Category Archives: Relationships

Uninterrupted love

Divine love can’t be interrupted.

The continuity of God’s love persists through time and change.

Here is an example:

Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with a friend I hadn’t talked to in two years. We both are busy in life, yet we think of one another often with thoughts of joy and compassion. Those memories and expectations are what keep love continuous.

The second we connected on the phone, our conversation was serious and happy. There was no discussion about weather, politics, or trivial tidbits. She told me about her niece, who is living with her and her husband now because the niece’s mother just never adapted to motherhood and moved to Mexico.

The niece had fallen back two grades before moving in with my friend and her husband. She is in sixth grade now and doing well in school. And playing the flute in band.

Love is magnified with gratitude.

Even though we don’t talk with one another often, our love stays uninterrupted, unbroken, and only gets stronger and clearer.

 

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Bathrooms for transgender

NPR reported that the Supreme Court will hear a case regarding the rights of transgenders to use their preferred bathroom.

In my half-century plus human experience, I’ve internalized the feeling that when I have to go, I have to go. I don’t care what sex the toilet, hole, or rock has been designated as set for.

I understand the dangers involved in this issue, but we are surrounded by dangers. A court ruling or sign will not stop the immoral rapist from entering a bathroom.

I pray to take a stand for humanity to express our highest ideal, to do to others as we’d want to them to do to us.

Quoting from science & religion to God, “The imperative aim of spirituality is to understand Life’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa.

“Jesus is not God. He was born of a woman. His humanness caused his struggles in Gethsemane and on Calvary, but gave us an example we could relate to. His humanity negotiated rituals, stressing that life should be used to the advantage of spiritual growth.

“Don’t be confused. It will seem as though right and wrong are ever at strife in the mind, but victory rests on the side of invincible truth. We uncover backward thinking, not to injure humanity, but to destroy destructive thoughts.”

The monks were nice guys

The value of interfaith is being recognized and many of us are developing relationships with people from other faiths. This is good.

We also know the value of inter-cultures. School aged teenagers from different countries become exchange students. It adds to the realization that in general, we people are the same, though we look and act different.

Last week I noticed a blend between interfaith and inter-cultures. It all started when I listened to the third Presidential Debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I was reminded of my childhood days when America truly distrusted Russia, during the Cold War.

The debate carried that odor of distrust toward Russia. I pondered, just how much should we trust Russians?

I didn’t beat myself up trying to answer that question, mainly because I know not all Russians are the same, either trustworthy or untrustworthy.Same with Americans.

Therefore, I put my trust in God. I pray my spirituality is clear enough to trust the trustworthy, no matter what ethnicity.

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In Jordanville, NY

Anyway, a few days later, I noticed an Open House invitation from the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery, in Jordanville, New York. Jordanville is about an hour and half drive from my home.

I went to the Open House.

A little background from their website: “Holy Trinity Monastery was established in 1928 by Fr. Panteleimon, a Russian monk from St. Tikhon’s monastery in Pennsylvania.

“During World War II a group of a dozen monks came from Europe, bringing with them printing experience and a tradition which originated in the Pochaev Lavra in the Ukraine. Archbishop Vitaly was part of that group and became the head and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, and construction of the Church and other buildings increased.

“Archimandrite Luke was elected the new Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery on May 19, 2008.”

I met Abbot Luke. I listened to him and others speak.

I learned that during the Cold War, the Holy Trinity published church materials and smuggled them into Russia for the few surviving Orthodox members.

Millions of Christians were killed and imprisoned by Stalin.

Now that the Cold War is over, their printed material has adapted. “In the past, Holy Trinity published in the Russian language. After the Cold War, the decision was made to print in the international language of English, and our material is now being sent around the world, especially Asia, North and South America,” said Abbot Luke.

Moreover, Abbot Luke had just returned from a trip to Russia and was thankful to report, “There were six hundred Orthodox members at the church meeting, whereas there might have been ten when communism fell.”

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Iconography inside Holy Trinity

I was impressed. Not only by the byzantine frescos and icons in the cathedral, and the sizeable bookstore, but also by the demeanor of these people. I may not agree with their theology entirely, but their desire to cultivate spirituality was not only agreeable, but also a powerful wall blaster.

The wall between American and Russian, was gone. I sensed a wholeness. I didn’t feel some irresistible emotional notion to embrace every Russian, or American, but I felt a relief. Borders or religions can’t separate us because spirituality unites.

Quoting from science & religion to God: . “We don’t invent spirituality, but find our spirituality is inseparable from God.

“It’s wise and healthy to give less intelligence to materiality and more to spirituality. Don’t interfere with God’s government by thrusting in your own views as if they are better than God’s.

“Through inspiration and understanding, God reveals the spiritual knowledge that unlocks the resources of truth. Spirituality allows us to read the human situation correctly, with healing intent and power.

“Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”[1]

“Unity with God isn’t popular with the world, but it is fair to our self and merciful to others.”

[1] Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6

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Fresco inside Cathedral at Holy Trinity

Our divine relationship

Relationships can be loose or tight. What about our relationship with the divine?

Is it so loose we can’t feel a bond? Or is it so tight it might break?

Human relationships can be touched by suspicion or lead to dependency and I don’t think they have anything to do with the divine relationship with God.

And, our divine relationship is the connection worth deepening and expanding.

The definition of the Divine, or God, as found in Science and Health, reads:

God. The great “I AM;”[1] the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.

Bonding with intelligence and Spirit is possible. We can discover a rapport with the all-loving and honest Truth. This relationship with God can’t be broken, can’t get old.

God is never boring.

Our divine relationship comes with vision and interest. God is thought-provoking, more so than the latest app. God is attractive, more so than the latest outfit. God is motivating, more so than caffeine. God is remarkable, more so than the latest technology.

We can internalize the divine relationship with Spirit. It may take some meditation and thoughtful activity, but its worth the effort.

 

[1] Ex. 3:14

Brick walls

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I run up against brick walls. PHAP. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can even do something, if I did know what to do.

It’s not a bad place to be when I realize it is the opportunity to return to the now, to know God NOW.

Brick walls seem to come about when my mind is in the future, when I’m really busy aiming for some future goal. Say a trip. A trip that will bring me closer to a job that will help me in my career.

Another “future” issue that can get stuck in the head is an avoidance of death. We do everything possible to keep our life pattern today the same. But, death isn’t what we make it out to be. Death isn’t the stoppage of life, but the end of false beliefs, fears, and desires.

The desire to push for advancement in my career is not that good. It can actually keep me from doing the job I need to do today. Advancement will come, it’s the law of God, but it comes by God, a good Spirit.

The brick walls fall when I, this is funny, when I go back into the past and recall truthful convictions, finished embraces. I remember a time when I was alone and couldn’t get up my driveway, after a long day of work, because of eight inches of new fallen snow. I have a long driveway. A truck pulled up behind me and it was our neighbor, who never comes home at that time. He said, “Cheryl, I felt like I needed to come home right now. I even drove my bosses truck. It has a lift in the back and I will go get our snowblower and come back and clear your driveway.”

I wonder, Are there really brick walls? Or, opportunities to see more of our infinite God, Love?

 

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