Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Mysteries’


Iconogrial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 3, 2013 @ Unity of Calgary (10 a.m.)

            In the Christianities of the world, the most venerated person, after Jesus of Nazareth, is his mum, Mary. It is amazing when you think about her, why would so many turn to her? Why as recently as 50 years ago would the largest group of Christians debate whether or not to make her a co-redeemer with Christ?  Is this peasant girl turned Mother of God so important?

Simple, in the patriarchal and misogynistic cover up that began in the 300’s with first Constantine, and then followed by others as the message of peace, love, hope, faith, and joy was co-opted for political gains…the mystical, the grandmother tradition was ripped out of it. Even it seems in more progressive thought that has emerged within spiritualities in the late nineteenth to early 21st centuries we still tend to focus overtly on the masculine when it comes to naming something, or if we work with the feminine we leave it very mystical and out there.

This morning we are going to get down and dirty with what has become the archetype for the Goddess, the feminine side of God, once in Hebrew yore known simply as Wisdom, or has a name now, a name that we can claim and should claim as part of our story. That name is Mary.

Who is she now? She is an apparition that has been appearing to individuals and communities since twenty years before her death. The first recorded sighting of her is in 40 CE to James, a follower of the Way, and she has continued since then. She has appeared most famously in Lourdes and Guatemala, but do you know she started appearing 10 years before hostilities broke out in the former Yugoslavia and all the way throughout the brutality of war, genocide, and rape there attempting to get anyone from any side to listen to the message of the creator for the children. The message? Well it was the same one she brought to Rwanda as well.

That we as a people need to journey deep into the heart of the Holy Mystery to drink deeply of the divine love, and then live this love, all inclusive, all welcoming, rending of labels love out into our world as the antidote for the spiritual illness of hatred that has manifested itself and is destroying us.

A message that she has been resonating with since the First Century CE, a message she spreads in her appearing by taking on the form of whatever is familiar to those in the area whether it be a hag, witch, fairy queen, a divine light, a young woman, a crone, whatever form you can imagine a woman being in to be heard in whichever community comes to mind is how the Holy Mystery sends Mary to bring the message, the same message her son brings when we enter into the Cosmic Christ and it enters into us, unfortunately the political whims of the world have co-opted, abused, and destroyed the name of the simple labourer’s son from Nazareth, so that it is the in the peasant woman who found her voice we hear the clarion call for Love and peace.

So obviously this woman must have a powerful story.  There is much out there about Mary one can Google, or look up, read, even meditations, prayers and services. But it is within the ancient stories we discover who this person is when set in the proper context.

For those of us in New Thought, the Fillmore’s were a product of their generation, and as such the archetypes are tied to the 12 males that walked with Jesus, who was the Cosmic Consciousness the archetypes fed into, these are:  Faith, Love, Strength, Wisdom, Power, Imagination, Purity, Understanding, Will, Order, Enthusiasm, and Life. Those are the twelve powers tied exclusively to the male disciples, yet as you hear about the life of Mary, and then experience Mary’s yes for yourself, the question I pose is simply, is she only one power or is she like her son, the culmination of all? The true twinning of Male/Female…the Holy Grail for some.

She lived in a small town, in a nation that was under occupation by an Empire. Where the people were seen as nothing more than livestock, as a girl, until she could bear children she was seen as a burden on her family, for occupiers she was seen as nothing more than a sex toy if they chose. Once of child bearing age or even before her father would enter a business relationship with another man who wished to purchase the daughter on the hope that a) she could bear children, b) that child be a son. Other than that her role was to take care of the home, even when widowed and the elder son cared for her, it was still up to her to keep the home.

This was an agreement by and for men, that the child was expected to abide by. Once signed she was betrothed to this man, and any visitations or signs of impropriety with a male would end in her either a) being cast out of the city walls, or b) taken before the patriarchal religious authorities and stoned to death.

A world where the faith was passed down though at the apron hem of the mothers, aunts and grandmothers to all genders, until the boys became men at age 12, and at age 30 were expected to wed, move into the main house, and build on attachments to care for their parents and if need be, wives parents. Yet the germination of faith started from the women.

This is a child who never was asked what she thought, was only told what to do. We shall in a moment experience the time she found her voice.

