Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Time of Renewal



Christmas Cactus




I will be taking a break from blogging for a while on this site. I hope to be back in the New Year. I'm not sure what God has planned for me at present.


I pray that you will all have a good Advent and Christmas Season. May the birth of the Christ Child enter your heart.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countless Signs of Love


One of a Kind Mushroom

The will, after seeing countless signs of love, inclines the soul to love in return. The will shows the soul that this is a Lover who will never leave her, that he walks with her always, giving her life and being. The intellect steps in to help the soul understand that she can never hope to have a better friend as long as she lives. P. 58 The Interior Castle St. Teresa of Avila, translation by Mirabai Starr
A person’s will, intellect, and soul work together in harmony to bring the knowledge of God’s love into a person’s being.
Red Light Flow
Gifts of Harvest
There are, St. Teresa tells us, countless signs of God’s love shown to us every day, reassuring us that God will never leave us—God walks beside us every step of the way; God gives us life and being; God dwells within us and we in God.
This does not mean that we won’t suffer difficulties but that God will be with us through all these difficulties, giving us strength, comfort, and support in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
Our lives will not be that of constant difficulties. We will have ample experiences of joy and laughter, and throughout these happy times God will be with us, also—God shares our life whether our time is filled with sadness or joy, sickness or health, poverty or riches—God is our Lover and Friend, our constant Companion and Support.
It is through this realization of God’s complete love for us that we cannot help but love God in return.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

God Calls to Us Constantly


Sunlit Stroll

God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how half-hearted such insights maybe, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us. St. Teresa of Avila, translation by Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle Page 37
“God rejoices,” St. Teresa says, “whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”
You might wonder what God could teach you through periods of illness, suffering, or sorrow. To humans these three things are so negative that we cannot possibly imagine learning any good lesson by having to go through them. However, we often learn more about God’s goodness and mercy when we go through difficult times than we do when our lives are full of joy.
Milky Way over Grand Tetons
Sometimes we are so busy in our daily lives, heaping on more and more activities, that we don’t have time to think about God and his gifts to us. When we become so sick that we have to stop doing our regular everyday work, we suddenly have time to think and perhaps our thinking might dwell on God.
Certainly, one of the first things we might think about in times of illness is why God is making us sick, why he is making us suffer, why he is making us sorrowful. Yet, when everything is going our way we might not give a thought about God; we might not think how wonderful it is to be healthy, how amazing it is that we can do so much without suffering pain, how good it feels to be joyful.
A time of illness may be God’s only way of getting our attention so that we can hear him calling us—calling us to come to him, calling us to give thanks to him, calling us to listen to him and speak to him.
Take a moment now to give thanks to God for his love, mercy, and goodness to you; and ask him if there is something he is calling you to do, if there is some way in which you can serve him and love him for all that he has done for you.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free Access to our Souls


Dinas Lodge Entry Door

We have free access to [our souls] whenever we please. …All we have to do is be still and go within. Page 23, The Interior Castle St. Teresa of Avila, Translation by Mirabai Starr,
To go within, to enter the soul, the very essence of our being, which is deep within our very core, we enter through the door, which is Christ. We must cross the threshold of Christ; we need not hesitate at the threshold as if there is something to fear by entering our souls, for here, in the silence and stillness, we are at one with God.
Open Door in Summer
Christ himself tells us that he is the door or the gate where we may freely go in and out and find fresh pasture. We need not be afraid to follow him; he leads us on safe paths and shepherds us, taking care of each one of us. (John 10: 6-16)
We need to cultivate a time of silence and stillness through which we have ease of access to the open door of Christ. The time of silence and stillness generates in us a holy place and a reverence for God into whose presence we are entering.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The World is Our New Cloister


Canadian City

 Reverence and devotion open the soul to intimacy with God…

When you pursue a relationship with your soul and God you are answering a call. You are being called to build your spiritual stamina so that you can channel grace in this world for this world. Our new monastery, the world, is in desperate need of the strength of your soul. Caroline Myss, Page 96, Entering the Castle

