Posts Tagged ‘Vocation’


Are we always a pinkie toe may seem like a ludicrous spiritual question, yet in the world of allegory of the body one knows how relevant a pinkie toe can be in the dark and finding the coffee table?  A moment of instant discernment via pain, which is a unique contemplation as I sit reflecting on my journey over the last 2 ½ years that due to health saw me lose my helping vocation, or did it?

See, my discernment was about making my own corner of the world a little bit better as I attempted to live the Great Commandments:

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

-Matthew 22:34-40 (English Standard Version)

It was the discovery of these red letters in a broken open red Gideon’s New Testament that brought me back into formal church, and unpacking the understanding, inspiration and living of it that led me for over 20 years into various fields of helping whether it was persons with disabilities, youth, young adults, seniors, patients with dementia, the homeless sector, politics, writing to name but a few…

Then it all came crashing down through unknown illness. There was no nice neat package bow of change…like a pinkie toe breaking against the coffee table one dark night the body was going to be changed for a time. And there was no telling what would be after healing. For St. Paul writes to the church in Corinth this about the body:

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[e] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[f]

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

-1 Corinthians 12:12-21 (New Living Translation)

We can tend to use the concept of being in the body and our gifts to create parts of the body. We may declare we are heart, liver, pancreas, toes, fingers, etc… but it can easily be that once discernment has happened that we limit God. Yes you read that right, we so become in tune with our purpose, what we will dub “our calling” (or vocation) that we do not know how to respond when that purpose ends—either positively or negatively. What happens to us? Our identity in Christ? Our holy belonging in the Body of Christ? For if we were this important piece of the body, and now no longer fill that function—someone else will. So what of us?

This is the quandary on emerging from a dark night of the soul, and looking into the new dawn; an apt metaphor this Lenten Season leading into Easter tide of the Empty Tomb, and the new Sonrise of Easter Sunday. Is our heart open to the new journey? To understanding that even though our function (body part) may have changed, that we are still blessed? We are still an Imageo Dei as was laid out for us in the Hebrew Creation Poem in Genesis 1, specifically day 6 (v. 26-27):

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[a] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[b] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind[c] in his image,
in the image of God he created them;[d]
male and female he created them.

 

For that is our creation, interdependent in the Holy “our”. The Trinity if you will, and this is how we interweave into the Body of Christ, our Community, with our calling-vocation-purpose, and when we are left with seismic shift it can leave one feeling a what if, or distraught. Yet, in the essence we are drawn closer into the Mystery of Faith. In this mystery we can begin to discern our new calling or redefinition of existing calling. Not in a vacuum but through looking at skills, encouragements from trusted friends, family and mentors. This also allows for us to change the way we belong in the Body of Christ as our gifts may shift, change and evolve with our new vocational calling.

 

As my pinkie toe healed, but I had perhaps, moved up the foot or toe spectrum. For I may not be in the field, but there was a shift for a time. It was a shift to equipping and teaching the next wave of servants for this season of life. This rests well…is it a permanent shift? Long-Term? Who knows, what is known is for this time and place this is where I am and meant to be.

For the learning on recovery it is about being open to the possibility of the new. As I phrased it to friends, I felt like I was in the seventh season of a television show and one opportunity before me felt like a spin off was going to begin, and then a teaching opportunity felt like a season 8 renewal to reframe a closure or something else, as we know once a show reaches that longevity there is usually a status quo shake up to keep viewers coming back. It was the renewal I received.

Or as noted in my journey of learning to live the Great Commandments, shifting from one body part to another in creating radical belonging for the diverse and blessed Imageo Dei’s of our world.

Today, contemplate in your vocational life…

Are you always a pinkie toe?

Aspire to be the best you

Posted: February 22, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , ,

Image result for fighting with my familyOkay there are many issues one can have with professional wrestling, I have enjoyed and vented about things with the sports entertainment, and probably the last time I watched any full program was around 2009…but it has produced some important lessons for life, and that is what the movie, Fighting with my Family (2019) is. It is a story of learning to belong in your own skin, and vocation. On its surface it is a comedic bio-pic of Norwich, England’s Paige’s rise from a family run promotion across the pond to WWE Diva Champion.

It is the family’s dream after eldest son imploded after not making the WWE, for the other 2 children to ascend to greatness–they are wrestlers, aside from their own promotion they also run a wrestling school for the neighbourhood kids and youth (including one teen who is sight impaired) to give them something besides the hoodlums and gangs to be apart of.

