimes the purpose is not evident for years of tomorrows. Yet, God prepares you for your spiritual journey, no matter how complicated, painful, or demanding it might become. For this reason, patience, trust, and faith must become constants for you. You cannot, and indeed you must not, even attempt to believe you know what is best for you. The divine will reveal its plan for you; you have to be open to receive it. Caroline Myss, Entering the Castle, P.3
If God prepares us in today’s happenings for what is to come in the future this must mean that God knows what is going to happen to us—whether what is to come into our lives is good or bad, God knows it and prepares us and trains us for what is to happen.
God prepares us as we go through our lives for whatever is to come upon us—illness or health, complicated or simple, demanding or easy. You may think that being healthy is better than being sick but if you are the healthy one you will probably have the burden of being the caregiver for others in the family. You may think that you would be happier having the simple or easy tasks to perform in life but if this is your lot you may desire to have more recognition that would come your way if you had the more complicated or demanding tasks or your spouse or your friend.
Whatever side of life you are presented with, you have to have the patience, trust, and faith in God that what is best for you is what you will be given. As you go along your spiritual journey you need to be open to receive God’s plan and trust that what happens to you is the best gift for your spiritual growth, given to you in God’s love.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Learning to Pray and Wait

Mystics are what the word implies—people called to know the divine through its mysteries. Many people today want the mysteries and challenges in their lives solved and resolved quickly, but mystics know that we all have a deeper task: to accept that some challenges come into our lives in defiance of human reason, logic, order, justice, fairness, and even common sense. They know that underlying these challenges is a divine order and sense that may be revealed in time. …you invite the sacred into your life; you learn to pray and wait, to ready yourself for direction. Mystics know that their instructions will come along with the tasks God sets for them. Caroline Myss, Entering the Castle Pages 16/17
In this day and age we are used to having things instantly. Almost as soon as we think about a meal we can pop something in the microwave and eat within a very few minutes. People who live in an urban area can go to a store close by and pick up something they forgot to get when they went grocery shopping. One can think of what one wants and it almost magically appears.
This may be less so for those that live in a rural area. When you live outside of town you can’t get Pizza or Chinese Food delivered, you have to go in to town and pick it up yourself. It is not as easy to borrow a book from the public library—you can’t just walk over—you have to get in the car and drive in to town. There isn’t even any public transportation where I live.
So those who live in rural areas may be closer to knowing how to wait for something, not expecting things to come instantly to hand or mouth. It may be easier, therefore, for rural people to learn to pray and wait.
When we receive challenges in our lives we may not immediately recognize them as coming from God. But if we are in the habit of praying to God as a regular discipline we are more likely to be aware that difficulties, mysteries, or challenges may well be sent to us from God.
Does that mean that we will understand what God expects of us right away? Not necessarily. You learn to pray and wait, to ready yourself for direction. Mystics know that their instructions will come along with the tasks God sets for them.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Contemplation is Judged by its Fruits

True contemplation, as the mystics are constantly assuring us, must always be judged by its fruits. If it be genuine, work has been done during the period of apparent passivity. The deeper self has escaped, has risen to freedom, and returns other than it was before. Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism P. 241
When one looks on God in contemplation, it is not just for the satisfaction of the one who contemplates. The contemplative looks with loving and adoring eyes upon the God of love, he desires to be totally at one with God, and seeks to be more like God.
Seeking to be more like God, the roots of the spiritual plant are in the soil of the essence of God. Thus the plant gets its divine spiritual nourishment, causing the spiritual fruit to grow and mature, and the contemplative to return from his time in the presence of God other than what he was before.
I have tried to express this in the following poem Cocoon.

I wind silk around my being,
Silk spun from my own inner self,
I bind myself in darkness,
To be transformed into a new being
Of light and freedom.
I am becoming a winged creature,
A being capable of spiritual flight
Into the rarer atmosphere,
Nearer to the Creator of life.
I learn to temper the once
Destructive powers of my will,
Binding them with silken bonds
In the dark, silent cocoon.
In the quiet darkness
My being is transformed;
In the silken, gold-glittered,
Chrysalis, hidden and
Protected ’neath my Creator’s hand.
Slow is the secret process within;
So much to be done; change
Cannot be rushed, if beauty
Is to be the new being’s end result—
If my transformed being,
My freed, winged being,
Is to be revealed, soaring
In rarefied air
To the glory of God.
© Judith Lawrence  September 2011