Jesus challenged us to be in this world but not of it. The mystics of today try to fulfil Christ’s challenge. Though some mystics still do enter a convent or a monastery in order to pursue a relationship with God, many more live in this world as contemplatives without a cloister. They pursue their ordinary day to day lives while living out a life of prayer within their souls.
These modern-day mystics are answering the call of God to channel grace into the world. They see the desperate needs within the world and they bring them before God in their time of prayer and praise of the Sacred One.
Getting Boats to Harbour, Italy
As they open their souls in intimacy with God they build up their spiritual stamina. They receive grace from God in order to channel God’s grace into the world. They live in this world whole-heartedly and, by living in God and God in them, they understand the call of God to them is to be an intermediary for God’s grace and blessing on the world that God has created for us to live in.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your Soul is Divinity in Miniature

Womb of the Morning by Judith Lawrence


Your soul is a masterpiece of divinity in miniature. Its power is connected to the whole creation. … [T]he reason you have descended into physical life is to unleash the power of your soul upon Earth…It is a journey that brings you directly into the world. It brings you fully into your soul, and into your power in the world. Page 85 Entering the Castle Caroline Myss
God has created us in his image. God has created us to be his hands and his feet in the world. Our souls have been created as masterpieces of divinity in miniature. We are finite, of course, and cannot do all that God does. But, when we each do the part that God created us to do then God’s will for the world will be done.
If we think that the part we have been created to perform is so small that it will not matter if we do not do it, then God’s master plan for the world will take that much longer to come into being.
Lighthouse at Night
We were each sent into the world to “unleash the power of our souls upon the Earth” for God’s glory and that God’s grace may be given to all. The power of our souls is not to be unleashed for our own needs and desires but for the sake of God’s kingdom and peaceful reign upon earth.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Cor 4: 7
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Pilgrim


Sun Rise
As a new pilgrim on the path of the soul, you progress in stages…[P]rayer becomes the means through which you let love flow through your soul and into the world. …Always the goal remains the same: to stretch the soul in preparation for becoming a container of divine love in the world. P.82/83 Entering the Castle Caroline Myss
It does not matter how far we are into the Christian life, whether we came to it yesterday or whether we were born into it, each day we are new pilgrims. We begin each day journeying anew towards God, discovering new spiritual joys, new understanding of  the divine love—that God’s love never ceases, never comes to an end, and that it is new every morning.
Journeying by Stages
So the discovery and spiritual journey continues in stages. As Abram continued his journey from the Negeb in stages, so we continue our journey to God in stages, sometimes repeating the journey many times over. We recommit our lives to God as we grow and find new meaning in our spiritual lives.
[Abram] journeyed on by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. Gen 13: 3, 4
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Journey of Courage and Faith

Pathway

Your soul will move you always deeper within yourself. You cannot stop that process any more than you can stop aging.…[T]he mystic in you longs to go home; it longs to stop running from a fear of chaos.…You want to trust life itself and the God that gave you life. You want to surrender yourself into that same cosmic trust that the mystics had—and have—that your needs will be met. You want to find your highest potential. You want to heal from the burdens of resentment.…
Ultimately, this is a journey about personal courage and faith; your soul knew long before now that you would inevitably enter your Castle [the Castle that is you]. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 79
Odessa Monastery
When I entered an Anglican Convent in 1964, I did so believing that I would never leave there again. I wholeheartedly gave my self to God and, in 1971 I made my final vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to God, within the Order of St. John the Divine in Toronto, Canada.
I felt called to become a nun and followed that call. No one was more surprised than I was when I felt called to leave the convent in 1980. As Caroline Myss said, in the quoted words above, “Your soul will move you always deeper within yourself. You cannot stop that process any more than you can stop aging.”
I felt called to enter the convent; I felt called by God to leave the convent and enter into the world once more. God had much to teach me in the convent; I learned much about my own short-comings, both spiritual and emotional; I grew in love of God and love of others; but God had so much more to teach me and God showed me that I could not learn more of God’s teachings where I was. I had to leave everything behind and follow Our Lord.
I had to surrender and trust myself to God knowing that my needs would be met even though all my supports had been cut away. It was not without sorrow and guilt that I left the convent, my vows, and my old life within the community of sisters where I had everything and wanted for nothing. God’s ways are not always straightforward. I was taken on a way that I had not expected but my soul leads me ever on to a deeper union with God through a journey of courage and faith.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Called by Name


