It has been said, “prayer and praise change people, not God.” What happens to us when we offer praise to God?
To praise God essentially requires us to willingly put God at the center of our lives. We must surrender all of ourselves to the Spirit.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
As we progress on our spiritual journey, we should expect to have trials and tribulations along the way. These experiences help us broaden and strengthen our understanding and faith. There are times, however, when we are caught off guard by these troubles and instead of looking within for guidance; we are seduced into relying on external stimuli for information and direction. Undoubtedly when we make these mistakes, we experience a great deal of suffering in our lives.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The irony of the world is that the more things change the more the stay the same. Our planet is undergoing dramatic change the likes of which has never been seen before. Technological advancements have created an environment in which many of us are suffering from information overload. There is no sign of an ebbing of the rapid pace of transformation. In the midst of all of this turmoil, there is a source of stability and permanence in our lives should we choose to embrace it. God is our refuge in a world of chaos.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Have you noticed that we tend to label things we do not want or do not like, evil? It is interesting how we take our own expectations and standards and make them the benchmark for “right” in the world. Much of the suffering in this world is merely a dream ( or perhaps nightmare) of our own creation. This is not to say that we should completely discount the presence of evil in the world, but it does help us take a step back and look more closely. More often than not our experience of suffering is caused by our own inability to let go of what we think should be and instead accept on what is.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
One of the most profoundly liberating aspects of the divine/human relationship is the nature of the grace of God. We do not have to be perfect before we receive grace. It does not require us to make amends for our past mistakes (do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions). There is no scorecard. We merely have to change our minds and make God the center of our lives. Although God’s grace is constantly in our midst, our ability to experience that mercy is limited by our ability to give it expectant attention. Without our willingness to look for and anticipate God’s care, divine miracles can happen all around us without us experiencing the wonder of the direct knowledge of grace.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
If we think about it for a minute, it is a strange thing that so often we feel distant and removed from God. How is it that we experience isolation from a God who always is, has been, and will be in our presence and in our midst?The one fact is God. All other things are circumstance.- Unknown
Monday, November 16, 2009
One of the most important aspects of a relationship with the Divine is that it improves the believer’s everyday life. This is commonly referred to as the protection of God. For the faithful there is a perspective on every situation that is beyond the worldly appearance. Without faith in God and the spiritual perspective, the world seems to be an evil place. This prayer of thanksgiving to God is a strong affirmation of faith that there is no good apart from the Divine. The spiritual life offers us the ability to see any circumstance from the divine point of view (holy ones in the land).
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Frequently, we encounter people who believe that they are the masters of their own successes. They will not acknowledge a higher presence at work in their lives. They toil away at their lives attempting to reach greater heights. These are inevitably the same people who find themselves in a great mess in their lives at some point, because instead of identifying with their spiritual nature, they have identified themselves with some worldly thing (money, job title, familial role, etc.). Once the world as they know it has been taken away from them, they struggle to find meaning in their lives.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Contemplative moments (ascend the hill of the Lord ) are ones in which we are acutely aware of the Presence of God within us and in our midst and our connection to that Presence. It is interesting that while we are in the world, we are never separate from God (the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.) And yet even the most devout people proclaim the experience of separation from God. Despite the presence of God everywhere, in the world there are many distractions, internal and external, that seduce our attention and energies away from this truth. During these times it is critical that we stay connected to our deep down, burning desire to know God (clean hands, pure heart.)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
One of the most challenging aspects of the spiritual life is that the Spirit of the Divine requires a blank canvas (poor soul), on which to paint its perfect portrait. We must approach God with pure humility, laying aside our personal will, in the search for true spiritual understanding. Any troubles we experience are only a reflection of our erroneous beliefs of our separation from God and each other. We experience separation primarily when we become deeply self-centered. When we choose to make ourselves our center, our connection to God fades.