Spiritual Teachings #34 Christian

“O Thou Who hears the cries of the world, come to us.”

Love Embracing the Beloved

“All things are possible to him who believes,

they are less difficult to him who hopes,

they are easier to him who loves,

and still more easy to him who practices

and perseveres in these three virtues…

Believe me,

count as lost each day you have not used in loving God.”

Brother Lawrence

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of

God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This article contains the Spiritual Maxims of one Nicholas Herman of Lorraine, a lowly born and unlearned man; who, after having been a soldier and a footman, was admitted a lay brother among the Carmelites Deschausses (bare-footed) at Paris in 1666, where he served in the kitchen of the community. He was afterwards known by the name of Brother Lawrence. He died in February 1691, at the advanced age of eighty, after a life the true saintliness of which can be well realized from his words of guidance.

“Herein you will not find set out a devotion which is merely speculative, or which can only be practiced in a cloister. No, there is an obligation laid on every man to worship God and to love Him, and we cannot carry out this solemn duty as we ought, unless our heart is knit in love to God, and our communion is so close as to constrain us to run to Him at every moment, just like little children, who cannot stand upright without their mother’s arms of love.”

Not only did Brother Lawrence perceive God as present in his soul by faith, but also in all events of life, whensoever they befell, instantly he could arise and seek the Presence of God. Yet he confessed that it was hard at first, that many a time he had been unmindful of this practice, but that, after humble prayer and confession to God of his failure, he had betaken himself to it again without trouble.

Of his life within God, his failures and attainments, he left a legacy of direction for those who would likewise seek “The Way, the Truth, and the Life in the Presence of God.” Thus his declaration most central to this undertaking was: “That the Presence of God can be reached rather by the heart and by love than by understanding. In the way of God thoughts count for little, love is everything.”

His one method of going to God and abiding in His Presence was to do all for the love of Him.

When we enter upon spiritual life, we ought to consider thoroughly what we are, probing to the very depth. Though creatures made for God, we are prone to all manner of maladies and subject to countless infirmities, which distress us and impair the soul’s health, rendering us wavering and unstable in our humors and dispositions. We must believe steadfastly, never once doubting, that all such is from God and for our good; that it is God’s will to visit us therein.

“Good when He gives, supremely good; Nor less when He denies. Afflictions, from His sovereign hand, are blessings in disguise.”

Brother Lawrence entreats us that we: “Must do all things thoughtfully and soberly, without impetuosity or precipitancy, with denotes a mind undisciplined. We must go about our labors quietly, calmly, and lovingly, entreating Him to prosper the works of our hands; thus keeping heart and mind fixed on God.

“That useless thoughts spoil all: that the mischief began there; but that we ought to be diligent to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertinence to the matter at hand, or to our salvation; and return to our communion with God. When we are busied, as well as while meditating on spiritual things, even in our time of set devotion, whilst our voice is rising in prayer, we ought to cease for one brief moment, as often as we can, to worship God in the depths of our being, to taste Him though it be in passing, to touch Him though as it were by stealth. Since you cannot but know that God is with you in all you undertake, that He is at the very depth and center of your soul, why should you not thus pause an instant from time to time in your outward business, and even in the act of prayer, to worship Him with your soul, to praise Him, to entreat His aid, to offer Him the service of your heart, and give Him thanks for all His loving-kindness and tender-mercies?”

The Spiritual Maxims of Brother Lawrence systematically guides us through the means for attaining unto the Presence of God:

     1.     The first is a great purity of life; in guarding ourselves with care lest we should do or say or think on anything, which might be displeasing to God.

     2.     Second is a great faithfulness in the practice of His Presence, and in keeping the soul’s gaze fixed on God in faith, calmly, humbly, lovingly, without allowing an entrance to anxious cares and disquietude.

     3.     Make it your study, before taking up any task to look to God, be it only for a moment, as also when you are engaged thereon, and lastly when you have performed the same. And forasmuch as without time and patience this practice cannot be attained, be not disheartened at your many falls; truly this habit can only be formed with difficulty, yet when it is so formed, how great will be your joy therein.

     4.     Let us mark well, however, that this intercourse with God is held in the depth of our being; there it is that the soul speaks to God, heart to heart, and over the soul thus holding converse there steals a great and profound peace. All that passes without concerns the soul no more than a fire of straw, which the more it flares, the sooner burns itself out; and rarely indeed do the cares of the world ever intrude to trouble the peace that is within.

     5.     It is here therefore, in the heart, that we ought to strive to make a habit of this gaze on God; but that which is needful to bring the heart to this obedience we must do, as has been said, quite simply, without strain or study.