You know that you are being called. Your soul is unsatisfied, starving for purpose. Some part of you knows—feels a pull beyond reason deep within the core of your being—that God is calling you by name. And you realize that you must have an intimate relationship with God above all else.…You finally recognize that you need to experience God—and you need to experience your divinity, your route to God. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 78
You may have a job that fully satisfies you; you may have worked in the same field in which you are working now for many years; you may have presumed that this is your calling, your vocation. Gradually, however, you become restless, dissatisfied, and starved of purpose.
Perhaps you have had this feeling before and know what it means; you may not have experienced this feeling before and think, perhaps, that it indicates a yearning for a new job, a new town, or a desire for new learning.
Quiet Morning on the River in Fall
This “pull beyond reason deep within the core of your being, is God calling you by name”. God wants a relationship with you, desires to be a part of you life, and God awaits a response from you. God is not satisfied with a one sided relationship—yes, God loves you and desires to be with you—but, more than that God wants a mutual relationship with you, a two sided relationship, a give and take; God desires that you want to be with the Sacred One as much as the Sacred One wants to be with you.
Begin to take a few moments each morning to be in God’s presence and see where it leads you; take time to be quiet with God; take time to experience your divinity and find your route to God. Your route to God and relationship with God will be unique to you. Search deep in the centre of your being and find your new life.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Mystic’s Calling



Snow Blowing
A mystic is called to come into an intimate relationship with divinity. A calling is not a job, a career, or an occupation, but a pursuit that transcends ordinary life. Your soul becomes a channel for grace. This changes everything, and it changes nothing.…[Y]ou have a passion to be congruent, to have your instincts, conscience, intuitive guidance, and mystical relationship to God exist in harmony. You may live a perfectly ordinary life in the world, but your interior life is anything but ordinary. You continue your external life, but on the inside you are awakened, fearless, conscious, a resource for others. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 78
A mystic does not call attention to herself by looking or acting differently from any other person in this world. A mystic’s life will look like any other ordinary life. She may have a regular job, she may be a stay-at-home mum, or she may be in a creative field.
A mystic’s external life will be lived in a normal everyday way; but a mystic’s interior life is in constant relationship with God. Everything she does is done in harmony with God’s presence in her life.
People sense something different about such a person—a mystic—they may feel at peace, secure, and understood in her presence though they may not know why because she seems so ordinary on the outside.
Polish Salt Mine Entrance
Like the Polish salt mine, which looks unspectacular in its external building and entrance way, it reveals unsuspected treasures, beauty, and hidden glory in its internal depths.
Chapel in Polish Salt Mine
Such is the life of a mystic.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Relentless Soul


Winter Stroll
The soul is a relentless companion. It never rests in seeking its freedom and voice. It will do what it has to do to release your physical body, your mind, and your emotions from the debris of untruths and self-deception that keep you chained and unable to see your purpose. People often wonder why their spiritual lives began with an illness or a life trauma; illnesses and life crises are often the ways the soul finally gets through to you to take charge of you life. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 77
When we can no longer depend upon ourselves or upon our significant other to get through the day due to illness or loss we have to find some other way. When there is no one who is able to support us from family or friends then we have to depend upon strangers or government agencies to care for us physically.
Milky Way over Jackson Lake
When we are physically dependent on others, we are released from constant concern and anxiety about our physical needs—we no longer have to worry about what to do next for it will be done (or not done) by someone else who has taken charge of us.
This leaves us free to take care of our spiritual needs; we may begin to pray to God, to listen to our soul, or to take a look at our lives as we have lived them, giving thanks for what we have been given and asking for forgiveness for sins from our past. We have time to examine our spiritual lives and time for oneness with God.
This is one of the ways in which our spiritual lives may get a chance to begin and this chance is given us through the efforts of our relentless soul.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Toward Transformation

