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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Can Church Be Saved?

Abandon yourself for a little to God, and rest for a little in Him. Enter into the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything save God and what can be of help in your quest for Him, and having locked the door, seek Him out. Speak now, my whole heart, speak now to God: “I seek Your countenance, O Lord, Your countenance I seek” (Ps. 27:8).          --- St. Anselm 1033-1109

I have been reading articles about the sharp decline of church membership and even sharper decline in attendance, plus the decline in belief in God. I read that in some places in Europe attendance is only 4% of what it used to be! In some groups in America, belief in God is down to 61%! It is alarming to me. 

As civilization seems to be coming off the rails, losing its moral compass, forgetting its noble values, I see a direct link to the spiritual decline.

I know it can be argued that church deserves to be abandoned, for it came off of its own rails in so many ways. Nevertheless, I feel strongly that this trend needs to be addressed.

This morning an idea came to me, actually struck me with some force. Perhaps groups of prayerful people could brainstorm together over some questions needing to to be asked. Such as:

  • What can be done to lead us to an actual relationship with God, to feel and know the Divine Presence?
  • How can church be a part of a vital spiritual life?
  • How can practical needs of life be served?
  • How can what we now know from science, history, psychology, etc couple with a spirituality of profound meaning?
  • How can we update theology so it is spiritually meaningful and also not offensive to our intellect?
  • And more...
What would happen if such groups formed all over the planet? What would happen if you formed one?

Let's ignite a spiritual awakening.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Celtic View Lifts My Despair

I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me From snares of devils, From temptation of vices, From every one who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.  --- St. Patrick

I came across this writing this morning. I really needed to read it at this very moment. As we all know from experience, the twists and turns of life can be very challenging.

Recent years have been quite a ride. I know it's education for my soul. I know the Presence is always with me. I know my soul endures and continues. Yet I am so very weary of the particular curriculum that has been testing me over and over. This Book of Job-like period of my life must surely end. The powers that be say all is released and complete, but we don't see our funds. Down to my last pittance, I awoke crying. So, I really needed to be lifted by St. Patrick's words. 

I first opened my Message Bible randomly for guidance. I opened to 1Thessalonians Chapter 4.

11-12 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends

This was not very comforting or helpful in my particular challenge, although I can see it is good advice. I do remain calm mostly. I do focus on my task at hand. In spite of the craziness, I keep going, doing the best I can, and  others tell me that I am an inspiration. But, I really do need to move on and have my funds restored.

Then I read St. Patrick's thoughts, and I felt lifted. If you have a crisis in your life, try reading his words at least 3 times slowly, and see how it affects you. Across the many years, he reaches out and touches, ignites something deep inside. Thank you Patrick.


Monday, June 20, 2022

Do We Slumber?

The greatest part of mankind—nay, of Christians—may be said to be asleep, and that particular way of life which takes up each man’s mind, thoughts, and actions may be very well called his particular dream.  --- William Law, 1866-1781

This seems to me to be an apt thought, true in its meaning. 

The first thing that came to my mind was that it is at least a partial explanation of the hostilities between people and even nations. If most of us are dreaming different dreams, dreams that seem real to each of us, we speak and act from different realities. Just as the dreams of the night cannot be shared, these waking dreams too are at least hard to share. 

It does appear we congregate with those whose dream is of the same genre. There are clusters then of conservatives, liberals, realists, idealists, artists, the practical, exercise enthusiasts, couch potatoes, fighters,lovers, atheists, believers, freedom lovers, authoritarians, and on and on. Their dreams are similar, and they cling together. And, generally speaking, they agree that other dreams are rubbish or even dangerous.

The dreams keep the ego/egotistical busy in their own private worlds. But some awaken. Jesus to!d us to have eyes that see and ears that hear. That is simple but also difficult, as is much of the teachings of awakened ones.

Right now is a particularly dangerous time. There are nuclear threats that could wipe out much of the life on earth. There are Communist/Marxist threats. There are breakdowns in many systems and places. So it is urgent for us to awaken out of our individual dreams, our private realities.

This is a very good time to engage in practises of awakening, for our own sakes and for the sake of us all.

The Divine Presence is with you, in you, around about you, the breath you breathe, the ground upon which you stand. It is time to awaken to it, today.

Friday, June 17, 2022


Cookies, especially warm, just out of the oven yes, they call me. I can ignore the cupcake but, not a truly tasty cookie.

Part of the spiritual journey is to rise above attachments.  Does this mean cookies too, oh no!.

Joking aside, letting go is part of our spiritual work if we are genuine/sincere about our journey. If/when we focus our lives primarily on less than God, we are attached to temporary things, to the things that rust and turn to dust, that we crave. Of course we cannot turn totally away from earthly things, we need food and water and shelter. But, when that is our overwhelming focus, it is a sign of attachment that stands in the way of spiritual growth and depth. If our attention is ego driven, it takes us astray. My (        ) is bigger and better than yours. Fill in with house, car, importance, etc.

Balance is about more than not falling over. After our earthly basics are met, our hearts and minds can turn to know and experience The Presence. We can spend daily time in prayer, in divine reading, in journaling, in spiritual discussion. We can open to Guidance and discover our purpose. We can be inspired and led to make a positive difference with our lives.

When we crave God more than ego things, we will find a new level of freedom and joy.

Lord, open me to crave You, fill me with wisdom, and help me live aware of Your Presence. Lead me to use my life energies only for good. Guide me to find my purpose for coming to earth. I surrender into Your Peace.

