Posts Tagged ‘Francis of Assisi’


poor

This past week’s of reflections from the Aquarian Gospel have wound around a similar theme of faith in action. That is actually living out that which we profess to live inwardly. In Franciscan Charism it is the sacred practice of open hand, knowing that which we are given is not ours, but we are stewards for a time until the true purpose comes to fruition.

This Facebook meme I posted three years ago screamed this, and came to mind as I re-read Levi’s re-imagining of these teachings have remained true to the way presented in Canonical Gospels found in the Aquarian Gospel 142 It is the wealthy asking what more they must do than follow rules and profess creeds. To which Jesus aptly replies:

22. The young man asked, To which commands did he refer?
23. And Jesus said, You shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not do adulterous things; you shall not falsely testify;
24. and you shall love your God with all your heart, and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.
25. The man replied, These things I have observed from youth; what lack I yet?
26. And Jesus said, One thing you lack; your heart is fixed on things of earth; you are not free.
27. Go forth and sell all that you have, and give your money to the poor, and come follow me, and you shall have eternal life.
28. The man was grieved at what the master said; for he was rich; he hid his face and went in sorrow on his way.
29. And Jesus looked upon the sorrowing man and said, It is so hard for men with hoarded wealth to enter through the door into the kingdom of the soul.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:22-29

The wealth wasn’t the challenge for being in unity. Look at the word: HOARD. That is keeping things beyond logic and reason, beyond usefulness simply for having. That is what wealth had become, something that must be so held on to it could no longer be used for its intended purpose.

Saint Paul writes to Timothy as tradition teaches:

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

-1 Timothy 6:10 (New Living Translation)

So then what is the purpose of wealth?

To spend, to help, to grow, to live, to build—

to

L-O-V-E.

So this ruler was unwilling to let that which held his soul in EGO to be released so he could finally have freedom and understand what are tools, and what is unity. He had made his tools his Holy Mystery, and for that he was truly drowning in this life.

Are we ready to rediscover what is the true rhythm of life?

Where do we travel?

Are we the Rich Man or are we Lazarus?

35. A rich man lived in splendid state; he wore the finest garments men could make; his boards were loaded with the costliest viands of the land.
36. A beggar, blind and lame, whose name was Lazarus, was wont to sit beside the waste gate of this home that he might share with dogs the refuse from the rich man’s board.
37. It came to pass that Lazarus died, and angels carried him away unto the bosom of our father Abraham.
38. The rich man also died, and he was buried in a costly tomb; but in the purifying fires he opened up his eyes dissatisfied.
39. He looked and saw the beggar resting peacefully in the bosom of his father Abraham, and in the bitterness of his soul he cried,
40. My father Abraham, look down in mercy on your son; I am tormented in these flames.
41. Send Lazarus, I beseech, that he may give me just a sup of water to cool my parched tongue.
42. But Abraham replied, My son, in mortal life, you had the best things of the earth and Lazarus had the worst, and you would not give him a cup of water there, but drove him from your door.
43. The law must be fulfilled, and Lazarus now is comforted, and you are paying what you owe.
44. Besides, there is a great gulf fixed between your zone and us, and if I would I could not send Lazarus to you, and you cannot come up to us till you have paid your debts.
45. Again the man in anguish said, O father Abraham, I pray, send Lazarus back to earth, and to my father’s house, that he may tell my brothers who are yet in life, for I have five of them, about the horrors of this place, lest they come down to me and not to you.
46. And Abraham replied, They have the words of Moses and the seers, let them hear them.
47. The man replied, They will not hearken to the written word; bit if a man would go up from the grave they might believe.
48. But Abraham replied, If they hear not the words of Moses and the seers they would not be persuaded even though one from the dead stood in their midst.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:35-48

St. Francis of Assisi has been derided as non-scholarly for many a century, in comparison to other monastic movements ala Jesuits that focused more on scholarship. But what Francis taught was that each gospel story need not be only understood, but internalized, and then externally lived out through almost muscle memory before moving onto the next. For he knew the story is more than the words spoken or on the page. The story is life. And life lived is how we connect-unify with the Holy, and nieghbour, as the Shema tells us through Love that resonates from self.

So where does this lead us? You? Me?

To simply answer a question, what does it mean to internalize and externalize this story for us, here and now?

Are we ready for such a leap from page to life?