Womb of the Morning Celtic Knotwork J. Lawrence

Questioning your life purpose invites the divine to come closer, to pull you inward so that you can hear direction and revelation. It alters your relationship to yourself as well as to God, placing the journey of your soul at the forefront of your life path and making ego its servant.…[Y]our personal transformation will be dragged from inner chaos to a still point. Paradoxically, your soul thrives on chaos because it recognizes the hand of the divine at work in upheavals that push you toward transformation. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle P. 77
Am I still questioning my life purpose? Has my life purpose not already been revealed? Am I still to seek direction and revelation?
I should surely know by now that life purpose is not a once and for all decision of what to do with my life as it refers to vocation. Life purpose is the ongoing journey of my soul, opening me to continual transformation toward becoming who God wants me to be; transforming me to the spiritual being who is one with God; ever proceeding on that journey, which is my transformation into oneness with the divine.
The glorious chaos that brings all new life into being brings about the spiritual new life in us; continually transforming us into the spiritual beings who are united with the Sacred One.
As God created the earth out of a formless void, so the Creator slowly creates us from the foetus, which began its life in our mother’s womb, and brings us into spiritual beings full of light, life, and love.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Silence as a Path to God


Seeking a Path to God
Contemplation nourishes the soul. It stimulates your relationship with the divine.…All religious traditions have a history of seeking silence as a path to God, the Light, and the Way.
Silence is an invitation to the divine to come forward, to reveal itself to you—as a presence more than an active guidance. You wait to experience the presence of God without an agenda, without a prayer list filled with requests that cover myriad fears and insecurities. This is a new experience for many people who seem to lack the patience to wait for God.…
Contemplation is the discipline of piercing through the ego’s self-centeredness and impatience. It may include the boredom of waiting for God to show up. Contemplation is like falling into your soul and away from the world. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 68/69
The mind talks so much that it is hard to keep a silent space. When I get into a mode of contemplation and actually manage to be run through with silence then I often find myself sinking into a sleep-filled place. I doze off.  The silence is so peaceful it is conducive to rest and sleep.
In the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, Matthew 25: 1-13, we read, “When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” Matt 25: 5 (New Living Translation). Christ, in the telling of this parable doesn’t have any condemnation of the fact that they fell asleep for, as soon as the shout went up that the bridegroom was coming, they were immediately awake and prepared their lamps ready to greet him.
Five out of the ten bridesmaids were described as wise and were ready for the bridegroom to come, they had extra oil for their lamps, and as soon as the bridegroom appeared, they trimmed their lamps and their inner selves shone with prepared light. They had waited through the dark times, the boring times, and the uncertain times; they did not give up in the dry times.
They were ready to accompany the bridegroom—the Sacred One—to the place where he would go and they rejoiced and celebrated with him. We must be like the five wise bridesmaids, ready to meet our God and accompany him whither he would have us go.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Qualities of the Soul


Rain on the Pond
The soul is a vessel of power.…You uncover the different qualities of power that each soul contains, all of which the individual needs to explore and refine, including humility, dignity, integrity, honor, wisdom, justice, harmony, and endurance. These qualities enable a soul to discover his own divinity and consequently, to embody the qualities of light essential to an experience of God. A soul with these characteristics is strong enough to be in direct contact with God—it is a soul with stamina. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 57
Caterpillar
The soul is inherently powerful. When we are born on earth the soul is already equipped with qualities of spiritual power. But we, as human beings, have to discover these qualities which make up the essence of our soul’s being.
We need to supply the soul with a regular daily quiet time of solitude where it can reunite itself to the Sacred One so that its inner qualities can grow in divine strength and function in its role as spiritual guide as we navigate through our humanity and increase in our spiritual growth.
Butterfly
This is the way in which we evolve toward the next stage of human development, adapting and growing in our spirituality with help from our soul’s increasing spiritual strength. Our soul and our humanity must cooperate with one another in order to become this new spiritual person.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Surrendering to God