The most telling points of this movie (and if your group is okay with language I would suggest it can be used for junior high age and up as a discussion tool)…is Paige’s journey into discovery of who she is, and not what her family’s dream is for her, but what is her dream for herself?

A deeper story though is for the brother, Zak, who didn’t make it…and discovering what he is meant to do? How to use your passion to make your corner of the world a better place. For his inner struggle is so wrapped up in what he believed his calling to be, he could not see the living calling he was already doing within his own community and family to transform the world–even though he was teaching a sight impaired teenager to wrestle…

How often do we lose sight of the impact we are making in our world and living out our calling, because we get wrapped in what ifs, ought tos, and yearning for what another has. The movie creates a fun atmosphere to discuss all these ideas. The core though is to ground yourself, and aspire to be the best you–you can…not the next (insert famous name here).

 

 

 

Musings on 1 Samuel

Posted: February 15, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , ,

Our family continues our nightly sacred text readings. We are currently exploring the Hebrew Bible story of 1 Samuel. Samuel, was the son of Hannah. A beloved wife, who was barren, and being mocked by the second wife for not providing children to their husband (yes biblical marriage at work). Hannah in her devoutness went to the Holy, and dedicated the baby if she was able to be a servant of God.

Hannah was found to be with child, and probably put of weaning for a bit longer than was necessary, for she was struggling. Struggling with her vows and promises, keeping her yes to yes…for she did not want to take her son to be raised in the Temple by the High Priest Eli, whose sons were–for lack of a better term corruptly abusive in all ways to the people. Yet, she followed through on her vow, with the joy of the life she had created, and nurtured that was now on a new path.

The path was that of being the last Judge and the first prophet Israel had since Moses. He was the high priest, the connector to the Holy for the people in their theocracy. Samuel’s ascension over Eli’s sons also leaves a lesson that those of faith need to re-learn, and should’ve been living the whole journey. See the sons were corrupt, they were stealing the sacrifices, and forcing the faithful into sexual relations (pedophilia, rapists). It took until Samuel for Eli’s family’s punishment to roll out, and the voice of the victims to be heard.  We are having an Eli moment now with the Jehovah Witnesses, Willow Creek, Southern Baptist/Canadian National Baptists; and Roman Catholic Church to name but a few… also with the desecration of the Imageo Dei, that is that all are wholly and beloved images of God, the corruption of power and creating the false dualism of Us-Them is what is tearing apart the Methodists for they are more concerned with sexual labels, than with the beloved wholly and blessed brother and sister of this world.  Just like Eli’s family was leading Israel astray and causing harm…so too are we in the religious now.

If it needed a further showing of what inter-generational trauma, and unresolved pain can do. Samuel has to deal with the people looking at their lives and not seeing the end of tyranny as a good thing and getting back on track, but as a moment to throw out the God with the priests– for they want a king. And God complies, with Saul who is anointed to lead the kingdom. So starts the lessons, as Shakespeare would point out about power and corruption.

For Saul, as king, believes that he is the final authority on what is right and wrong in life. His impatience leads him to take on the role of priest-prophet for he does not like Samuel’s tardiness. In essence he supplants God with himself and makes the worship about him, not the Holy Mystery that exists in everything and everything exists in. His power madness begins to show, and God lays the smack down for his downfall with the rise of the runt-shepherd as the new anointed–David…and we shall see how Saul’s tyranny unfolds, and David’s own corruption and possible causes, as my family continues the read (Currently ending Chapter 18).

What moments are you like Samuel?

When may you be Saul?

What can youd do to connect deeper in your walk with the Holy?


Image result for death of supergirl crisis coverFor comic fans 1984 was a big year. It was the year of the 12 part Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series from DC Comics, the first ever cross over in a comic universe that shook the foundations and brought the deaths of Supergirl and The Flash (Barry Allen). Flash forward to the CW Arrow-verse and it has been a recurring theme in the Flash t.v. show, Crisis and the Flash’s vanishing, it has shaped his character and actions knowing that it is about preparing his family, friends and team for the time in history when he is no longer there. That’s right, Barry’s identity has been shaped by this momentous martyrdom.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and suitHit 2019 and the Crisis on Infinite Earths cross over hits the airwaves, and the Flash episode is the 3rd part (and since we have Netflix and not cable in my house, sadly the only part we get).

But it was fun. What kind of fun? Two of my favourite dark universe creations, John Constantine Hellblazer goes searching for the soul of Green Arrow in purgatory and on Earth 666, Luci (yes I love Luci as a great foil, and he was in pure splendid Vertigo form).