 

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And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against  arobber, with swords and 

clubs to capture me? 49 qDay after day I was with you in the temple rteaching, and you did not seize me. But slet the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 tAnd they all left him and fled.51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but ua linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Mark 14:48-52

 

Tradition teaches that the young man is John Mark, author of the gospel of Mark (earliest written on the Canonical gospels) whose parents owned the Upper Room that Jesus’ community had gathered in for the Last Supper. A turning point in their lives. A new beginning, while they entered the darkest hours. Having fled the oppressive authorities and entered what is termed today Holy or Vigil Saturday.  A day that many overlook with exclamations of Friday is here, but Saturday is coming and not realizing the full scope of the journey.

Francis of Assisi shared a mystical experience where he literally believed he had transported back in time and entered the story as the naked boy.  Think about that. Astral projection and time travel, yet how would it shape your life to see the moment authentically and realize that fear would over run as well? This is the time of the Saturday. A time to reflect.

For you see it comes into a time to truly reflect on the life lived. In the passage that is to come from the Aquarian Gospel, some may say it reflects the Akashic records. That which one can tap into for understanding/experiencing their past lives.

This will become a point of consternation for those that do not hold to reincarnation as a staple of the spiritual journey, but then they are missing the rebirth of the Judeo-Christian culture. For as John Shelby Spong, retired Bishop of Newark, would put out the life lived can be viewed in thirds. Each third marking a rebirth. A renewal.

Holy Saturday is time for one, as with Brother Jesus’ earliest community to enter a time of reflection and release. A time to look at one’s journey and realize that we are a culmination of all the good-bad-in different adventures and voices up to this point. But it is only up to this point. For like the celebration of new life to come with Easter Sunday (Spring Solstice). It is time to celebrate our new life by releasing the old.

Before you enter reading and meditating on the words that are to follow. Take a moment to prepare your space at a table/desk. Clear it of anything except some blank paper, a box of colours (crayons, markers, pencil crayons and/or pastels) but do not leave them in the box—dump them out into random chaos upon the table top. Lower the lighting to simply a few candles, this is how the ancients did their spiritual work and sometimes by removing artificial electric lights a different aspect of creativity can be accessed.

Slowly enter into meditative breathing as you read these words:

The Christines go to a place apart to pray. Jesus warns them against the leaven of the Pharisees and reveals the fact that all thoughts and deeds are recorded in God’s Book of Remembrance. Man’s responsibility and God’s care.

1. Now, when the feast was finished Jesus with the foreign masters and the twelve, with Mary, Miriam and a band of loyal women who believed in Christ, went to a place apart to pray.
2. And when their silence ended Jesus said, Be on your guard; the leaven of the Pharisees is being thrown in every measure of the meal of life.
3. It is a poison that will taint whatever it may touch; and it will blight the soul as sure as fumes of the Diabolos; it is hypocrisy.
4. The Pharisees seem fair in speech, but they are diabolical in heart.
5. And then they seem to think that thought is something they can lock within themselves.
6. They do not seem to know that every thought and wish is photographed and then preserved within the Book of Life to be revealed at any time the masters will.
7. That which is thought, or wished, or done in darkest night shall be proclaimed in brightest day;
8. That which is whispered in the ear within the secret place shall be made known upon the streets.
9. And in the judgment day when all the books are opened up, these men, and every other man, shall be a-judged, not by what they’ve said or done,
10. But by the ways in which they used the thoughts of God, and how the ethers of eternal love were made to serve;
11. For men may make these ethers serve the carnal self, or serve the holy self within.
12. Behold, these men may kill the body of this flesh; but what of that? the flesh is but a transitory thing, and soon, by natural law, will pass;
13. Their slaughter only hastens nature’s work a little time.
14. And when they kill the flesh they reach their bounds of power; they cannot kill the soul.
15. But nature is the keeper of the soul as of the flesh, and in the harvest time of soul, the trees of life are all inspected by the judge;
16. And every tree that bears no fruit of good is plucked up by the roots and cast into the flames.
17. Who then shall you regard? Not him who has the power to kill the flesh, and nothing more.
18. Regard the mighty one who has the power to dissolve both soul and body in the flames of nature’s fire.
19. But man is king; he may direct his thoughts, his loves, his life, and gain the prize of everlasting life.
20. And you are not abandoned in your struggle for the crown of life. Your Father lives, and you shall live.
21. God has a care for every living thing. He numbers stars, and suns, and moons;
22. He numbers angels, men and every thing below; the birds, the flowers, the trees;
23. The very petals of the rose he knows by name, and every one is numbered in his Book of Life;
24. And every hair upon your head, and every drop of blood within your veins, he knows by number and by rhythm.
25. He hears the birdling’s call, the cricket’s chirp, the glow worm’s song; and not a sparrow falls to earth without his knowledge and consent.
26. A sparrow seems a thing of little worth; yea, five of them are worth two farthings in the market place, and yet God cares for every one of them.
27. Will he not care much more for you who bear his image in your soul?
28. Fear not to make confession of the Christ before the sons of men, and God will own you as his sons and daughters in the presence of the host of heaven.
29. If you deny the Christ before the sons of men, then God will not receive you as his own before the hosts of heaven.
30. And more I say, Fear not when men shall bring you up before the rulers of the land to answer for your faith.
31. Behold, the Holy Breath shall teach you in your hour of need what you should say, and what is best leave unsaid.
32. And then the Christines went again to teach the multitudes.