Dark Entrance to Cave

God’s message in the story of Job is that heaven has a design and plan far greater than what can be shown to any human being. All that is within the vast scope of creation has a purpose known to God, including each human life. Job’s falling to his knees [Job 40:3-5; 42:1-6] symbolizes the mystical act of surrender we all must make in order to trust God’s plan for us within the vast scheme of creation.…[Y]ou must reach the stage of spiritual maturity where you surrender to God. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 55
We, indeed, do not know and cannot understand the plan God has for each one of us. When things go well for us (as we see it), we give thanks to God; we laugh, sing, and go about our day with great joy. When things go against what we had hoped for in our lives what will we do then? Will we still be able to give thanks to God? Will we still trust and have faith in God that all is for the best? How will we react if our hopes and dreams take an unexpected turn into a life of illness, loss, or poverty?
Passageway
The world does not revolve around us as individuals. Yes, it matters to God what happens to each one of us so as to bring each of us to a good spiritual outcome; but this may involve events coming upon us that will challenge our belief in God as a God of love if we should get a dread disease, or if our spouse leaves us, or if any other apparently adverse thing happens to us.
In order to get our attention on our spiritual well-being we sometimes have to experience things that will bring us back to God. If bad things happen to us, the question should be asked, “What does God want to show us through this situation?” The answer may not come to us immediately but, as we go through a difficult and challenging time we should be ever watchful for what God wants to teach us that will open our eyes and hearts and assist us to surrender our wills to God.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Mystic’s Life


Book Gathering
The mystic’s life is disciplined but, oddly enough, not complicated. The contemporary mystic responds to his soul’s call to become an effective force in the world. His theology maintains divine intimacy through prayer and contemplation, through living a spiritually congruent life, and through being a living channel for grace in whatever earthly capacity he is called to serve. The contemporary mystic is called upon to live as an invisible power…and make a difference. A mystic recognizes that his good works are connections to the goodness and love of God, extensions of God. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 47
One has to continually learn how to recognize the soul’s voice within. One needs to listen carefully, to stay in a place of silence and listen with the ears of a mystic in order to know and hear the voice of the soul, the spiritual essence of one’s inner being, the God-essence of one’s life.
Before we came to earth we already existed in our soul-essence; and now that we live here on earth we exist in our outward, physical bodies while our actual beings exist as our internal soul-essence; and when we die to our earthly life we will lose our physical outward bodies and once again exist totally in our soul-essence.
Day Lily
We are the same beings whether clothed with an outward physical body or not but sometimes we lose the memory of our actual living being, which is spiritual, God-centred, and soul-essenced. Earthly life gives our beings—our souls—the opportunity to grow in grace and share God’s grace with the world.
Our physical body clothes and disguises the inward soul so that it can function invisibly as God’s power, goodness, and love in the world bringing God’s healing power to all who are in need.
© Judith Lawrence 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Starving for the Sacred

