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?
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