Healing through Mediation

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Healing through Mediation

 It’s time to do ourselves a favor and begin healing ourselves. I’m not talking about a physical ailment; what I am referring to how broken we are spiritually. We have to rid ourselves of the shackles that have weighed us down, probably since we were young. Our parents made us feel guilty about doing wrong; this guilt has prevented us from healing internally and not allowed us to have a closer relationship with God. Our perceived wrongs keep us from His loving grace.

 When Jesus was hanging on the cross, one of the thieves condemned him; one blessed him. Yes, I mean blessed, by proclaiming that Jesus did nothing wrong and did not deserve his plight. In a way, this unnamed thief is confessing his sins and praying that God would forgive him for all the wrong he did. He heard Jesus say that he would be with Jesus in heaven for eternity.

 This is a time of healing for all of us. God overlooks our wrongs and loves us as any parent would; but we may not forgive ourselves. We need to be healed; we need to realize that our perceived wrongs should not be the reasons for our insecurity and guilt. Prayer and meditation go a long way to bring peace to ourselves. Prayer and meditation bring us closer to God; bring us closer to the thief on the cross who prays that God will forgive him.

 We may not be thieves on a cross, but we are human and probably have done things we are not proud of. We must learn to forgive ourselves, and what helps us do this are the twins: prayer and meditation. Our prayers and meditations put God first. We recognize that He is the giver of grace; He is the giver of forgiveness. Let’s accept it!

 

Love and Forgiveness

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Love and Forgiveness . . . of ourselves and of others.

Ephram the Syrian in 373 said

“What shall I give you, Lord, in return for all your kindness? 
Glory to you for your love. Glory to you for your patience. 
Glory to you for forgiving all our sins.”

It is in forgiving that we are forgiven. We must see ourselves and see others as God sees us. This is the only way that we can be true to ourselves and true to God. Love thy neighbor as thy self is another of saying what Jesus instructed us to do. Can we do this . . . honestly? To be truly humble means that we must love each other as God loves us. Can we be truly humble towards ourselves and towards others?

These are the questions that we should ask ourselves on a daily basis. We can recognize the brokenness inside ourselves that is caused by either our own failures. And, can we recognize the brokenness in others that are caused by us, by what we say or what we do. Unfortunately, our best intentions and our best efforts to promote love sometimes are blurred by our own selfishness and can be hurtful to others.

We cannot avoid this; we must accept this; and, ask for forgiveness for these unintentional slights our hurts. We must also forgive others for the unintentional pains that others cause for us. This is what Jesus meant in his prayer, to forgive us for their transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us.

Instead of just saying these automatically, if we truly live these small asks, we can be so much happier in our own lives, while bringing happiness to others in their lives. We know we are not perfect, and we know that others are not perfect. God forgives us for our imperfections. We can only do the same in the name of the Love of God.

 

    

Dreams

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Dreams

I have often wondered why I have the same recurring dream; not every night, but often enough that I wonder what is going on in my mind. This particular dream takes place in the early days of a business I owned in my twenties. The people in the dream are those who worked for me then. This was twenty years before I became a teacher, making it over fifty years ago.

But this dream recurs often, and the one constant in the dream is that I am unable to lock the door to go home. I am forever stuck with an open door, customers constantly entering. I cannot get out of this time of my life. I have looked upon this dream as a nightmare, because the business ended poorly, before I entered teaching.

I read an article recently, in which two theologians are discussing the lack of concentration many people have today, causing them to have lost the ability to read a good book, participate in a meaningful conversation, or to meditate without distractions. I feel that one of the reasons for this is the availability of the cell phone; it is always dinging or buzzing with new distractions, interrupting any deep thinking we may be doing.

In this article, the subject of dreams arose, when one of the theologians said that we may not remember our dreams, but God does – forever. This caused me to think of my recurring dream and how I wish I could not remember it. But then I thought more on the meaning of this dream and why God wants me to remember this one.

The dream is always about the good times, not the bad. The bad thoughts of the dream always occur when I awake, the bad times and loss of the business are never a part of the dream. It was a good time in my life, free from any real worries. I want to say that this was a simple time of my life, a simple time, and easy-going time.

God is telling me to forget the bad part; the good part is what is important. The joy I had with the people that worked with and for me. And perhaps, God is telling me that the reason my business failed was due to technology changes and it was time for me to move on, become a teacher, and be a mentor to those looking for their own path in life.

Dreams!!! If God has chosen dreams that we remember, perhaps we should listen to God and cherish the message that God is laying before us. Try not to make things difficult, suffer the misery, rethink what could have been. We all must move on to new things, to the new doors that open in our lives. Sometimes all it takes is to open our minds and hearts to God.  

Deeper Spirituality

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Deeper Spirituality

Some of us search for deeper spirituality. This is not easy. Many men and women become priests or other clergy. They devote their lives to the search for deeper spirituality. They must, because they are here to serve those of us who do not have this. The question arises whether we as lay people can also attain this without going through seminary. Can we become as spiritual as a trained minister?

I believe we can, but it is not easy; we must give up something to attain this. I don’t think that it is possible in the first half of our lives, when we are beginning a family, earning a good living, maybe buying a house. Our efforts are too absorbed by attaining a material level where we are comfortable. We do not have the time to devote our lives to the study of scripture.