Aside from these types of team ups…the core story was the time for Barry Allen to Martyr himself. It is like vocation for all of us, we have a career path, what we do in life, whether or not we want it to, it is what defines us  because it is what society asks us to define who we are in our societal caste system. Employment/career/vocation you are what you do.

This is what Flash is in this moment, a hero, a soon to be martyr. Yet to stop the anti-matter wave of destruction he is not the only Flash, there is the Earth-90 Flash (yes the 1 season fun show on CBS) is there as well…and…well a Flash perishes to stop the crisis, and our Flash of Earth-1 is left stripped of the identity that had defined his herodom.

It was glanced over rapidly in the episode obviously his move through the emotional spectrum, but it is something to remind us when friends are unemployed, or something has shifted health wise so that they may not be doing what they used to do. It is a trauma to them. May sound like a powerful word, but it is a word that builds an image I hope, as it is something that cuts to the core of identity that society has shaped us with–it is about our purpose in community. As such, it takes us through the stages of change and grieving whether you use Kubler-Ross, Stages of Change or U-Theory (or a plethora of others) there is the event- the struggle (anger/denial/bartering) acceptance- healing– moving forward…

Too often though we trap ourselves within the microcosm of pain…and lose ourselves in the anger and denial over our current spot in life. What is lost when that happens is that we cannot see through the current darkness to follow the constant light to what awaits. For with each challenge, loss, grief, that we continue to walk through the valley of– a new and better us emerges. Wiser, and more able to be the authentic us, and define who we are through our true core values not a faux litmus test of society. This was what was glanced over in mere minutes of the episode for Barry (Flash), that if it had not been a cross over would’ve made an exceptional story arc of re-establishing who he was as a hero without the identity of self-sacrifice.

As we move through change whether chosen or forced, it is about re-focusing, and re-establishing who we are, stronger in the here and now.

BUT

We must make the journey through the valley, and not freeze at the lowest point, but rise into the light of the new.


“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

A farcical childhood refrain against bullying. Trying to make the destruction words can wreck upon one’s psyche nothing more than water off a ducks back. Another being “I am rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” Mantras. A way to remind ourselves we are more than how others see us. It is a hard discovery, and where one would say the pablum of Brother James’ writings take us next, but not the meat. And for anyone who has ever been emotionally or verbally abused, it does hurt just as much as getting the crap kicked out of you, if not more because overtime it can re-write your inner dialogue from the affirmation of being in the Holy Mystery.

For we enter into the third chapter, and it tackles the destructiveness of the tongue, but goes deeper into vocational understanding of life (Epistles of James 3. English Standard Version).

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 

Sadly, this verse has been used to discourage individuals who should teach from teaching. It is used as a weapon that if you do not fall within the indoctrinated “truth” of the community (regardless of religious/spiritual or secular) that your words do not matter. In fact, we will theologically/academically bully you into silence twisting facts to fit our own narrative of discredit.

This is a statement for those, like James, who are encountering rebuke and troubled waters to persevere. It is about knowing why you are called to be a teacher. That it is within you, not just an occupation, but a vocation. I would say to that it goes beyond teacher. Know who you are and within the community discover who you are meant to be…then live that out. For it is in true authenticity that you may be held to a higher standard, but a higher contentment awaits.

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

This is the reminder that words can structure reality. Just because one has charisma, or is able to create momentum based around quips and twitter policy. True teachers bring authenticity that will stand up to scrutiny. More to the point, true teachers/leaders bring forward ideas that broaden community and reduce harm, not increase it. That is the safety used with these analogies, proper movement and journey.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Within the early gatherings, as today, there is always the “grass is greener” mentality. We will leave this path, and jump on that one because there is more money, power, esteem, etc. It is the world of glamour over substance; breadth of spiritual growth over depth. It is a world where the false teacher can take hold because they do not force one to confront the shadow self that is holding back growth, they allow them to live in that which should be denied so the Holy Breath can be lived into.

We see this in political movements of hate today. We also see it in religious leadership and how easily they harm the least of these from the Roman Catholic Church to Willow Creek to Hillsong to the Jehovah Witness and the list goes on and on in the spectrum of sexual assault and abuse. The final authority resting with a few, never to be questioned, always to be protected. If you step out you will be shunned. So the words of truth become nothing more than spittle upon the forest fire hate and hunger for power/control and money has created.

It is one being consumed by the shadow. Evil taking hold. Feeding the wrong wolf within self.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Trust your inner voice.