Aquarian Gospel 109

As you let the words roll into your being. Take time to simply close your eyes. Allow your hands to seek out the colours and the paper without judgment, without earthly vision. Begin moving them on the page. Slowly open your eyes as you work the colours and images out.

What is coming through?

What is being revealed about your journey?

What is to be released as you complete the image of colours?

What has the Holy Mystery released from your past?

Now take a moment to slowly enter a meditative breath again. This is the past, this is what has brought you to this point. Take a moment to acknowledge the journey. To thank it for bringing you hear, honouring it.

Now take a moment.

Are you ready to release it?

If so, light it on fire with a candle and watch it burn away.

The past is simply the stepping stones to now. Now is the path revealed for the future.

Are you able to watch the ashes fly and enter the now?


It is funny that in Genesis 1 for those of a Judeo-Christian-Islamic belief that the Holy Mystery created Male-Female in Its image. Each tradition, and religions before and after, have used many words, images, and rites to share what the Holy Breath means in each of us. Yet what cannot be lost in translation is that all of us carry that divine spark. All of us, although different (yes we are all unique), yet we are all unified within one river. We just choose to drink from different wells.

Francis of Assisi knew this, when after returning from the Crusades wounded, having his San Damiano moment, and moving into the mendicant life with brothers and sisters—those called to celibacy, those called to family life, all included—would travel back to the Crusades to open peace prayers with the Sultan.

But why on this Good Friday do I reflect on this idea of inclusion, equality. Simple, we tend to focus on what happens today. The oppressive powers of control. Political and Religious, stand united to finally silence in their belief a thorn in their side. Jesus was one of many active “messiahs” at the time. The difference being unlike the Zealots or types like Barabbas it wasn’t acts of terror, or getting those to enter into slaughter as the legions would pour out to silence them. Brother Jesus hit with something deeper: B-E-L-O-N-G-I-N-G.

No more labels.

A new order.

A new community.

Better yet.

A new family.

That was the danger of Brother Jesus, it was what 1200ish years later Brother Francis would tap into—belonging…family. And now 2000 years on this Good Friday, we need to tap into as well. It is not about breaking down separate groups, although in moments they have their time, it is about a family gathering, like the old United Church Hymn “Part of the Family.”

And Brother Jesus knew this was not something to be simply preached, it had to be lived. This is where Levi’s writings in the early 1900’s strike into the heart the Gospel writers were trying to get to. For historically we know that there was 7 women that worked diligently to support Jesus financially (and many others) while the men went forward and preached/healed and worked to craft this new family out of love.

Nothing can be clearer:

Now, many women who possessed much wealth, and abode in other towns of Galilee, implored that Jesus and the twelve, together with the masters from the foreign lands, would thither go and preach and heal.

Aquarian Gospel 105:1

Then will the Holy Breath again breathe on your fires of life, and fan them to a living flame.
Then she will open up the doors again, and you may let her in to sup with you for evermore, or you may slight her once again, and then again.

Aquarian Gospel 105:37-38

The Holy Breath, or Holy Ghost/Spirit is a part of the Trinity in Christendom, that is tied to the ancient ideal of Wisdom, which was also a female. It was the divine feminine aspect coming back. We have seen this moving forward since the early church with the visions/interventions of Mary of Nazareth and the message of hope she brings for those who cannot see how new oppressive powers have twisted her son’s life and teachings.

