Tag Archives: God on the Shelf

CHRISTIAN MEDITATION 2

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“Be Still an Know that I am God”

 A strong believer in Christian meditation, Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds Him”.  

Meditation involves coming to a stillness of spirit and a stillness of body. The extraordinary thing is that, in spite of all the distractions of the modern world, this silence is perfectly possible for all of us. To attain this silence and stillness we have to devote time, energy, and love.

The way we set out on this pilgrimage is to recite a short phrase, a word that today is commonly called a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a method of drawing us away from our own thoughts and concerns. The real work of meditation is to attain harmony of body, mind, and spirit. This is the aim given us by the psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God“. In meditation we turn the searchlight of consciousness off ourselves.

In meditation we are not thinking of or imagining God at all. In meditation we seek to do something immeasurably greater: we seek to be with God, to be with Jesus, to be with his Holy Spirit. In meditation we go beyond thoughts, even holy thoughts. Meditation is concerned not with thinking, but with being. Our aim for Christian prayer is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become the reality which gives meaning, shape, and purpose to everything we are. The task of meditation, therefore, is to bring our distracted mind to stillness, silence, and concentration.

To meditate, seek a quiet place, and find a comfortable upright sitting position. Close your eyes gently. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single work. We recommend the prayer phrase “Maranatha”. It is utterly simple. Say it like this, MA-RA-NA-THA. Four equally stressed syllables. Some people say the work in conjunction with their calm and regular breathing. The speed should be fairly slow and fairly rhythmical. Continue reading CHRISTIAN MEDITATION 2

PSYCHOLOGICAL WOUNDS 2

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BUILD MY SELF-ESTEEM

We may have psychological wounds that take a lifetime to be healed. We may suffer from poor self-esteem: we feel that we have a lot to lose if another person really got to know us and perhaps they will not like what they find. We may have scars caused by old betrayals and rejections that have not healed. We may have cultural and ethnic backgrounds that limit our capability for warmth and openness.

Few of us were raised with a sense of unconditional approval. Instead we were trained for the struggles of the world. We develop an ego — a false belief about ourselves. Our ego, our small separate self, separates us from love. By looking out for oneself, one deviates from love. We then begin slowly to fall apart with fear & anxiety — that we aren’t good enough.

However, it seems that in times of sorrow, God is mysteriously most accessible. In some profound sense, life is not ultimately absurd but rich with redemptive meaning, though we do not feel this nor can we explain it very well at the time.

It is the work of years that allow love to heal and forgive. The work of becoming love, and of becoming what God is, may be accomplished in an entire lifetime. In the end, it is upon completing these tasks of love that we will be judged.

So relax and feel love in your heart in situations that you meet. The world softens when you soften and the world loves you when you choose to love the world. Then when love matters more to us than anything, God, in turn, gives us an outpouring of His power. We are given His power to share with the world, to heal all wounds, to awaken all hearts. Continue reading PSYCHOLOGICAL WOUNDS 2

BLESSING OF ILLNESS 2

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BLESSING OF ILLNESS

God doesn’t punish us by sending illness to us. On the contrary, illness forces us to depend on God even though some people, who are ill, may feel bitter initially. In the end, illness forces us to focus on important things in our lives. It teaches us to pray. So there is a blessing of illness.

Real health is inner peace even during the experience of critical illness. This happens when we surrender our illness to God. It is almost as if our illness was a “wake-up call” for our lives to really start. Finding that essence is our return to God. It is the real purpose of our lives. So healing is a return to God and love.

We are spirits and not bodies; we are eternally healthy and we are incapable of sickness from the perspective of the spirit world. The mind is more powerful than the body. It sometimes blocks our capacity to find God. Instead it must be used as a springboard to soar into His arms. We must turn our eyes away from the sickness to the love that lies beyond it. No sickness can diminish our capacity to love.

Sickness is a reflection of our own love that needs to be reclaimed. We must let go of our thoughts of fear and embrace a world of hope and love. This surrender is so gentle you need only whisper it and all the spiritual power of God’s love will rush to your assistance and support. God does His part when we do ours. Continue reading BLESSING OF ILLNESS 2

LIFE AFTER DEATH  2

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KINGDOM OF GOD: LIFE AFTER DEATH

There is pseudo-scientific evidence for those who still wonder or who can never comprehend anything in the spiritual realm. There are well documented personal encounters in a life after death occurrence where people died for short periods of time and came back to relate their experiences: a voyage in a long tunnel toward a light that most believed it to be God. Their whole life passed before them in seconds while in the presence of a judgment of a Supreme Being. Thereafter they are momentarily reunited with people that had died previously in an unbelievable peaceful milieu from which they did not wish to leave. Obviously in this life-after-death experience, their spirit was always forced to return to their bodies.

Conversely in a few instances the spirit was drawn into a more foreboding place. In one true story, a recovering drug addict thanked his assailant, a drug enforcer for saving his life, the life of his wife and his two children. In the hospital emergency where he died for a half hour, his spirit witnessed a foul frightening abyss. This experience scared him so much that he eventually became a born-again Christian. He was enthusiastic to recall this story to the drug enforcer who had broken his arm in many places; he wanted to tell him that he forgave him.