It will guide you, it is only when we allow the “demonic” voices of oppression that have worked to strip away our Oneness… that is when it wins.

Where is the Holy Mystery guiding you?

What is your vocation of life?


 

“The very best and utmost of attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in you.”

Meister Eckhart

As we enter another time of contemplation for interior growth lived out exteriorly in love I saw this quote on Rev. Matthew Fox’s Facebook page and thought it appropriate to open with. For it is the work on ourselves, what my other books have dubbed soul work, that is the most important work you will ever do, for it opens yourself up fully to the one-ness with the source of love which already abides.

Take time to set a place where you can respite, and listen deeply with your heart. If a candle helps you focus, feel free to light one, or many. Get comfortable in a sitting position. Breathe in peace and exhale love.

Feel the room around you melt away.

Hear the animals sold for sacrifices, the kids and women in segregation within their house of worship.

Listen to the religious oppressors as the mumble amongst themselves, and those deemed unworthy as they feel love for the first time.

Know what it is like to see the neighbour boy. Perhaps you were one of the other village mother’s that changed and cared for him. Perhaps you were one of his friends or bullies in boyhood. Watch in awe and anger as he takes a place of honour as a teaching elder to the community.

A place in which many try to put aside the child born into scandal. Mary’s bastard as some would say. Perhaps the offspring of a Roman, but not Joseph’s.

Be here and now as you hear these words 3 times.

The first hearing:

Chapter 121

The Christines are in Nazareth. Miriam sings a Christine song of praise. Jesus teaches in the synagogue. He heals a dumb man who is obsessed. The people do not believe in him. The Pharisees call him a tool of Beelzebul. The Christines go to Cana.

1. It was a gala day in Nazareth. The people there had met with one accord to celebrate some great event.
2. And Jesus and the foreign masters and the twelve, and Mary, mother of the Lord, and Miriam were there.
3. And when the people were assembled in the great hall of the town, the graceful singer, Miriam, stood and sang a song of praise.
4. But few of all the multitude knew who the singer was; but instantly she won all hearts.
5. For many days she sang the songs of Israel, and then she went her way.
6. The Sabbath came and Jesus went into the synagogue. He took the book of Psalms and read:
7. Blest is the man who puts his trust in God, respecting not the proud nor such as turn aside to lies.
8. O lord, my God, the works that thou hast done for us are wonderful; and many are thy thoughts for us; we cannot count them all,
9. Thou dost not call for sacrifice, nor offerings of blood; burnt offerings and offerings for sin thou dost not want;
10. And lo, I come to do thy will, O God, thy law is in my heart,
11. And I have preached the word of righteousness and peace unto the thronging multitudes; I have declared the counsel of my God in full.
12. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and grace.
13. I have not kept thy loving-kindness and thy truth away from men; I have declared them to the multitudes.
14. O Lord, make wide my lips that I may tell thy praise; I do not bring the sacrifice of blood, nor yet burnt offerings for sin.
15. The sacrifices I would bring to thee, O God, are purity in life, a contrite heart, a spirit full of faith and love, and these thou wilt receive.
16. And when he had thus read, he gave the book back to the keeper of the books, and then he said,
17. Upon these ends of earth these messages of God have come.
18. Our people have exalted sacrificial rites and have neglected mercy, justice and the rights of men.
19. You Pharisees, you priests, you scribes, your God surfeited with blood; God does not heed your prayers; you stand before your burning victims; but you stand in vain.
20. Turn you unto the testimonies of the law; reform and turn to God, and you shall live.
21. Let not your altars be accursed again with smoke of innocence.
22. Bring unto God as sacrifice a broken and a contrite heart.
23. Lift from your fellow men the burdens that you have imposed.
24. And if you hearken not, and if you turn not from your evil ways, lo, God will smite this nation with a curse.
25. And when he had thus said he stood aside, and all the people were astonished, and they said,
26. Where did this man get all his knowledge and his power? From whence did all this wisdom come?
27. Is not this Mary’s son, whose home is out on Marmion Way?
28. Are not his brothers, Jude and James and Simon, known among our honoured men? Are not his sisters with us here?
29. But they were all offended by the words he spoke.
30. And Jesus said, A prophet has no honour in his native land; he is not well received among his kin; his foes are in his home.
31. And Jesus wrought not many mighty works in Nazareth, because the people had no faith in him. He did not tarry long.
32. But as he passed from thence two blind men followed him and cried, Thou son of David, hear! Have mercy, Lord, and open up our eyes that we may see.
33. And Jesus said, Do you believe that I can open up your eyes and make you see?
34. They said, Yea, Lord, we know that if you speak the Word then we can see.
35. And Jesus touched their eyes and spoke the Word; he said, According to your faith so will it be.
36. And they were blest; they opened up their eyes and saw.
37. And Jesus said, Tell not this thing to any one.
38. But they went forth and told the news through all the land.
39. As Jesus walked along the way a man who was obsessed, and who was dumb, was brought to him.
40. And Jesus spoke the Word; the unclean spirit came out of the man; his tongue was loosed; he spoke; he said, Praise God.
41. The people were amazed; They said, This is a mighty deed; we never saw that done before.
42. The Pharisees were also much amazed; but they cried out and said,
43. You men of Israel, take heed; this Jesus is a tool of Beelzebul; he heals the sick and casts the spirits out in Satan’s name.
44. But Jesus answered not; he went his way.
45. And with the foreign masters and the twelve he went up to the town where he once turned the water into wine, and tarried certain days.