For Francis, this reminder was seen with Clare of Assisi, in her run from wealth to him. Her surrender of the “carnal” world, to become closer in union with the Holy Mystery. Yet she also took up Francis’ fight for equality. This was a time when women were not allowed their own voice. Religious orders of women were to be sequestered away from the world for prayer only. Clare and her sisters were feisty, they knew the call that Brother Jesus had laid out.

They left their cloister.

They fed the hungry. Healed the sick. Visited the prisoner. Taught and loved. Laughed and prayed. And Clare stood firm that like her soul companion, Francis had written a rule for his Friars, so shall she write one with her Sisters for transfiguration. Two popes actively fought against this woman. A third tried.

Why do I say a Third tried? Because what is truly out of the heart of the Holy Mystery cannot be silenced.

A group of old clerical men were dispatched to the cloister to finally silence this woman, and if they could not heal as they said in Jesus’ name, arrest them and well, do what was done with heretics back in the day.

The men arrived and were welcomed by the sisters with the utmost hospitality. As is with old men, their bodies ached, they had medical issues that their stubbornness would not let them admit to. They came to have dinner, as it was a simple mendicant cloister that gave away that which was not essential, dinner was simple stew and bread.

Clare called the group together in a circle, they joined hands, and she said the blessing.

What happened during the blessing is amazing. As she prayed on the bread arose crosses. As the crosses arose, the old aching men, felt at ease. Their pains vanished, their medical conditions healed.

They were in shock, struck dumb until the could return to the Holy See and report what they had experienced in this cloister of inclusion and belonging. These women could heal. The Pope had no choice but the cede to Clare’s wish and allow for them to leave cloister and continue on with the work Brother Jesus called them too.

(Yes this is the story of Hot Cross buns at Easter as well).

So keep in mind the many things that have happened with women’s rights, civil rights, equal rights—(insert group lacking rights here) …basically human rights. Think of how different our world would be if we had simply continued to live the way Brother Jesus laid out, the way that had gotten him executed, how different our world would be?

To close, take time to meditate on this example from chapter 112:

Chapter 112

The Christines in the home of Mary of Magdala. Jesus calls his disciples, “Little Flock,” and charges them to place their affections on divine things. He teaches them regarding the inner life.

1. And Jesus left the multitudes and went with his disciples up to Mary’s home; and as they sat about the board to dine he said,
2. My little flock, fear not; it is your Father’s will that you shall rule the kingdom of the soul.
3. A ruler in the house of God is servant of the Lord of Hosts, and man cannot serve God except by serving men.
4. A servant in the house of God cannot be servant in the house of wealth; nor in the synagogue of sense.
5. If you are tied to lands, or bonds, or wealth of earth, your hearts are knit to things of earth; for where your treasures are there are your hearts.
6. Dispose of all your wealth, distribute it among the poor, and put your trust in God, and you nor yours will ever come to want.
7. This is a test of faith, and God will not accept the service of faithless one.
8. The time is ripe; your Master comes upon the clouds; the eastern sky is glowing with his presence now.
9. Put on reception robes; gird up your loins; trim up your lamps and fill them well with oil, and be prepared to meet your Lord; when you are ready, he will come.
10. Thrice blessed are the servants who are ready to receive their Lord.
11. Behold, for he will gird himself, and will prepare a sumptuous feast for every one, and he himself will serve.
12. It matters not when he shall come; it may be at the second watch; it may be at the third; but blessed are the servants who are ready to receive.
13. You cannot leave your door ajar and go to sleep, and wait in blissful ignorance of the fleeting time;
14. For thieves will surely come and take away your goods and bind and carry you away to robbers’ dens.
15. And if you are not carried forth, the Master when he comes will not regard a sleeping guard as friend, but as a foe.
16. Beloved, these are times when every man must be awake and at his post, for none can tell the hour nor the day when man shall be revealed.
17. And Peter said, Lord is this parable for us, or for the multitudes?
18. And Jesus, Why need you ask? God is not a man that he should show respect for one and cast another off.
19. Whoever will may come and gird himself, and trim his lamp, and find a turret in the tower of life where he may watch, and be prepared to meet the Lord.
20. But you, as children of the light, have come, and you have learned the language of the court, and may stand forth and lead the way.
21. But you may wait, and think that you are ready to receive the Lord, and still he does not come.
22. And you may grow impatient and begin to long for carnal ways again, and may begin to exercise your rule;
23. To beat, and otherwise maltreat the servants of the house, and fill yourselves with wine and meat.
24. And what will say the Lord when he shall come?
25. Behold, for he will cast the faithless servant from his house; and many years will come and go before he can be cleansed, and be thought worthy to receive his Lord.
26. The servant who has come into the light, who knows the Master’s will and does it not; the trusted guard who goes to sleep within the turret of the tower of life,
27. Shall feel the lash of justice many times, while he who does not know his Master’s will and does it not, will not receive the graver punishment.
28. The man who comes and stands before the open door of opportunity and does not enter in, but goes his way,
29. Will come again and find the door made fast, and when he calls, the door will open not,
30. The guard will say, you had the pass-word once, but you threw it away and now the Master knows you not; depart.
31. And verily I say to you, To whom much has been given, much is required; to whom a little has been given, a little only is required