But if you ever enter into the gospel stories of Mary, watch her, she is an amazing woman. Struggling with her own challenges and fears, she goes and helps her aged and pregnant cousin to deliver a prophet into the world even while her betrothed contemplates having her stoned to death or simply cast out to the sex trade workers outside the city walls for the transgression of carrying a child not his; she pushes her son to act out of love and hospitality at a wedding feast; she follows him as a world executes her child, not a prophet or a messiah to her, but her child…as they beat him, and lynch him. She watches it all, and she buries him. She holds his movement together by finding the right people to become leaders. This peasant girl from a town probably no bigger than Bassano, Alberta from a family lower than labour class as it is a labourer that purchases her to be a child bride. Yet it is the simplicity of her strength that shakes the world from its oppression, and that she continues to shine her light into the darkness of destruction, death, feminine, plague, hatred and war and shines brighter still to watch those answer the call of love into the Holy Mystery, and living that love out to transform their world.

We are going to take a moment to enter into that love ourselves this morning. It is a spiritual exercise from Ignatius of Loyola for studying sacred texts, whatever you find sacred texts or music to be.  You hear or read it three times. Each time we rest with a question and seek an answer.  This story is called “The Annunciation” it is the story of the Holy asking Mary to bear a child. My family always ponders how many girls said no because they knew the outcast they would become? But that is a question to ponder another day.

Get comfortable in your seat. Close your eyes. Slow your breath, discovering your rhythm and becoming one with the environment around you. Let your mind cleanse itself, do not worry if a thought pops up, acknowledged it, and then place it aside until after. Feel the pew and this building melt away, feel the dust of the old world, the bustle of livestock, chattering of children working and playing, women talking, perhaps the clang of soldiers moving throughout the village. You are entering into the announcement, you are a thirteen year old peasant girl, who has just been bought by a 50ish year old man to bear his child.

As you prepare to hear the story for the first time, sit and listen, which of the 12 powers are you seeing in action? And let that shape your contemplation of the story.

Read Luke 1:26-39

As you prepare to hear the story a second time, what images are formed or memories surface in your mind as you hear these words? Let you sit with these images/memories and see how the Holy uses them.

For the third and final hearing, can you feel Mary’s anxiety or trepidation to say yes, when was there a time in your life that seizing your yes in love meant a harder road? Sit with that memory and know that, like Mary, you are transforming this world.

Slowly bring your breath back to normal, feel the pew beneath you, the dust melt off you, the sounds of the village vanish, the sounds of the city and this room greet you. Bring your breathing rhythmically up to its normal pace, open your eyes.

Welcome back Mary, how shall we let love Reign in this world?


StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass JohnTheBaptist Paul

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass JohnTheBaptist Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stop! Read no further until you have read:

Two weeks after the Anglican Massacre.

The Christianities are still reeling from the Anglican Massacre. Nearly 100 people dead with the bombing of the Cathedral, the more tragic response though for the branch of the Tree of Christ, is that the Anglican Church in Canada announced the dissolution of and the sale of properties of the Diocese, leaving the parishners of this church in a sea of grief and trauma that my former employer in the Roman Catholic Diocese was more than willing to sweep in and pick up converts to show a healthy growth this quarter.

The hot water of the shower hit my face and cleanly shaved head, running down. First time that I was thinking with a clear head since that night when we failed to save lives, but we succeeded in catching the killer, Dwayne Douglas an elder in a congregation that voted on whether or not individuals were “Christian” enough to join their churches. He played holy well, and no one realized the socio path they had allowed to climb the ranks of the lay leadership of their church. Although the cult like status this congregation afforded their pastor was creepy and actually at the announcement of the killer being from there, a member contacted Bronwyn to disclose that she was concerned about other illegal activities as the pastor had convinced her to leave her husband that the church saw as a heretic.

The police are following up, because the Holy knows Sherwood does not need a Jonestown or Branch Davidian. But it has revealed that there is something missing within the divided soul that is the religious landscape of Sherwood. I feel the Holy Mystery speaking to me as St. Francis heard from the Cosmic Christ in the chapel of San Damiano.

Stepping out of the shower and into jeans and a superman t-shirt I step into the living room. Bronwyn is just completing her yoga, she is beautiful and oh so patient. “It’s time B.”

She stops mid pose of the crane, and straightens. She looks at me. “B, you haven’t called me that since college.” The corners of her mouth are turning up oh so slightly. “What is going through that mind of yours?”

I pick up the cordless phone and dial a number from memory. “Lao, meet me at the ruins, drop Tariq a line as well.”

