ODDS AND ENDS
Here are some lectio divina ideas I have written down as a result of my contemplation of the Second Threshold of Spiritual Awareness, “What is the Center of My Life”. These are conversations I have had in the presence of God. My purpose in life, the Second Threshold is: “Have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 These eight words form the basis of my books and blogs. It is the center of my life, against which I have measured my spiritual success and constantly found myself wanting. As St. Paul says, I still strive to reach the end of the race and need daily assistance from God’s pure energy to enable me to maintain my faith. In no particular order, here are some of the thoughts that came from the Holy Spirit as I have struggled to listen and learn.
- My son, just because your road is rocky, doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road. “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 Life is not always easy and those who follow my commands may sometimes think nothing has meaning. Refresh your mind. Refocus on having the mind of Christ Jesus and all else will fall into place. I will help you if you follow in my footsteps.
- My son, just as Adam and Eve fell out of favor with me, it took Jesus to become human to redeem that which Adam lost. Romans 5:12-21, I Corinthians 15:45-49. Pride was the first sin, the original sin which Adam and Eve passed on to us. Jesus came to buy us back with the price being giving up his life freely so that we could become adopted sons and daughters once again. My son, follow the words of St. Benedict who said, “That in all things, may God be glorified.” That is your purpose in life, the First Threshold through which you passed when you were twelve years old.
- My son, when, on October 6, 2014, you were told that you had leukemia, my first words to you were the same that I gave to Mary, my mother. “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favor. “ Luke 1:28-31 Remember? Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I know that humans are frightened of a future they cannot see or sense.
- My son, you cannot have both peace and hatred in your heart at the same time. If hatred and anger are in your heart, all your actions follow. If you seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, everything else follows. You must have the peace of Christ in your heart so you can see with “the ear of the heart”, as St. Benedict says in his Prologue. I know you realize this and strive daily to take up your cross. The temptation to hatred and anger at others because they are not you is great and takes daily conversion of heart. I am with you as you journey to share my energy with you.
- My son, you have my energy to Hope in the Resurrection and life…Forever. In order for you to live in my presence, I created all humans in my own image and likeness. Don’t think of physical form and space or time. So that you could be with me, I sent my only son to show you how to live now, so that you could continue those relationships after you die. My son died on the cross to free you from the limitations of matter, space and time. You are not meant to live on earth past eight years or so, if you are lucky. With me, you live…Forever. Hope means you believe what I have spoken through the Prophets, The Church, the holy lives of Saints, that you have a place in my heart where all your cares and tears will be wiped away.
- My son, I have not left you as orphans, but rather as my adopted sons and daughters. I can’t wait to show you what has been prepared for you from before the Big Bang of creation.
- My son, the old covenant has matured into the new one. The key principle of the New Testament is found in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6 and Matthew 22:34. Love is the key that unlocks the door of true happiness and meaning.
- My son, do you struggle over a seeming contradiction between mercy and principles in Scripture? Love one another as I have loved you. Remember, the woman caught in adultery had no one to condemn her, but I told her go and sin no more. Do not remain in sin and on the wrong path but seek the truth and love without ceasing. Forgive your neighbor seventy times seven times.
- My son, whenever you pray in my name, be you sleepy, float off the subject, or become bored with thinking about me, know that this is part of prayer, the lifting of the heart and mind to God. It is your heart that is joined with my own heart that brings me great joy and happiness.
- My son, always give glory to the Father, as I have done. Join with me and the Holy Spirit in giving praise, honor and glory to the One Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is to Come, at the end of the ages.
- My son, I know you are sinful and do the things you do not want to do from time to time. Strive to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. We give you the energy and love you need to sustain you and keep yourself focused on the way, the truth and the life. It is the anxiety and struggle to believe that glorified God as much as the saying the words.
- My son, people, even those close to you, may tell you that you live in la-la land, are not living in reality, that all you want from other people at Church is attention, that you don’t mean what you say, that you are a failure in all that you do with me. Rejoice and be glad on that day, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
- My son, remember that… “I am the resurrection and the life. That if anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live and whoever live and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
- My son, I want you to be with me where I am, so that you may see the glory you have given me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)
* All Scripture quotes are taken from the New Jerusalem Bible.