How different from the world they lived? A house owned by a woman, Peter and the men being guests.  Take time to render this in your journal whether you choose art imagery or writing. Work it out through the heart of Peter and the Heart of Mary of Magdala?

Contemplate what has emerged. What has been shown to you of your Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine? How more complete do you feel?

As one Divine Soul:

Where is the Holy Mystery guiding you next?

Are you ready to step into more unity?


Mendicant. It is Latin, and as such appears to hold airs of awe-ness. Yet when the word is translated it means open hand or to be more abrupt how it was used back in the 13th century for Francis of Assisi and his circle of friends—pan handler, beggar. That which we attempt to continually criminalize today. Those that seek a share of blessings of others, and then continue to spread out from there.

For Franciscans Mendicant is a call to remember where the blessings and possessions flow from. The Source of the Holy Mystery that will continue to provide, given that the flow is continued within the blessings to continually move out and not store up.

The teaching of the Exodus Story as the people wandered, Quail and Manna was sent each day to be gathered, on the 6th day, there was more so an extra portion could be gathered. When there was attempt to horde, it rotted.

In Acts 5:1-10 the physician Luke recounts this tale of the early church:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

A desire to remind the community the source of blessings, the choice to openly share, the need not to lie or horde. The choice to live out of the love of the Holy Mystery within. If you would like a bonus spiritual practice, take this story and write it from the perspective of Ananias or Sapphira, what is revealed about your own journey?

These thoughts bring us into meditating upon the Aquarian gospel 111:

Jesus teaches. A man requests him to compel his brother to deal justly. Jesus reveals the divine law, the power of truth and the universality of possessions. Relates the parable of the rich man and his abundant harvest.

1. And Jesus taught the multitudes; and while he spoke a man stood forth and said,
2. Rabboni, hear my plea: My father died and left a large estate; my brother seized it all, and now refuses me my share.
3. I pray that you will bid him do the right, and give what is mine.
4. And Jesus said, I am not come to be a judge in such affairs; I am no henchman of the court.
5. God sent me not to force a man to do the right.
6. In every man there is a sense of right; but many men regard it not.
7. The fumes that rise from selfishness have formed a crust about their sense of right that veils their inner light, so that they cannot comprehend nor recognise the rights of other men.
8. This veil you cannot tear away by force of arms, and there is naught that can dissolve this crust but knowledge and love of God.
9. While men are in the mire, the skies seem far away; when men are on the mountain top, the skies are near, and they can almost touch the stars.
10. Then Jesus turned and to the twelve he said, Behold the many in the mire of carnal life!
11. The leaven of truth will change the miry clay to solid rock, and men can walk and find the path that leads up to the mountain top.
12. You cannot haste; but you can scatter forth this leaven with a generous hand.
13. When men have learned the truth that bears upon its face the law of right, then they will haste to every man his dues.
14. Then to the people Jesus said, Take heed, and covet not. The wealth of men does not consist in what they seem to have–in lands, in silver and in gold.
15. These things are only borrowed wealth. No man can corner up the gifts of God.
16. The things of nature are the things of God, and what is God’s belongs to every man alike.
17. The wealth of soul lies in the purity of life, and in the wisdom that descends from heaven.
18. Behold, a rich man’s ground brought forth abundantly; his barns were far too small to hold his grain, and to himself he said,
19. What shall I do? I must not give my grain away; I must not let it go to waste; and then he said,
20. This will I do; I will tear down these little barns and built up larger ones; there I will store away my grain and I will say,
21. My soul take now your ease; you have enough for many years; eat, drink and fill yourself and be content.
22. But God looked down and saw the man; he saw his selfish heart and said,
23. You foolish man, this night your soul will quit its house of flesh; then who will have your garnered wealth?
24. You men of Galilee, lay not up treasures in the vaults of earth; accumulated wealth will blight your soul.
25. God does not give men wealth to hoard away in secret vaults. Men are but stewards of God’s wealth, and they must use it for the common good.
26. To every steward who is true to self, to other men, to every thing that is, the Lord will say, Well done.