Path of Flowers

People are starving for the sacred.…They want to touch, see, and feel the sacred. They want to be bound to the sacred by a ceremony or vow. They want some type of link to God that cannot be acquired by meditation alone.…
This is why mystics insist that you have a spiritual practice, a discipline in which everyday something is expected of you as an individual. You are not left to your own devices, your own schedule. You maintain rituals that invoke grace and generate a connection with the sacred in your daily life. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 46
Many people are finding their lives empty of meaning. They may have jobs that are satisfying; they may go to church regularly; they may try to live good and responsible lives; and yet they still yearn for something more.
They have lost touch with the sacred in their lives.
In order to get in touch with the Sacred One you have to pursue a daily spiritual discipline in your life. The first step to take is to put aside a time each day to be apart from your regular life and be in the presence of God. At this stage, you do not have to know what is expected of you, you just have to come to a quiet place and wait in the silence.
As you spend time each morning before beginning your regular daily routine you will be led to a meaningful ritual that will bring you to a way that you can connect with God.
It is all important to have this time in a quiet and private place where you will not be interrupted by sounds of chatter, telephones, television, or radio. This may require that you get up a half hour earlier than you would normally rise so that you are up before others in the household.
Your ritual may eventually include prayer, Bible reading, journaling, and meditation. But, probably, the most important thing is to listen for God’s voice and guidance so that you can find your way back to the Sacred One.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Silence in your Spiritual Life

Quiet Countryside Home

In silence you can hear your soul’s guidance. Of course, an observation of complete silence is simply not realistic in the world today, but a practice of silence in your spiritual life is both realistic and essential.…
Hold the grace within you. Let it penetrate deeply into your soul, your cell tissue, your thoughts, your memories, your fears. Allow grace to expand your soul as only it can.…
Contain your experience with the divine so that it does not escape you but rather reshape you. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 38
In order for the soul to make itself heard it is necessary for us to have a span of silence in our lives. Silence for most people is not their overriding environment. Perhaps for those living in rural areas, on farms, or in small villages there may be a surrounding quiet with the only sounds being of birdsong that enhance rather than disturb the peacefulness; but, for many, their homes and businesses are filled with all-pervasive noise—loud music, motor cars, shrill voices, ringing telephones, and much more.
Because of this noisy environment it is important that we put some time aside for a space of silence to allow our soul to be heard. The soul will not shout to get our attention so we have to consciously give ourselves a time for quiet when we can listen for and get to know our soul’s voice when it speaks to us.
For me, I find the best time is early morning before the rest of the household gets going, before I become involved in the day’s planned events, before the night’s quiet has left my body, mind, and spirit and escaped into my life of activity. This is the time when my spirit is most able to hear the soul’s voice and God’s message for my life.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Replacing Fear with Faith and Compassion


Odessa Monastery
To be a mystic without a monastery means that you make a conscious decision to stop being motivated by fear—fear that you don’t have enough, that you have to have more to meet your basic needs. And you replace that fear with faith and compassion. In effect, you become a powerful instrument of God’s grace. Infused with a force greater than our own—a divine intention, assistance, or insight that is spiritually rejuvenating—grace is energy that can fill you with luminous awareness different from everyday consciousness. It motivates your spirit and lights your path within. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 37
There is no room for fear in love. 1 John 4: 18
We are looking to live a life without fear and to live a life motivated by love.
As Caroline Myss says, “You replace that fear with faith and compassion.” And John says that you must replace fear with love.
Bottom line is that we must consciously stop being afraid of living a life of poverty whether monetary or spiritual poverty and start accepting a life of spiritual abundance.
Jesus says, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.        John 10: 10
July Flower Garden, Day Lily
While we live our lives here on earth we can choose to live in fear or we can choose to live an abundant life of love given to us by God. A life of abundance means a life filled with love and this can be so whether one is poor in goods, money, or health.
An outward physical life of poverty does not mean that we are denied an inward life of abundance. The difference is whether we are filled with fear or with love, faith, and compassion.
We can be rich in our outward lives but still live inwardly poverty-stricken lives if we are filled with fear.
Receive God’s gift of the abundant life of love whether you are physically rich or poor and you will be infused with the power of God’s grace.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Contemporary Mystic


