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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Where Is The Holy Spirit?

In reading Origen this morning, I am interested in his idea about where the Holy Spirit can be found. Basically, he says that God is everywhere - in saints and sinners, in animals, in the inanimate. But the Holy Spirit does not act in all of those places. The Holy Spirit is active in conscious people who are sincerely on the spiritual path.

Origen shows that the Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament and not just the New Testament - in Isaiah, Daniel, the hymn of Habakkuk, with Moses,etc. In fact he says that when spirit is mentioned in the Bible, it is referring to the Holy Spirit.

At the scientific level, we know that atoms dance around and circulate constantly and are shared by all, so that at the physical level we are one. We might say that the Creative Energy then is present in all - in saints and sinners, in animal, in the inanimate, just as Origen said.

Origen says if you are engaged in good acts and abide in God, the Holy Spirit is active in you. He adds the caveat that you are also to be in relationship with Jesus - I would make it more expansive by saying the Cosmic Christ.

I don't think before today I've considered the Omnipresence of God and the focused activity of the Holy Spirit not being Omnipresent. At first look, I do think this is accurate.

Furthermore, I am certain the activity of the Holy Spirit in us is not tied in any way to theology. That is we believe this and that and belong to various groups espousing various theologies, and if we are sincerely on the path, do good works, abide in God and walk with Christ -the Holy Spirit is present.

When I write or create something, I often feel the activity of the Holy Spirit. I imagine you do too. So let us expand our good works, abide more fully in God, deepen our walk with Christ and welcome the working and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. What an amazing spiritual journey it is.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Retreat Quilt

I finished this quilt last week, but where we are living there is really bad Internet, so had to wait till we went to the library to upload the photo. It's not perfect, but if you squint its gorgeous. I love the colors of the batiks. With the pain of a severely infected foot, I forged ahead and got the top finished at retreat. I quilted it on a domestic machine. I like the feather wreaths in the 4 corners that I did free motion. I drew the main circle with a Frixion pen that disappears with an iron and then just went for it.

So often in life, I just go for it. I guess that's why I am often called "fearless." Whatever it is, what's the worst thing that can happen and should it really control you? It's only a what if anyway. I know for sure if I don't try, nothing interesting will happen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Origen and Marlene

Let's look at one of his statements on scripture and discuss it a bit:
For so long as any one is not converted to spiritual understanding, a veil is placed over his heart with which veil, i.e., a gross understanding, Scripture itself is said or thought to be covered: and this is the meaning of the statement that a veil was placed over the consciousness of Moses when he spoke to the people, i.e., when the law was publicly read aloud. But if we turn to the Lord where also is the word of God, and where the Holy Spirit reveals spiritual knowledge, then the veil is taken away, and with unveiled face we shall behold the glory of the Lord in the holy Scriptures.

One of the problems that we face is that almost everyone thinks their way has removed the veil and others are veiled. So we get groups who claim to be followers of the way of Jesus opposed to other groups who claim to be followers of the way of Jesus - each thinking the other is either misguided or dead wrong or even dangerous. So there is little convergence and fellowship. The animosity that develops leads to ever thickening veils.

I think we would do well to not shrink from discussions between different understandings and would be well served by the depth that would surely ensue. At a time when Christianity Itself is under attack, Christians might consider stop being part of factions and join together to be simply followers of the way of Jesus with various understandings of what that means. 

Your understanding, for example, says you must engage in ritual and mine says it is not essential or even needed. That is interesting  --- not wrong. Let's discuss it and understand and accept the form that speaks to each one.

If we stand on the core of Jesus' way - love, forgiveness, acceptance of all, healing, prayer, times in the silence, empathy, close relationship with God, etc. - then the details are simply interesting, and we can stand together.

It might be a crucial time for Christianity's future, what shall we do?

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Once upon a time a loved one disparingly said I sounded a lot like Origen, who he identified as a heretic. So of course I had to explore Origen.

He was a brilliant 1st/2nd century Christian thinker and extremely influential on formulating theology for the new Jesus movement. He was revered for centuries, then labeled a heretic and then reinstated as brilliant.