Get comfortable, and prepare to enter the story. Slow your breathing down. Feel the chair you are in melt away. Feel the room fall away. Move back into the time of the ancestors. In the gathered market place, you have travelled from a small centre to hear the travelling labourer turned teacher. The words you have heard of this man speaking have shaken up the wealthy in your town, and scare the religious leaders.

 

  1. As you hear Brother Jesus for the first time, let the words truly sink in. When were you lost in the mire? When were you like the farmer trying to horde away all the crops and letting them rot instead of trusting provision. What emotions does it bring up? What memory really sticks out? Sit with the memory and what happened within it? What is revealed of your heart in these moments in your journey?
  2. As you hear Brother Jesus for the second time, let the words truly sink in. When has the clay slipped away to allow you to ascend the mountain top? What memories come up in the moment when you know you were in sync with the Holy Mystery, a true mendicant? Stay with the feelings. What opens within your soul?
  3. As the words tumble from Brother Jesus’ lips a third time Let the heart of the Holy Mystery become one with yours. Where are you being called to wealth and wisdom within your vocational life? Sit with this call and let it resonate within you. Are you ready to take the first step?

Slowly bring your breathing back to normal. Feel the dust vanish. The noises of the market place vanish. You travel forward in time, feel the room reshape around you. Your chair again. When you are ready open your eyes.

The call is as simple as when Jesus offered Peter the keys to the kingdom. He stands in your heart, all is connected. The Cosmic Christ offering you the keys to the kingdom. Are you ready:

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e]loosed in heaven.”

-Matthew 16:17-19

To answer are you ready for your call, re-read the passage above from Matthew, only replace Simon, Son of Jonah, with your first name and who your parents are, replace Peter with your name. Now re-read it 3 times, pausing each time to let the words and sentiment truly set in.

Our Brother Jesus has laid out a path of unity and oneness for the family of humanity, it is simply bound together in L-O-V-E. The Cosmic Christ holds the key to unlock Universal love for you.

Are you open to stepping out of materialism, and into the Holy Mystery?


John XXIII called for Vatican II to open up the windows of the musty old church and let the transforming love of the Holy Spirit blow on through. Part of this process was calling the Religious Orders back to their original Charism, at least on paper, for practice does tend to strip away institutional control.

Why does this thought pop into my mind? It has been two years or so since I have had anything to affiliate with the regular religious church. Although as Butler-Bass writes I would not call myself spiritual, not religious and I am both and. I am Spiritual-Religious. It is what drives my journey, and can frustrate me to no end. In Church History class at seminary I remember bombing an assignment to look at the historical documents of our church history (those tied to your family) and see how they shaped you. A very creedal exercise for an evangelical school if you will. It was a disconnected mess, for I knew the works that shaped my thinking, but the rest was a so what per-function.

And reading Richard Rohr (2014) Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi reminded me…my Franciscan spirituality is what rubs “churchdom” wrong for it is not based around creedal theology, but since Francis first rebuild San Damiano, walked out naked from city centre…it is about praxis. Just like the early church Paul wrote about before the gospel writers tried to shape something more, before Constantine institutionalized. It is about living a life of love.

It is the reminder I needed as I started back into my cultural church roots. Not saying I will be taking a pulpit anytime soon (although to the Baptist church that offered me a ministry, thank you, one day I may be there again)…but through reflecting on Living the Questions, reading some Richard Rohr, Sister Simone Campbell, Diana Butler Bass, Matthew Fox, Marcus Borg, John Crossan, John Shelby Spong and Tutu/Dalai Lama’s Book of Joy, and listening to Jay Bakker’s podcast of Dec. 11 on Galatians Again and Again part One..will the Spirit is being renewed. The Cosmic Christ is the meta-narrative that resonates, and the source is love.