I think Bronwyn just squealed. But she is attempting to look composed. Almost eight months since power hungry men abusing the name of God to get more power stole my soul from me it is time to reclaim it. “You’re going back?”

“Going forward.” I don’t know what seizes me but next thing I know the phone hits the laminate and she is in my arms, our lips meet. “I Love you.”

The transformational love of the Holy Mystery that exists within all of creation, and all of creation exists within (panentheism) is what this city needs, a surrendering of labels, and an embracing of compassion. No longer Muslim, Buddhist or Christian or any other designation…we are all human, learning and living compassionate lives… discovering that the bedrock is not to be loved, or simply love, but to be an action verb to seek out TO Love.

That is the call of the Holy Mystery after this carnage, that microcosmically reflects our current world, yet we are all called to this idea to live out actively loving one another.


This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.

Jesus of Nazareth,

Recorded and reported according to the Community of the Apostle John in the Gospel that bears his name 15:12

A New Adventure Begins?


It is quite unique, Robert Fulghum once said that his church was the bookstore. Pause and think before you throw words like Heresy around. What is our sacred scriptures (regardless of the religion you have taken on)…they are collections of stories to inspire, to teach, etc… what is a book store or better yet a library? The same collection.  It is a universal scripture where there are things to feed everyone’s soul, spirit, emotional, physical, mental states…

So why is story so powerful regardless of the form it comes in? Because whether it is someone else’s story or something that aids our own story…it is a way to bring us into a deeper known/unknown communion with the Holy Mystery and to grow that divine mysterious spark a bit brighter within us as well.

This is the power of story, simply put today take time to walk around your local library or bookstore and simply be. Maybe you will find what you need to spark your own connection with the Holy Mystery.

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

How do

we make the sacred shine?

Create a safe,

welcoming home?

For all of God‘s children to shine

willingly move beyond the traps of false loves

—money, power—

to lovingly livingly embrace the Holy Mystery

How can we

reclaim a God of Love?

discard God of vengeful anger?

How can we

build that which Jesus called us to be?

Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома

Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a journey that began as an academic thesis and became a restoration of my soul. My third book was titled, Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred, and the rediscovery of Mary of Nazareth‘s life lived and contemporary apparitions renewed this pilgrimage bringing me back into a healthy relationship within the Holy Mystery. The journey did not end as expected, but the ending was the beginning my soul needed.

I hope these words bless you in reading and soul work as much as they blessed my journey in bringing them together:

Free E-Book here.

The answer is…


As much as I would like to sit here and say that the Conservative or fundamentalist Christianities were dying and at death’s door…they are not.

Nor can one stipulate that the liberal branches are.

This is the sticky point as some will say, surely you jest writer, just look at the numbers of people leaving in droves, the building sell off, congregation closings…except that is the traditional-conservative-fundamentalit structures that the new inclusive Christianities are stepping out of.

You see, the buildings may go away, traditional style congregations and positions may fade… yet there is a movement of faithful through works, through devotion to fellowship and through syncronicity of faith, holy stories and called to vocation and learnings… that are not quantifiable by any stretch of the imagination.

So unfortunately to the screaming headlines, and butts in pew counters out there, neither of broad tents of the Christianities will go away… why?

Like all other forms of spirituality, ideology, and religion… each of the veins of Christianities draws different individuals into the Holy Mystery.

The question shouldn’t be who the winner will be…

The question needs to be… how do we work together to create the just reign of God here on Earth that Christ called us too in the Gospels?

Genesis 1:26-31 (NKJV)


26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


Interesting how we view the creation myths. Some will read this as a literal 24 hour sixth day, but then when looking at the sexes, leans more on the Genesis 2 account where woman was created from man. Yet here we have the whole story of humanity, our time of gestation, birth, growth and going out…see it is not the text that is in error, it is our understanding of it.

Verses 28 to 30 tell the story of the growing into adolescences, and young adulthood. What is traditionally called “The Fall” under original sin, but really is the reflection of the human life span and what happens as we grown and challenge our surroundings, yet the blessing when we reach a certain age is that we are blessed with the world outside the walls of our parent’s house (or buying our parent’s house like this writer). That stepping out with an understanding of the world’s condition, but also a need to further discover what it means to live fruitfully, to make our way in this world and answer our calling from the Holy Mystery.