I am reading a book of his writings that I found on Amazon for 99cents! I will be discussing some of his ideas here. For today I just want to consider how all things change at the outer level as seen by the judgment of the powers that be changing with extreme swings about Origen.

The outer dance keeps on. The Truth stands.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Soul

This morning I am pondering one of the things Meister Eckhart said: God says He will draw the soul to Him, and she shall be made new, for she has wandered far from him and, in the death throes of unlikeness caused by the assaults of lethal things, has lost her pristine bloom, her first God-given freshness.

It has been my quest to journey back to God, climbing over all the piles of pain and travail and confusion of this life that began way back when. I have come part of the way and am only too aware I have "miles to go before I sleep" as Robert Frost said.

This morning my attention was drawn to news alerts on my phone, and away from my personal journey. The various terrorist groups are pledging to annihilate Christianity totally. Wipe it of the face of the earth my phone told me.

I feel deep sadness for souls so far from God and so deep in barbarity that they must not see and are so lost. I feel dismay at the leaders of this world who are so politically correct they will not stand up and be counted upon. How could a small band expand so quickly and cause so much grief? Will you join me in prayer for them?

Lord, open the perpetrators of monstrous acts to Your Light. Draw their souls from the murkiness out of lethal things and back to their Divine Center, to the pristine souls that You created. Ease their anger and pain and lift them to You. Lead them to remember You. Lift them out of ignorance. Diffuse their rage. Bring them healing.  Bring them peace. Bring them home to You. I know from human eyes, this seems almost impossible, but I know with You all things are possible. Let the waves of healing flow across this planet and ring out the good news that You are with us and all will be well. God, I am so thankful to know You hear this prayer. Let it be so. Amen, Amen and Amen

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blessings of Creativity

This past week-end I had the joy and blessing to participate in our guild's retreat in wine country. It was held at the gorgeous convent there. As our president said, the food was like cruise food. The scenery was inspiring.

The part most wonderful to me was 3 days of sewing, talking, sharing, creating with 26 fabulous friends and being in the experience far away from television and the day's news. It was a restoring and refreshing break.

Photo of the center of my quilt I made at the retreat. I finished the top at the retreat and am ready to quilt it today. I'll put the finished quilt up in a day or so.

Once again I melted into the creative process and felt the energy of something greater than I. For me, creativity is a spiritual experience. I feel led by a loving energy to write words or pick fabrics or configure some new creation. Quilting is one of my creative expressions and it means so much to me that is beyond the actual end product. The process itself is a spiritual one. I think because we are made in the image of God, it is our nature to create, and when we don't, something is not quite right in our lives. Some say that depression is the energy of one's life force turning inward rather than expressing in creative ways. In fact I have seen the turn around in people's lives when they commence to unleash their natural creative energies.

I wonder what might happen if people gave themselves a creation break each day? Say a half an hour or an hour a day. I wonder if depression might fade, addictions might fall away, and joy might come to stay.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blessed Easter to Us All

It seems that every Easter I hear from somewhere deep inside - it's the great gettin up morning. 

It truly is as far as the Easter story is concerned and potentially for each of us. This morning I read one of Meister Eckhart's sermons which seemed synchronistically just right for this gettin up morning.

He often talks of the spark, the seed of God in us and of each of us having the potential and joy to birth the Christ as sons and daughters of God one and all.

Eckhart, as have many philosophers and spiritual teachers, spoke of finding God in the silence, not in words or images. He spoke of the soul as the essence, the ground within where communion with God occurs. We find God and are reborn out of the stillness. In fact he says, "the very best and utmost attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in you."

In thinking about the Easter story and applying what Meister Eckhart said, a new thought about it all came to me. Instead of looking at the outer story, we might for a moment consider the symbolism. Jesus went into complete stillness in the tomb. When he emerged, he was changed, for even his closest companions did not recognize him. The Rabbi was transformed into pure radiance, for out of the deep stillness that which is impossible to make happen, happened.

Meister Eckhart closes this particular sermon I read this morning with this: May the God who has been born again as man assist us in this birth, continually helping us, weak men [women], to be born again in him as God. Amen

To this I say - Amen, Amen and Amen