     6.     When the mind, for lack of discipline when first engaged in this practice, has contracted bad habits of wandering and dissipation, such habits are difficult to overcome, and commonly draw us, even against our will, to things of earth. One remedy for this is to humbly offer prayer to God. A multiplicity of words in prayer is not advised; discursive forms of prayer are often an occasion for wandering.

     7.     One way to recall easily the mind in time of prayer, and to preserve it more in rest, is not to let it wander too far at other times.

     8.     This practice of the Presence of God is somewhat hard at the outset, yet, pursued faithfully, it works imperceptibly within the soul most marvelous effects; it draws down God’s grace abundantly, and leads the soul insensibly to the ever-present vision of God, loving and beloved, which is the most spiritual and most real, the most free and most life-giving manner of prayer.

9. Remember that to attain this state, we must control the senses, inasmuch as no soul, which takes delight in earthly things above those in their Creator, can find full joy in the Presence of God; to be with Him we must leave behind the creature.

Thus, Brother Lawrence compassionately entreats us to ‘seek and find’, to ‘knock and the door will be opened unto us’, for his final guidance is:

“All things are possible to him who believes, they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are easier to him who loves,

and still more easy to him who practices and perseveres in these three virtues…

Believe me, count as lost each day you have not used in loving God.”

Just prior to the final moment when this lover of the Beloved passed away in the embrace of His Lord, a brother asked him if he was at ease and what his mind was busied with? He said: “I am doing what I shall do, through all eternity – blessing God, praising God, adoring God, giving him the love of my whole heart. It is our one business, my brethren, to worship Him and love Him, without thought of anything else.”

The brethren then begged him to entreat of God for them to possess the true spirit of prayer. Brother Lawrence, without pain or struggle, without losing in the slightest the use of any of his faculties, in perfect peace and calm replied:

“There was need of labor on my part also to make myself worthy of such a gift.”

These were his last words.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

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Spiritual Teachings #33

Saint Pio’s personal advice to devotees


Padre Pio said: “What mankind lacks today is prayer.”

“We seek God in books, but it is in prayer that we find Him.

Prayer is the key that opens the heart of God.”


“In like manner I wish women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety…” 1 Timothy 2:9

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty…” Galatians 5:19

Padre Pio had extremely strong views on female fashions in dress. When the mini-skirt craze started, no one wearing one dared to come to Padre Pio’s monastery.

     Padre Pio never tolerated those dressed in an inappropriate fashion. Women came not in mini skirts, but in skirts that were shortish. Padre Pio got very upset about this as well. One woman tried to change her skirt before going to confession; she borrowed a longer one from a friend. When she entered the confessional, he drew back the little shutter, and then snapped it shut again, stating: “Well? Have we been dressing up for a carnival, then?”

     Any woman who came into his confessional wearing a skirt that was not eight inches below the knees was sent away immediately without being able to go to confession.     Other women, who managed to enter dressed somewhat improperly, were ordered out by Padre Pio, with him sometimes shouting “out! out! out!”

Padre Pio tolerated neither tight skirts nor short or low-necked dresses. He also forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. His severity increased each year. He would dismiss women from the confessional, even before they got inside, if he discerned their dress to be inappropriate. Many mornings he drove one out after another – ending up hearing only very few confessions. He also had a sign fastened to the church door, declaring:

“By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional.”

Padre Pio would rebuke some women with the words, “Go and get dressed.” He would at times add: “Clowns!” He wouldn’t give anyone a pass, whether they were people he met or saw the first time, or long- time spiritual daughters. In many cases, the skirts were many inches below the knees, but still weren’t long enough for Padre Pio’s severity.     Boys and men also had to wear long trousers, if they didn’t want to be kicked out of the church.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #23 Christian

From Mystic Treatises by Saint Isaac of Nineveh

Faith is the gate to the mysteries. What the bodily eye is for the things of the senses, the same is faith in connection with the treasures hidden to the eyes of the mind.

We possess two psychic eyes, as the Fathers say, just as we possess two bodily eyes. But both have not the same purpose as to sight.

With one we see the hidden glory of God which is concealed in the things of nature, His power and His wisdom, and His eternal care for us which by His particular providence is directed unto us. With the same eye we also see the spiritual classes of our fellow-beings. With the other we see the glory of His holy nature. When our Lord desires to give us initiation to the spiritual mysteries, He opens in our mind the ocean of faith.