Two-fold Pathway
The contemporary mystic is called to represent an invisible power in the world through a personal spiritual practice, through the power of prayer, through living consciously and practicing compassion, and through becoming a channel for grace.…A mystic without a monastery serves visibly in his or her personal life, among friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and adversaries, and invisibly through prayer and channeling grace into the greater world. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle page 29
The contemporary mystic is called to a two-fold way of life. Firstly, she must live a life of daily personal prayer and secondly, emanating from the power of that prayer she will carry on her spiritual practice by living a conscious life of sharing God’s grace and compassion in the world.
Without the daily spiritual practice of getting in touch with the Sacred One, the mystic will not be able to carry through with channeling God’s grace as she lives and works among her daily contacts.
Even those who live a cloistered life in a monastery or convent cannot avoid the second part of a mystic’s responsibilities. Monks and nuns, however desirous they are of wanting only to be with God in prayer, have responsibilities to those with whom they live and work—prayer life generates, receives, and overflows with grace, which emanates into the world and touches those who are near and far, seen and unseen.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deeper Experience of God


Quiet morning canoe ride
Many people are being called into a deeper experience of God in many ways. That is what a mystic is—someone who wants to engage in direct dialogue with God. That desire ignites an interior flame that burns for the rest of your life, lighting your way.…Perhaps you feel a mysterious stirring deep within you, a restlessness or anticipation that you don’t understand. Perhaps you have a sense that you need to get in harmony with an unseen order—it could be the beginnings of your mystical birth. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 25
Many ordinary people find themselves drawn to a inner spiritual search. People who live well-ordered, successful, and meaningful lives find themselves drawn to something more. It is often those who live lives full of satisfaction, that recognize a need for something more—not more goods or money but more understanding of the meaning of their lives.
Perhaps they first come to this awareness because they feel the need to give thanks to someone for all that they have achieved in their lives, all that they have been given. But who is this elusive someone to whom they should give thanks? And where do they begin to search for this someone?
Once you have spoken of or thought about the desire to find a relationship with this unseen God, you are given guidance or an answer to your unspoken desire. You may be led to a book or a person that will help you. You will know that this answer is from God because it fulfills all that you were looking for. The following verse from Isaiah sums it up, I think:
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24
©Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mystical Renaissance


The Mystics’ time has come again. This second great mystical renaissance has been brewing for decades, as we’ve been asking the questions that bring the divine in direct contact with our souls: “For what purpose have I been born?” and “What is my spiritual path?” and “How can I receive guidance?” These are not ordinary questions. They are spiritual invocations, invitations for God to come closer. And when God hears them, God does exactly that. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 19
Some say that since Jesus walked the earth people have been trying to enter into a spiritual union with God. There have been enhanced waves of mysticism from time to time, such as the time when hermits flocked to the desert in the early years of Christianity; and the time of the medieval mysticism of the Beguines, of those within monasteries and convents, as well as those walled up in anchorages, such as Julian of Norwich.
Today, we are living in a time of another wave of mysticism, not a time when people necessarily leave the world in order to follow their desire to have a spiritual union with God, though some do, but a time of mystics living and working in the world, among their families, their co-workers, and their friends, while practicing a daily spiritual life of prayer and contemplation in order to find God’s guidance, purpose and spiritual path for them.
These people may not be found in our houses of worship, they are not always “religious” people who go to church services on Sunday, but they are people who are trying to find a way of living their lives in and through God in all aspects of their daily lives.  
Many have been disappointed and let down by the Church but that has only made them search for another way to be in spiritual union with God. They have no quarrel with God only with church hierarchy that remembers only those who have money to give their aging and needy buildings but do not think of those who can no longer get to church by themselves though they may have served the church long and faithfully throughout their days.
God does not forget them; God leaves the ninety and nine to search for the one who is lost and, when the lost is found, carries him on his shoulder and takes him back home.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Called by God