This is where spiritual homes are for me. Shaped on practice. Do they live out love?

Do they include?

There is much pain in the world, but I remember in my seminary days a quote from Spong that essentially stated I will no longer enter into arguments about equality, love and proper ecology…this is where my faith begins and where the conversation must start at for change to happen (probably a brutalized paraphrase, but I hope the heart is there).

What the labourer born to a single mum, executed for preaching justice, equality and love that shook and empire…this itinerant preacher/teacher, lover of creation, showing the way to living within and out of the source Love…the true resurrection is when this resonates out of our daily actions… this is the story of the Brother Jesus.

Yes, once we realize that titles mean nothing, that wealth should be used to bless not oppress (Thank you Brueggemann for your amazing insights into the Exodus story as the release of the gospel of scarcity that Pharaoh used to control and enslave, into the Gospel of abundance and Neighbour that Yahweh had Moses lead the way in…)… then we can truly understand what it is to love our neighbour.

Then the Spirit has blown through and ignited love. For from heart to heart what we see in the world is simply beloved family.
And the “big” social justice questions that are debated become quite simple, for it is no longer talk of money it becomes even simpler: How do we care for grandma/grandpa,brother/sister, mum and dad? For we all have one of these roles in someone’s life, and that is what the conversation is about.

That is the original blessing of leaving the Garden in Genesis 3 when God gave Adam and Eve the world to care for and be blessed by and with. It was the original blessing of love, place and belonging. It was shining the light on human development into the roles of family and what that means for each one of us.

So…will we let the Spirit blow on through? Will we let Love renew and transform our world?

It begins, as it did 2000 years ago…with one person simply saying one word in answer:

Yes.


This is the first of a series of reflections coming from a book study that we are involved in with the Universal Church of the Master Alberta. It is an exploration of the 1908 metaphysical text The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ

 

  1. That naught can make them one but Love; that God so loved the world that he has clothed his son in flesh that man may comprehend.
    21.The only Saviour of the world is love, and Jesus, son of Mary, comes to manifest that love to men.

                                                -Aquarian Gospel 7:20-21

There is a golden cord that resonates throughout this Gospel, that ties through the sacred texts of eternity, and for long time readers of this site will recognize the word as a basis for my faith: L-O-V-E.

Please ignore the term “men” or “man” it is not about only one gender being saved or mattering, it is the terminology of 1908, and we cannot let that hold us up for these terms were used universally for all humanity (and this is a universal teaching).

It is true in each cycle of life on this planet there is a prophet/apostle/teacher that emerges to lead the way back to the one true source of life, that being love. Think of the ancient mystics, the shamans, the medicine people, clerics, heroes of lore, and current spiritual masters… which ones can you name and why?

Mother Teresa. Clare & Francis of Assisi. Dalai Lama. Martin Luther King Jr. Louis Riel. Desmond Tutu. To name but a few.

This was laying out that within this cycle of teachers came Jesus and his Mum. I say Mary, as mentioned in earlier e-books and talks, Mary since her ascension, has had many appearances that shatter ideological and divisive ways of the name Jesus, to point people back to the true source of Love. This cumulative work that shows a take on the life of Jesus—a story, allegory, metaphor, that ties everything together in love points us to what the Gospels were saying in the New Testament and Gnostics, not to mention other texts. Strip away the cultural laws, to the core message and that is the core message that works, not necessarily the literal black and white words on the page.

So with this golden cord, what are you choosing today?

What is love lived in you going to look like?


It is highly entertaining that many spiritual tomes throughout history have been written in regards to simplicity. One of my spiritual roots that allowed me to rise, was the Franciscan ideal of “mendicant”-the open hand, used as a slur, but empowered through the idea that it is all God’s…so let it flow.

Yet how often does one take the idea of flow and the new, releasing the old, into their on-line presence?

How often do you enter mindfulness and truly look at who you are following on Twitter? Who you are a friend with on Facebook? What groups or likes you have on Facebook? Or as I did this last week updated my blog to better reflect where I am now in life.

So as a spiritual practice of simplicity within this new reality, take time to reflect on your social media presence and does it still truly reflect you? Go back through like you would the closet and basement with the clean up idea?

Are you ready for 21st century simplicity practice?