Monday, June 6, 2022


 I dreamt of Avatars last night. A dictionary definition is:

a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.

I saw a steady stream of awakened men and women across all the ages, in all cultures, in all traditions. I felt a sense of gratitude that we are not forgotten beings on a tiny planet in the corner of the Milky Way. The Divine Presence continually sends us teachers and examples of the goal of how we are to grow to be. It is not a secret. It is out there for all who wish to see and implement in their own lives.

One of the challenges is to avoid making idols out of Avatars. They come as teachers and examples. Actual Avatars do not ask to be worshipped, but to be followed. They do not come from an ego position. They are humble, joyful, kind and helpful to others.

Of course, there is also a stream of charlatans, the Elmer Gantry or Rajneesh types of this world. If we pay any attention at all, we can see them for who they are and stay away from them. A few clues: they profess to be the only right ones, they want your obedience, they want your money, they want your devotion, etc. Put your antennas up, and you will know who to stay away from.

There are Avatars who are spiritual teachers, philosophers, great thinkers, mystics, etc. Some are well known and some unknown to us. Of course, my mind goes to Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Huxley as the gold standard of philosophers; and to Lao Tse, Buddha and Jesus as great spiritual teachers; and to Eckhart, Hildegard, Machtild, Rumi, etc as the mystics. Of course, there are many more, these are just the first that come to my mind. I'm sure you can think of many more.

They come to teach and be examples so that it might be open to us to find the way to Truth, to live a fully awakened life. Perhaps we can consider their words and understandings so we too can go to the mountain top of life. We can put away our fascination with trivia, and look to the meaningful. 

This is the day. As Paul said - carpe diem - seize the day.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Back to the Perennial

As you may recall, I reread "Perennial Philosophy" from time to time. It is one of the top most meaningful books in my spiritual life. This morning the below quote caught my eye.

Direct knowledge of the Ground cannot be had except by union, and union can be achieved only by the annihilation of the self-regarding ego, which is the barrier separating the “thou” from the “That.”

I had  vision of all the range of preachers shouting out their sermons, as if they, and only they, knew the absolute truth. I saw the pumped up egos, the pulpit pounding, the distain for other ways, the shouting down of descencion, the punishing of those called "other." I read yesterday there are 45,000 "Christian" denominations worldwide and at least 30,000 in the U.S.! Each has a variation of what it means to be a Christian. Each is sure they are right. They bear little resemblance to what we know of Jesus.

In the quote above, it is suggested that a person can only Know God/The Ground of Being, by direct experience, and that is possible only without ego. To go on an actual spiritual adventure, the ego must be left at the door. The ego is the wall that blocks entrance to The Ground.

Whether people know it or not, knowing directly is the inner yearning that calls to us from somewhere deep within our souls. It is the place we often try to fill with other things, things that can never satisfy. There is no drug that will do it. There is no amount of money that will do it. Only knowing God directly can fill that yearning. 

It might be called Jesus' pearl of great price. We each must ask ourselves how important is it to enter The Ground of Being and have our yearning filled? Is this the life we drop the ego and sincerely enter the Spiritual Quest? Or do we want to hold onto our egos for yet another life?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Oh No! Covid AGAIN!

It happened. My husband and I got Covid, again, a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday we finally tested negative. We are still coughing and fatigued, but lots better. My sense of taste is way off, I tend to get dizzy, etc. but no temperature and no on the Covid test. We got infusions of monoclonal antibodies last week Wednesday. A Riverside County Public Health nurse called after our positive tests and suggested, because of our ages, we should drive up to the University of California Riverside Hospital Complex to get infusions. They called yesterday to check on us. I guess we are now part of the statistics.

So, our lives continue, and I must have more to do here. I prayed this morning, again, for guidance for the best use of these remaining years. I see so much going off the rails, devolving, going away from where civilization could/should go.

You see the news. Putin is threatening WW3 while his forces play havoc in Ukraine causing untold pain and anguish. Zi wants to take over the world and is doing all sorts of things to undermine the West while also promoting atrocities within China. Unhinged teenagers are doing mass murders. Crime is up, borders are open, inflation is galloping upward. On and on,

Underlying all of this, in my understanding, is the move away from spirituality, religion, proven social behaviors and mores. Religion has failed us on many counts. It has failed by moving away from the essential core and making up far-fetched theologies that have nothing to do with the long-ago beginnings. They have morphed into something the founders would not recognize. Imagine Buddha or Jesus or Lao Tse visiting today's versions of what their amazing insights were.

While theologians argued over how many angels could sit on the head of a pin, people were being tortured for having the "wrong" beliefs. Today, while so many are lost and miserable, religious leaders argue over fine points of their made-up theologies. Go back to the fount of the original wisdom to see how far we have strayed from the ideas that ignited an entire movement, words so thrilling and meaningful that great changes were stirring hearts and minds.

It's simple, but not easy. Love one another. Love God. Forgive one another. Help one another. Get the log out of your own eye. Don't judge by appearances. Don't be attached to the things of this world. The kingdom is within. Let your light shine. 

Living these simple teachings could change everything. Lay down the weapons of manmade theologies, and pick up the clear and simple ideas and live them the best you can. It could be the dawn of something wonderful for humankind, if only we would live the teachings that still ring clear and true across the ages. Think on these, contemplate them, and do your best to be living examples:

 Love one another. Love God. Forgive one another. Help one another. Get the log out of your own eye. Don't judge by appearances. Don't be attached to the things of this world. The kingdom is within. Let your light shine.