Labyrinth Walk
Once you are called, you have no choice but to follow. …The call awakens you to what is beyond.
The masters also reveal that we do have the strength and faith deep within our spiritual core to answer the call and embark on the journey into the beyond. …Once you open yourself to God, once God shines a direct light within your soul, your life becomes a journey of faith. Mysteries will seem to fill you to overflowing, but faith and prayer will help you face both the known and the unknown. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle Page 17/18
We are called by God to be united with him. The initial call, when answered, is a once in a lifetime call but there may be many other calls as we journey along—calls of redirection, calls of renewal, calls to rededicate ourselves to God.
“The call awakens you to what is beyond,” says Caroline Myss, and the thought of what is ahead of us, if we answer that call, may scare us into trying to evade giving God a positive response to his call.
We have read of the excuses given by Moses when God asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3); we have seen the evasion of Jonah when he was called to prophesy to the people of Nineveh (Book of Jonah); we have heard how the religious leader responded to Jesus by turning away in sadness when he was told, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18: 22
When we receive a call from God we also receive the strength and faith needed to respond to that call. We will need to call up the strength and faith deep within us in order to answer God’s call and a daily prayer life will assist us to face both the known and unknown as we go along our spiritual journey.
© Judith Lawrence  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grace—the Power of God


Waterfall
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
 I have a desire to reconnect with the divine, the Sacred One. I long to be part of this great sacred outpouring—that sacred filling of my soul’s well and its overflowing into the world and back again into the Sacred Presence.
The Sacred Power pours itself out continuously like a great waterfall onto the wheels of life, which turn and run the creative generator allowing the Sacred One to work its wonders in our lives and the lives of others.
This power we call grace; this power is available to us all at all times. However, as we go through our daily lives we may find ourselves getting into a rut that brings us into the doldrums, a state of spiritual stagnation, where we become sluggish and lacking energy.
Muskoka River
At such times, we need to reconnect with the power of God; we need to rededicate ourselves to a life of prayer whereby our soul’s wheel of life will again be turned by the flow of the river of life. That flow is always available to us but sometimes we need to be reminded to stand in its Sacred Power and drink from the Spiritual waters of Grace.
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Revelation 22: 1-2 [NLT] New Living Translation
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inviting the Sacred into your Life

Summer Pathway

Mystics are what the word implies—people called to know the divine through its mysteries. …
[Y]ou invite the sacred into your life; you learn to pray and to 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 Page 16/17
When you invite the Sacred One into your life you ready yourself for whatever might come your way. This includes very ordinary everyday things that might seem unspectacular to you down to an invitation to answer what may seem an extraordinary call to service in the name of God.
In order to ready yourself for direction from God you have to be open to hearing and receiving God’s voice and message whenever it may come. This takes practice. A good way to start this practice is to come every morning into God’s presence; there you learn to pray and wait.
God doesn’t often speak to us in a voice that we can hear through our physical ears. There may be an inner stirring deep within our soul, a desire to be with God in a quiet time and place, or a sense of awe as we walk through a garden of flowers. Our spirit is uplifted toward the divine and we give thanks and say, Surely God is in this place.
Lily
This is where the daily practice of praying and listening to God in your morning quiet time prepares you to recognize God’s call to you and to answer that call readily and without hesitation.
© Judith Lawrence

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Longing for the Divine

Alone with God

We cannot stop our longing for the quest for a deeper spiritual experience, because the attraction to the divine is the most basic force of our lives.…Traditional mystical instruction is far too extreme for ordinary individuals, yet it is we ordinary individuals who are now seeking a deeper path of divine expression. Caroline Myss Entering the Castle, P. 16
We came to earth with a promise to fulfil a divine mission—we were given a task to do and made a promise that we would do it here on earth. However, as time went along and we grew up in our various families, homes, and countries most of us probably forgot about the promise we made.
The soul is the keeper of the promise that we made and does not forget that promise. As opportunities present themselves to fulfil that promise the soul gives us reminders so that we are drawn to act in accordance to the promise that we made before coming to earth. Because we have long forgotten that promise made we may wonder why we are drawn to a certain spiritual way of life, to perform a particular act of kindness, or to behave in a better way that may seem contrary to our nature and upbringing.
Odessa Monastery
Deep down in our innermost being we long for a deeper spiritual experience, we seek our spiritual home, and we desire to be one with the divine. The soul leads us to that special place and, if we follow, we will be satisfied with the abundance of God’s love.
© Judith Lawrence