-The Aquarian Gospel

Reflect on a time when you were like a Pharisee in your own life. Yes that is right: Your own life. A moment when you questioned how could you possibly do this? Weren’t you simply (fill in your world’s stereotype for whom you are or where you are from?). Sit with this memory. Do you see the Pharisee falsehood within? Feel the freedom of release of these chains.

Move into the second hearing:

The Aquarian Gospel 121: 1-45

 

Reflect on a moment when you questioned your own achievements. Sit with a particular memory that resonates. That voice of question, that is like the Pharisee seeing the miracle and saying that it is of evil.  When is achievement sourced in love an act of evil? What do you see revealed in the questioning voice within your own achievement? What is the name of your Pharisee? Understand this Pharisee has served you in life, but it is now time, as like Brother Jesus, to walk away and release.  Are you ready to step into the new life and silence the Pharisee within?

Move into the third and final hearing:

The Aquarian Gospel 121: 1-45

 

Miriam living into love and out of her gifting created joy in her world. Rest in a time when using your gifts this happened in your life?

As yourself, what would it take to create a life built upon living into and out of Joy?

Are you able to? Willing to? Take the step into faith and be healed from the Pharisee into the life of Joy and true voice of yours?

Feel your breath return to normal.

Feel the meeting house melt away. Sounds and smells vanish.

Feel your room return around you. Get used to the existing smells and sounds.

Feel your chair form around you.

Relax into the joy you are meant to live.

Feel your true voice strong within you.

Are you ready to speak your true self to the world?

More importantly,

Are you ready to speak your true self to yourself?

 

 


Reverberate the soul?

It is a staple in life coaching, that if you get the client to move their body they can shift their mind. It is a tactile use of oneself to move into the new reality. This can be done for rolling with resistance, shifting perspectives, or learning new realities.

Yet it is not some new age wonder, na, it is as ancient as well the ancients (aliens or otherwise). Within my monastic teachings and learning this is a reality. Think of the holy pilgrimage where you wander into new realities to discover a new vocation or call; same as the vision quest, or the labyrinth.

The Labyrinth is the most microcosmic look at this concept, one way in and one way out. As you walk towards the centre you hold onto your old reality; and in the centre sit with the grief of the release of the old, and welcoming in the new, then holding onto the new as you walk out and allow it to take root into your being.

So from the wisdom of the ancients to the knowledge of today, if you want to discover the true you…get moving 🙂

 

 


This is my final project for Science of Mind 102 course, it is essentially a bridge between what I have learned before entering into this learning, and what I have learned during this time of discovery:

Vocational Discovery
Final Project for Science of Mind 102: Effective Prayer

December 18, 2014

Opening Reading:

“The professional mental and spiritual practitioner is one who has dedicated their life—their time, energies, intelligence—to helping others, through mental and spiritual means and methods.”

-Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind: The Complete Edition p.412.

Lectio Divina:

Close your eyes, as we enter into an ancient meditative practice that will guide us into our treatment and affirmation at the end. It is from Ignatius of Loyola, and is known as Lection Divina, it is hearing a story three times, each time with a different question of focus for your time in communion with Spirit.

Reflecting on the quote from Ernest Holmes, we shall hear a story of a realization; get as comfortable as you can. Close your eyes feel your breath slow, feel this room melt away, the chair disappear. The air shift and change as you travel 2000 years into the past, and across oceans, to an arid landscape, feel dust over your sandaled feet, as you watch a student and teach discourse, hear these words.