Yet in this and every instance in life, from being Spirit breathed at the point of energy creation, being conceived, being birthed, the first breath within creation to the last breath.  The whole time, God (existing in us, and us in God) states simply, “You are my child, you are blessed, you are very good, you are my beloved.” The entire essence of loving God with our everything, our neighbours as ourselves boils down to these simple poetic statements found within Day 6.

Now… Can we love?



Logo of the United Apostolic Church Europe

Logo of the United Apostolic Church Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know we have heard that piece from so many who want to be able to waffle, or not make a decision…that being “I will pray about it”.  Yet this is not the purpose of prayer within the Rainbow Chapel’s  practice. It is a time spent communing with God, listening for the Holy Mystery as we go about our day.
What was this time of contemplation about?

Simple, do we as a home parish wish to connect with a larger body?

We obviously would not wish to affiliate with a traditional mainline or evangelical traditional Christian movement, as that creates many barriers for quite a few brothers and sisters to join.  We were leaning towards the Universal Anglican Church (UAC). Yet the simple act of affiliation even with this inclusive of a “tradition” could still create a barrier to those who would like to join us, but have a negative connotation to this style of branding.

So here we sit pondering with the Holy Mystery, if we are meant to be “branded”; to be apart of a larger community so we simply do not become the “weird” (those who know me, please keep your comments to yourself) house on the block. I have spoken with the Bishop of the UAC and it seemed like a good fit, but was it a God fit??? Were we as a group meant to be apart of a larger community thats major hub was in Milwaukee, USA?

Reflecting with God on what we are called into intentionallity within our local neighbourhood, to be a house of welcome to all God’s beloved children… what came through resounding was, your will God not mine be done.

So shall we affiliate or not?

The answer is Not.

Until God says otherwise.

Doubt (2008 film)

Image via Wikipedia

English: Philip Seymour Hoffman at a Hudson Un...

Image via Wikipedia

English: Meryl Streep
Image via Wikipedia

So after Sunday’s sermon where Pastor Doug used the movie Doubt, which led me online to my favourite movie rental palace, The Calgary Public Library to rewatch this movie. The plot is quite simple a priest is under suspicion of molesting the first African American Student in his catholic school/parish.

The head sister (played by Meryl Streep) watches this man with effiminate actions, who has a passion/connection to working with the youth of the parish and encouraging them, calling them out of class…and begins to doubt that it is all above board.

The crescendo moves to a powerful scene where she lies and says she called his past parish and spoken to the nun there (a lie) that led the priest (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) to resign and take a leave of absence until the Bishop reassigns him to a bigger parish (a promotion if you will).

The question though arises is what she phrases at the end: “I have doubts”. Did this lie force an innocent man into a quasi confession? Did the church actually protect and reward an abuser? Was enough done? What kind of society is created by the church where parents turn a blind eye to these behaviours? Does the institution/system work? And if so for who? And a litany of other doubts I am sure.

Why is this movie important? First it can help one understand how clergy can use their position of authority/power to gain power over their victims when they are not men/women seeking God.  It also is important because the doubts raised in this stalwart nun’s heart in regards to church over this, is a good conversation starter for each of our congregations about where we have created doubt in our church family, and broader community through our actions (inactions).


For years I have been sharing with folks I try not to enter the translation debate on the scriptures. For me it is whichever translation/paraphrase allows you to be open to the blessing of the Holy Spirit and draws you in thirsty to go deeper.  The idea that there is only one accurate translation has never sat well with me, for it is divisive, and misses the point that each translation team comes with their own socio-political baggage they try to communicate through the translation choices, footnotes, study notes, and reference points.

Most know that the idea of rapture and tribulation comes from the Scoffield Study Bible Translation; the simplicity of the 1 John passage: Jesus is Love comes from the King James Version, the idea of verily and multiple Amens after Jesus statements comes from the authorized Catholic Bible(New American)…so each has their own cross references etc. to aid in the believers understandings of their denominations beliefs, dogmas, or to push their own political agendas such as the new NIV adjustments in translation I have never not recommend any translation until now, this betrays not only the spirit of the original texts, but their socio-historical-cultural contexts and is simply an abomination by misusing not only the name of God, but God’s word to advance a theology of hate.

To say I was dismayed to read this about probably the second most popular English translation is putting it mildly. This act of “clarity” is nothing more than the Religious Right’s opportunism to shape God to fit their beliefs, not allowing God’s word and Spirit to shape the believer.