“Walking in the forest, Mary Betty Mom and Dad are ahead, I am here”
Ever since I started writing my thoughts down about my current understandings of my relationship with Jesus and Mary, I have struggled to describe my thoughts with the concepts I find in written and spoken media. I keep reviewing my prior posts to see that they accurately portray what I wish to say. God-mindfulness, Meditation and most recently Contemplative Prayer, Contemplative Prayer to Jesus, and Contemplative Prayer to Mary is what I do! Today I went to search on Contemplative, because I never used that term before my NDE, and I questioned whether I was using it correctly. I found discussions about the use of the term Contemplative to be Not-Catholic, Not-Christian and a New Age concept, against a formal interpretation of the Bible! I found a video I thought described exactly what I am experiencing, in particular a discussion by Fr. Richard Rhor, on Contemplative Prayer! Fr. Rohr said Contemplative Prayer is simple yet hard to teach. He talks about the “real.” In my simplistic interpretation I felt he was referring to the fact that “God is Real, Really Present, and with us!” But I actually think he is referring to a more mystical, abstract thought process of looking at the real world, not what I had in mind.
What I have in mind is reflected in a byline on my opening home page, “My most urgent understanding is: "It's Simple!”. What I mean by that phase, is the road to sainthood is not composed of complex, abstract activities, but simple instructions from Jesus, that are really hard in execution because of our imperfect human nature. Upon further searching, I read amongst the Catholic Community of Theological Scholars, there is not agreement as to whether Fr. Rhor’s Contemplative Center in NM, his books and interviews he has given; the manner in which he expresses his concepts, are a correct interpretation of Traditional Catholic teaching or reflect the writings of Scholars like Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of Lisieux’s Story of the Soul, and St. Teresa of Avila, who are recognized scholars about Contemplative Prayer. Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that Fr. Rhor’s teaching is incorrect, and for the most part that is not what I have read, but there may be parts of his teaching that may be more extreme or incorrect, when compared to the Saints I have referenced, according to some theologians. However there are some quotes I have video clips of below by Fr. Rhor, that have a certain spirit of what contemplation is about in his words; that I put to the reader, may help define a very difficult practice to put into words and subsequent action.
I invite the reader to consider them on their merits, but not as gospel. I find the video clips here, to open one’s thought process, but just be careful we open our minds to Christian thoughts not “nothingness” as Fr. Mike Schmitz would say. The caution to the reader, is there are many references in writings on Prayer and types of prayer, but as Christians, and Catholics, we have to be careful to what we hear, read and listen to, and when it comes to ‘Prayer practices and devotions,” even amongst the clergy there is not universal agreement about many of these practices.
So why do I even talk about Contemplative Prayer, and these references, if it’s complicated or not straightforward? I do so because all of us who have Faith, and work to deepen their Prayer devotional practices, will likely come across these types of prayer and wonder how to integrate them into their daily life. I have a nephew that reads ancient BC writings about God and prayer, that he told me he learned about from reading about Thomas Merton, an American Trappist Monk, whom many scholars revere. This kind of reading can be good for our learning, but as an order of priority, it is beyond the basics necessary to lead a prayerful life. As my faith life has evolved, I find that I spend more time on Daily basis, in reflection, meditation and contemplation, or “talking to God,” and I wish to share some aspects of those practices that I hope may help another, but I am trying to make the practices simple to execute, in for no other reason, than my time at this point in my life is focused more on the doing of becoming a Saint, and less on the extensive learning about deep spiritual practices. While I repeat it frequently, the main point of this blog is simply:
Talk to God Everyday, perhaps all day, never let HIM out of your site! I call this God-Mindfulness.
Make Penance a part of your life everyday and receive the Eucharist as much as possible
In the process of living a prayerful life, the practices of contemplation and meditation will come to the forefront, and can become seemingly complicated, and my hope is that they do not, they become simple and also take on an air of urgency, (because we know not the day or the hour when we will leave the earth,) ..this is this blog’s purpose.
