Saturday, December 29, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
"That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had set him perfectly loose from the world and kindled in him such a love for God that he could not tell whether it had increased in above forty years that he had lived since." M. Beaufort, relating Brother Lawrence's mystical experience.
"...rapture or fluid splendor, and crystallize into a willed response to the Reality perceived..." // "...from the emotional to the volitional stage."
Here is where I fall short. I had such an experience, related in the walk around Lake Davis at the beginning of my Stephen Ministry training. I have fallen short so many times in living the Reality I met there. That is, perhaps, why Incarnation is such a key inspiration for me. It is what I need to work on most.
28 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father* went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
p. 123: "...onset of this consciousness...so sudden...typical case...St. Paul...the sudden light..." (like a pop artist who becomes an "overnight success," but has been working and practicing for years)
3: Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. 4: And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5: And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; 6: but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." -----Acts 9:3-6 (NRSV)
Three marked characteristics:
1 sense of liberation and victory
2 conviction of nearness of God
3 sentiment of love toward God
St. Francis of Assisi - Francis's "whole universe has suffered complete rearrangement"
Catherine of Genoa - unhappy with self and life "...received in her heart the wound of unmeasured Love of God"
Read this passage in Mysticism after hearing Tim Black's sermon today on the inevitability of change and the birth pangs we experience throughout life.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
QUOD SUPERIUS SICUT QUOD INFERIUS
"The central doctrine of magic may now be summed up thus: --
(1) That a supersensible and real 'cosmic medium' exists, which interpenetrates, influences, and supports the tangible and apparent world, and is amenable to the categories both of philosophy and of physics.
(2) That there is an established analogy and equilibrium between the real and unseen world, and the illusory manifestations which we call the world of sense.
(3) That this analogy may be discerned, and this equilibrium controlled, by the disciplined will of man, which thus becomes master of itself and of fate."
Contrast the above with the five great stages of the Mystic Way, as set forth in the beginning of Part Two:
(1) Awakening or conversion
(2) Self-Knowledge or Purgation
(4) Surrender, or the Dark Night
What is the difference? Attitude toward power. Magic = power over / Union with God = power to. It's still power, but power that recognizes that power comes from God, or it's doomed. Once again, God is God, and I'm not. That is not to say I cannot wield great power, e.g., "do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)," but it must always be wielded with recognition of its source. No amount of "severe schools" or rigid self-discipline or magical rituals can equal the power of acting with recognition of Whose is the "power, the glory, and the kingdom." Our faith tradition recognizes the focus value of ritual actions, words of power, sacred numbers, but it is not things or actions that matter, but the Who that they point to.
I made a further note about developing the notion that the Magi were, in a sense, returning the gifts that were stolen by Adam and Eve. Wonder what in this section elicited that note?
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
p. 109: "...'universal agent' connecting soul with soul. // Astral World // ether
We all grope at expressing the sense of God's presence; we all fall short. The distinction between magic and mysticism made in this chapter seems to me to be more the distinction between magic and God acceptance. That is, magic is the will of the human over the spiritual essence, effecting change in the lived world. God acceptance effects the fullness of human being brought forth by the will of God and, in Christianity, exampled in Christ, thus Paul Tillich's "ground of being."
Acts 17:28: For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.”
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Magi, magic p. 107
"In magic, whether regarded as a superstition or a science, we have at any rate the survival of a great and ancient tradition, the true meaning of whose title should hardly have been lost in a Christian country; for it claims to be the science of those Magi whose quest of the symbolic Blazing Star brought them once, at least, to the cradle of the Incarnate God."
Thanks be to God, with much nagging the Holy Spirit has succeeded in causing me to open this book again. I'm never sorry I have done so, but I do so kicking and screaming seemingly every time.
And again, I am struck by a quotation concerning Incarnation. If I learn nothing else--unlikely, but if I did--from this book, I have learned that my most cherished touchstone of faith is Incarnation. God is God, and I'm not, but I claim faith in a God Who knows firsthand what it is like to be what I am. The Magi hardly knew what they sought except that what they found was so much more than what they had sought, but exactly what they would have sought, had they known what they knew once they found it. My Lord and my God, thank You for knowing what it's like, but also thank You for being God. You have smitten me wholesale, and I have lived. Somehow.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
After a longish hiatus, and the nudging of the Spirit and the encouragement of a cousin, 1-2-3, re-plunge into this densely wonderful book...
Green Lion - My centering prayer mentor once said she woke up each morning a beginner. The Green Lion image so aptly embodies that principle.
Red Dragon - A dragon helped Harry, Ron and Hermione escape from Gringott's but I otherwise have had a negative image of dragons, e.g., the one devouring the child in Revelation 12:4: "His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born."
Sulphur - Salt - Mercury - Love this metaphor. The interdependent human chemistry of heart, mind, body and soul make fascinating, if uncomfortable bath salts in which to mystically soak.
*NOT* magic - So much of the wrong sort of evangelical Christianity is ill-disguised hocus pocus invoking the name of Jesus.
Purgation - Illumination - Union - See "wake up a beginner every morning," above.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
pp. 96-102 “…down the nights and down the days” of Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven.”
“the idea of a love-chase”
The several pages read tonight relate how many mystic writers have described the mystic experience—the pursuit of Reality—with images of the pursuit of alchemy, i.e., that we are spiritual beings, souls, in search of the gold standard, The Goldenness within us, that was put in us by The Hound of Heaven, the One who urges us forward to the fullness of our being in the Eternal One, if we will purge ourselves of the baser metals in our spirits. Much of this book before now has described how the mystic pursues the Ultimate Reality. This section reveals how, in fact, it is Reality that has been pursuing us all along.
With the 2012 Olympics in full swing now, I can’t help thinking about the pursuit of gold, how the athletes work constantly to discover their most golden selves, the ones who allow themselves to be shaped by discipline, constancy, direction, and responsiveness to the best that is within them. They are always the chasers, though. They are not pursued by The One, in order to hand them the gold medal.
QUI AMORE LANGUEO
[Richard of St. Victor] “The Soul, is utterly concentrated on the One.” She is “caught up to the divine light.”