With this first reading what words or phrases resonate with the Spirit you are one with? Sit with those for a time and see what shifts within your soul:

Matthew 16:13-19 (New American Bible Revised Edition):

13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi[i] he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist,[j] others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 [k]Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood[l] has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,[m] and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.[n] Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

-Give 1 to 2 minutes for quiet reflection-

With this second reading, what images or memories surface of keys you have been given to realize your true calling?

Matthew 16:13-19 (New American Bible Revised Edition):

13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi[i] he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist,[j] others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 [k]Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood[l] has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,[m] and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.[n] Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

-Give 1 to 2 minutes for quiet reflection-

With this third, and final reading, enter into Peter, can you feel his emotions? What resonates within you as these words are spoken in your search for path?

Matthew 16:13-19 (New American Bible Revised Edition):

13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi[i] he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist,[j] others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 [k]Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood[l] has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,[m] and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.[n] Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Deepen your breaths once more, feel the chair come back around you the room become tangible. Rest in the peace of knowing the blessing you are in this world, life and adventure yet to come. Know that you are one with Spirit.

Treatment

Who do I say that Spirit is? Spirit is the creative force that enlightens the heart, gives pathways to the soul. Is love incarnate that transforms this world for the better. Spirit permeates all. Spirit holds the keys to the Kingdom of the Soul, to reveal truth of pilgrimage.

It is the same Spirit that resonates within and through me. I claim Oneness with Spirit. The pilgrimage is not separate from Spirit, for Spirit is unified within me as I discern a path that is laid out for me. I claim, in unity a path that will show love and care, discovery of the truth of others by discovering the truth of me. This is the path the Spirit has opened up, and is why I am called blessed, and have been given the keys to the unlock my kingdom here on earth, for it is within the now that the world will be transformed for my living out Love.

I realize that here and now, at this crossroads in a new journey, with new learning, insights and paths laid forward. The declaration that my life lived up until now, has made now possible. I claim the path of the new beginning that comes with the rising sun of each day, and I claim my own life call, one that will bring abundance, meaning, and connection within my own life. My calling that will create new relationships personally and professionally in my life of like souled individuals to grow positive community in my life now.

I thank Spirit for this new reality opened up. For new friends already met, and new mentors my heart has been opened too. The Universe has rekindled a call within my soul that I believed would never find a home, but a home it has found and I am thankful for that home.

I release the blockages of falsity and lies that have veiled over the truth of Spirit, the truth of me, and my claiming of the keys to my own paradise.  I know that this is true, and I declare and affirm with my community…

And so it is.

Closing Affirmation:

I am blessed and a blessing in my life.

Thank you.


Photo of Christ in Hagia Sofia.

Photo of Christ in Hagia Sofia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I stood sipping my cuppa Red Rose and talking with my roommate about our faith, the topics of what is discernment and discipleship came up. These are two of the major issues facing the Christianities for we like to throw the words out within the confines of believers but it is like speaking English in the Russian Parliament…meaning the same words may be flowing but totally different understanding.

What is discernment? It is the way a believer feels the calling of God on their lives for a life long vocation. Now note, for me, vocation remains the same throughout life (in the business world this is a personal mission or vision statement). While vocation remains the same, however the expression 0f vocation can be multiple ways. The challenge is that there appears to be an either or systematic, the Christianities as a whole need to get together and agree on one methodology. What does that mean? Simple, talking with friends back in the  day in Bible College so many were there because they felt called to be a pastor, yet only they had confirmed it; while in mainline churches alot of times the community will affirm a calling the individual does not feel because of talents they see in them.

The solution from my perspective is simple: A calling felt by an individual, who then requests a travelling group for a year or more to meet monthly for prayer, reflection, study and exploration of what the calling is and if it is truly from God.

But for this idea to work, it comes down to discipleship. We tend to run “educational programs” within out churches; or outreaches or whatever term you would like to insert. But what is truly needed is an understanding of discipleship. It is not just getting someone to the stage of saying in any magic formula that Jesus I want you…it is what it means to live a life within the love of God; daily asking to see the world with the eyes of God and moving forward.

A key point on this is the use of sacred scripture in discipleship. We like to use the way we read the Bible as a way to segregate believers, but this is such nonsense. Yes it may be a struggle for someone who reads it literally to sit in a bible study with someone who reads it as metaphor or allegory, yet if we can get past our own bias and actually listen to the other, enter into respectful dialogue with the other what happens is a deeper and broader understanding of the whole and we truly become the Body of Christ.

What are your thoughts dear reader?