JESUS IS HERE RIGHT NOW, BESIDE ME, I know He is and my Faith affirms it! Think about that statement and ask yourself what you might do differently if you believe it? I assume all my readers believe that Jesus is really beside you, and know all your dreams and failings, and I hope this blog helps you to live a God-mindfulness life. So the answer to what I might do differently if I believe Jesus is next to me now, can be as straightforward as I would do nothing different than I am doing now. If I am living a GodMindfulness life, I know God wishes me to do the job, the role He has Blessed me with, and If I am doing that Faithfully and in keeping with His commandments, ti.e. God-Mindful, then I am on my way to becoming a Saint.
What Jesus asks of us is simple, Prayer Penance and Eucharist I worry if someone thinks the concepts I am trying to write about are not expressed according to Catholic, and /or Christian teaching. I’m trying to talk about them in a way that is in alignment with Jesus’s teachings, because I do not wish to lead others away from Jesus, or think that what I am saying is unreliable. I apologize for any misunderstandings but affirm again how important these concepts are, PPE for our souls!
At the opening of this post I have “”Walking in the forest, Mary Betty Mom and Dad are ahead, I am here”. What that means, is I know my sisters Mary and Betty who passed in 1995 and 1989 respectively, are here in a figurative forest, the same forest I am in, but they are ahead of me, and I can’t see them because there is a curve in the road. That I can’t see them does not deny that they are here with me. The same holds true for my Mother and Father, who passed in 2010 and 1998 respectively. The same holds true for Jesus and Mary, that they are with me, but with Jesus and Mary it is different. My family members are passed and I hope that at some time in the future I will see them again as they will see me with our Glorified eternal bodies.
But with Jesus and Mary, their being with me is different than it is with my deceased family, Jesus and Mary are truly present, they ARE HERE WITH ME actively, but I have to respond to them, and the way I do that is through Prayer (Talking, Contemplating, Meditating), using prayer tools (prayers, spiritual /liturgical songs, classical music listening, silence); Penance (offering reparations for the wrongs being lodged against Jesus and Mary, at every turn, some from me, and the rest from the world around me, and I in loving Jesus and Mary back, my tiny voice can help to repair, return Their love, and repay for the sins committed by myself and committed by others. That others will know Jesus and Mary’s Love for them is my prayer. Remember Jesus is here right now, besides you, He sees you, He knows you, all of your good acts and bad acts, and future acts, and He extends His endless Mercy to you. He is Here, besides you, just respond to Him! Good Morning Jesus, I give all I do, all I am, for You today. Thank you for Loving me and giving me this moment to Love You in return!
A word about the Eucharist! The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus! St. Catherine Laboure believed so strongly in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, that she would forgo sleep and rose early enough to attend daily mass, and ran, she ran (no car!), to church in her adjoining village 2 miles away (they had a priest). Zoe did not wish to miss an opportunity to attend mass and receive communion often as available, starting at age 11. A friend has a saying that I think is appropriate here, taken from scripture, “If we only knew “the half of it, we would do the same!” ”
Eucharist is the most intimate encounter of our Souls with Jesus offering sustenance for our souls. Jesus is here right now, around me, with me, but when I encounter His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, He transforms my human-ness to participate in His Human to Divine nature through His Love! MTJ
Jesus Christ acts as a bridge between humanity and divinity. His sacrifice is our continual connection to heaven itself. The point where Jesus touches earth burns with immense love for mankind. And as man elevates the host up towards heaven, the Holy Spirit drips divinity back into the chalice of our receptive hearts. Mary is also a chalice, she is a simple and humble cup who holds divinity within her. And once a chalice holds the blood of divinity, it can never be a normal cup again. We burn illuminated candles and our hearts burn within us as we gaze upon the heart of our Savior. And as the world embraces the sacrifice of their Ultimate Love, Mary’s mantle will wrap around us in an embrace of solace.
Please live a Blessed Day, Go with the Lord, be a Headlight not a Tail Light! Fiat!