This can all change when we realize that we are in the second half of our lives. We can’t put an age on this, but for many it is when the children leave home. Our responsibilities are greatly reduced and if we desire and truly want spirituality, we can give up some of the things we enjoy, pursuing this new goal. I meditate daily and write about what I pray. Mostly, this is to concentrate on how our world does not recognize our spirituality. And the importance of it.

I am not an expert on the Bible; I cannot quote scripture as some can. But I do have the uncanny ability to read something, such as one of Jesus’s parables and discern what this story may have meant to the poor in His time. Many times, His stories were messages to the Pharisees and the ruling class of Jews. Very few understood what his message was.

I may not know what his message was, but I do try to relate to the life of a person without a cell phone, computer, or television. Failing this, I spend time discern what His message means in today’s world. This is the world we live in; this is the world we must navigate by using His messages, as best we can.

We may not have the education that a minister of God has, but we do have working brains that allow us to take a story, relate it to our lives, bring our lives into what we feel is the message of God, and then, live by this. Not easy, but not so difficult either.

May you use the time you have to grow closer to the messages from God. Bless you all.

Surrender

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Surrendering

To grow into God’s Love, we must move out of the chaos of our world and restructure our very existence to eliminate those parts of our lives that are corrosive. Without God’s Love, we are nothing but flesh and bones, believing that we are kings and rule over the dominion of Earth. How mistaken we are.

There is so much more available to us if we surrender ourselves to the reality that God is supreme, not us. The practice of Love is our purpose, not the accumulation of money and possessions. The possessions we keep during our mortal life, we lose when we die. The Love we share never dies, even after we pass from this existence to whatever is next.

People without the Love of God suffer through many negative influences in their lives. They continually worry about all that they do and all that they possess. They believe that the words what if are negative; they always perceive that something bad will happen. I believe that the words what if brings great revelations and great promises and great progress. For all of us!     

Forgiveness

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Unlocking Our Chains

James Koester writes: “We can choose to forgive as we are forgiven, or we can choose to bear our grudges and nurse our hurts. We can choose to offer and embrace and receive that peace or turn our backs.”

Most of us have difficulties forgiving others, particularly when the other hurts us deeply. This lack of forgiveness can last along time, and, when it does, we often lose a life-long friend. To prevent this, we forgive the offense and continue with a warm, close relationship with the person. One of my biggest mistakes was losing touch with my sister for ten years after a perceived slight. Fortunately, we had fifteen good years as friends before her death in 2012.

One of the most difficult thing to do is forgive ourselves. We spend too much time blaming ourselves for poor relationships, lost opportunities, and a myriad of other mistakes we make. Why is it so difficult to forgive ourselves? We take the blame for too many missteps and mistakes we make, rather than moving on looking for new opportunities to improve our situation, or to atone for a mistake.

I discovered from my sister, that she had no idea why we had lost touch. The entire problem was within me. After her death, I blames myself for the lost years. It took me a while to forgive myself, accept what was, and reflect on how close we were before she died. I have taken the lead many in talking with a person after a perceived problem, only to discover that it was all in my head. But, by talking things over, our relationships have become stronger.

I have learned, the hard way if I am honest, that God forgives us for all we do. This gives me a great inner calm, knowing that God is always with me. I, in turn, want to emulate God’s love for me in all my relationships. By expressing love and friendship with everyone, I am happier, the people I meet are happier, and strong friendships are made. Isn’t this God’s plan for us?

 

 

 

 

 

 We can choose to reach out and touch God who in bread and wine is made near and real and present or we can choose to go hungry.

-Br. James Koester

 

 

 

 

 

 We can choose to reach out and touch God who in bread and wine is made near and real and present or we can choose to go hungry.

-Br. James Koester

 

 

Being Meek

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Being Meek

When Jesus was walking to Jerusalem, ten lepers begged for him to make them clean. Only one thanked him and he was rewarded by a blessing to go and live his life according to the will of God. In a word, this Samaritan showed meekness in thanking Jesus for his healing. Is it possible for us, living in our world, sheltered or not, to offer the same meekness as this lowly, yet strong, Samaritan?

I sometimes think that we are so tainted by our world, that showing meekness is not possible. I sit here at my computer, writing my thoughts and mediations to share with my friends around the world. Unlike my predecessors, I can do this easily due to the technology of the computer and the world-wide web. Those that came before me had to write by hand their meditations and it could take years, or centuries, for the words to be read by others.

I might be spoiled by the comforts of living in the 21st century. I try to offer meekness every day. I am too infirm to prostate myself before God, but I do  pray to Him daily. I do meditate on how I can use the gifts He gave me to be humble and serve others. I do this through my writing and my prayers. I am one person among the billions living on this planet who know that God is with me wherever I go and whatever I do.

When I pray for others, I am thanking God, much as the Samaritan thanked Jesus, for the life that God had given me, the person I am praying for, and the common bond we share as children of God. Looking at what I have just written, I offer these thoughts as a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonders of life and the grace that God gives all of us.

I pray that you can share this meekness and thank God for the gifts he has given us. May God be with you in your thoughts and prayers today.