Stories like this appeared in the book section of the Reader’s Digest collected by a heart surgeon. This was based on a book, LIFE AFTER DEATH, written about 250 people from all over the continent who experienced similar phenomena and who did not know each other. This article attracted so much attention that the Reader’s Digest devoted the book section of a subsequent month based on all the letters they were receiving.

A recent Angus Reid poll (Feb/96) found that most Canadians are interested in almost everything spiritual-except the churches.

LIFE AFTER DEATH  

LISTEN TO THIS SECRET                         

Continue reading LIFE AFTER DEATH  2

WITHOUT FAITH WE ARE WASTING TIME 2

Faith

FAITH — THE MAGIC OF BELIEVING: 

We can fritter away a great deal of energy with small worries and miss so much of what God has planned for us. Are we still tinkering with what is trivial or foolish?  In fact, without faith, we are wasting our time.

Are we missing out on real new possibilities? Would we not be much happier if we moved deeply with God into relationships and community with others?                                                                                                    
So why do people live out their lives in a way that suggests they are really waiting for their lives to be over in order to be with God for eternity?                                                                                                                                        
Why do people live out their lives in such a way as to become the persons that they wish to be in five or ten years? We are not talking about mentors whose lives we admire. We are talking about now, when we should accept who and what we are in the present? Some refer to this as the Sacrament of the Present Moment.                                          
It seems that we are content with shuffling along getting by with as little of life and experience as we possibly can. But if we live vigorously, the new life that becomes ours is none other than the life of God. God’s presence within life is very real and it is everywhere. One does not go outside life to find God.                                                                        
St. Augustine wrote that wisdom is not what is to come in the future, nor what has been in the past, but what is. Maybe we have to recognize these religious experiences in the matter of everyday with a little more sensitivity.

Can we sharpen the focus of the eyes of faith – in the ordinary? Faith is trusting in the force that moves the universe — it isn’t blind, just visionary.

The universe knows what it is doing and it is on our side if we have faith. Our attempts to direct this force merely interfere with it. In fact, without faith we are wasting time.  Continue reading WITHOUT FAITH WE ARE WASTING TIME 2

EVERY PROBLEM HAS ITS OWN SOLUTION  2

every problem has its own solution

I CAN WITH GOD

 With God we know that we can keep in touch with our own mind and we can get our own lives together.  Without God how else can we do it?  We meet daily stresses and make difficult choices.  Only later do we realize that all these events were God-led.  In fact, it is God that has had to grab us by the hair so that we are able to make new commitments and thereby live more wisely.  So every problem has its own solution.

A crisis may take us to our knees, our most humble thinking. If we had been there to begin with — if we had placed the power of God before our own, putting love before any personal ambition, then our problem may not have developed.

                                     
People don’t always “have it all together” all the time.  It is the wise person who can communicate their experiences of disruptions of relationships or ideas buried deep within.  Then God summons them and they respond and they become wiser.                                                                  
Every time that we are forced up against the absurd, we are compelled to deal with it, to change or grow.  The problem is that the absurd is so absurd – it does not make sense.

Every problem comes bearing its own solution. A crisis may take us to our knees, our most humble thinking. If we had been there to begin with — if we had placed the power of God before our own, putting love before any personal ambition, then our problem may not have developed.

In the end we begin to focus on real problems and situations.  We begin to abandon the fantasies that we have woven concerning how things should go. Continue reading EVERY PROBLEM HAS ITS OWN SOLUTION  2

MY PARTNER GOD 2

GOD ON THE SHELF

GOD IS MY PARTNER

Is our God sometimes put on a shelf to be feared and adored but safely removed from making much impact on our lives?  There are still those who think that they are loving are probably not. They often go around smiling .  They may give, but every scrap of this activity is based on their own needs.  Perhaps this God requires a more open mind and a lot of honesty.  We may still maintain our defenses where we hide from ourselves and others.  Hence we must learn whatever there is about ourselves that is shallow and in need of grace.

It seems that religion has become part of the formula for leading a socially acceptable neighborhood life.  The gospel, however, stands as a silent but powerful critic to a tamed and moderate religion:  “Go sell what you have…”

 Or does our God give life and breath and is nearer to humanity than we are to ourselves?  What does the scriptures mean when it is written that “in God we live, move and have our being”?  What kind of God do you envision?

A God above — guiding our lives benevolently or punitively

A God who is a friend and a guide— walking beside us

A God who manifests itself in beauty and goodness in people, events and nature

A God-within — that tents within us, walks through life with us, and  loves and suffers with us.  Love is what God is.  We are to become what God is.

Perhaps the God-within is a different kind of human experience from God experienced as the Thou above:

 ” May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith and may charity be the root and foundation of your life … so that you may attain to the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17 Untitled-1 Continue reading MY PARTNER GOD 2