As a grace beyond a grace has repentance been given to man. Repentance is being born anew in God. That of which we have received the pledge by baptism, we receive as a gift by repentance. Repentance is the gate of mercy, which is opened to all who seek it. Through this gate we go in to Divine Mercy. Apart from this entrance it is not possible to find mercy. Because all have sinned, according to the words of Scripture, and are justified freely by grace. (Rom. 3, 23) Repentance is a second grace; it is born in the heart from faith and fear. Fear* is the paternal rod which guides us up to the spiritual Eden. When we have arrived there, it leaves us and returns. Eden is the divine love wherein is the paradise of all goods, where the blessed Paul was sustained by supernatural food. When he had eaten from the tree of life which is there, he exclaimed: “eye has not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Cor. 2, 9) Adam was bereft of this tree by the promise of the Devil. The tree of life is the divine love which Adam lost by his fall, after which he worked and wearied himself. Those who are bereft of divine love are still eating the bread that is won by the sweat of their labour, even though they work righteousness, as was commanded to the head of our race when he lost it by his fall. Until we find love, we work in the earth with her thorns. Among thorns we sow and reap, even if we sow the seed of righteousness. Perpetually we are pricked by them, even if we are justified, and live with sweat on our faces.

When, however, we have found love, we eat the heavenly bread and we are sustained without labour and without weariness. Love is sufficient to feed man instead of food and drink. This is the wine that gladdens the heart of man. Blessed is he who has drunk from this wine.

As it is not possible to cross the ocean without a boat or a ship, so no one can cross towards love, without fear. This foetid sea, which lies between us and the intelligible paradise, we cross in the boat of repentance, which has fear for a rudder. If the rudder of fear does not govern this ship of repentance, in which we cross the sea of this world towards God, we shall be drowned in the foetid sea. Repentance is the ship, fear is the governor, love is the divine port.

When we have reached love, we have reached God and our way is ended and we have passed unto the island which lieth beyond the world, where is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; to whom be glory and dominion. That He make us worthy to fear and to love him. Amen.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #18 Christian

As long as a man is negligent, he fears the hour of death; when, however, he comes near to God, he proceeds firmly and both kinds of fear are taken away. How does this happen? While his knowledge and his behavior are of a bodily nature, he is frightened by death. But when his knowledge is of a psychic nature, and his behavior is steadfast, his mind is moved by the thoughts of Judgement every moment. In the first state he belongs wholly to nature; in the psychic state he is moved and guided by his knowledge and by his discipline. And he is happy in the neighborhood of God. But when he reaches true knowledge by the motion of the apperception of God’s mysteries and he becomes confirmed in future hope, he is consumed by love.

He that is bodily fears as an animal fears being slaughtered; he who is rational fears the Judgement of God. He that has become a son, is pleasing to love, not to the staff of him who testifies. ‘I and my house will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15). For love annihilates fear. It not only fears but it even longs after departure. Love is the dissolver of temporary life. He that has reached the love of God, does not desire to stay here any more.

My beloved ones, because I was foolish, I could not bear to guard the secret in silence, but am become mad, for the sake of my brethren’s profit. For true love is not able to cling to the cause of love apart from friends.

Oft when I was writing these things, my fingers paused on the paper. They could not bear the delight which had fallen into the heart and which made the senses silent. Blessed is he that has constant intercourse with God and has withdrawn himself from worldly things, being with Him only, in intercourse founded upon his knowledge. And if he has to be patient, it will not be long before he sees fruits.

Gladness in God is stronger than earthly life. He that has found it, is not only free from the trial of the affections, but he does not even turn towards his life any longer. Furthermore, he has no other apperception, if he really has been deemed worthy of this.

Love is sweeter than life. An understanding concerning God, from which love is born, is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. What is the sweetness of love which excels life? Love is not spiteful if it has to undergo a myriad of deaths for the sake of it’s friends.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #13 Christian

“The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined.

Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment.”    

Sri Anandamayi Ma

Spiritual-Teaching.org

“Be anchored in fearlessness. What is worldly life but fear!

When you live in the grip of fear, must you not be afraid? It is futile to expect fearlessness there.

That you may be delivered from all sorrow you should endeavour to let God be your one and only support.”

Sri Anandamayi Ma in Matri Vani

Devotee: If one realised the Self and acted up to it in the West, one would be locked up in a lunatic asylum.

Maharshi: You will be locking yourself in. Because the world is mad, it considers you mad.

Where is the lunatic asylum if it is not within. You will not be in it, but it will be in you.

Uncertainties, doubts and fears are natural to everyone until the Self is realised.

They are inseparable from the ego, rather they are the ego.

Sri Ramana Maharshi in Talks #612

“Look, in order to pluck a rose one has to put one’s hand into the midst of thorns.

But if the rose is a person’s aim and he has a keen desire to pluck it, he will not refrain from doing so for fear of being pricked.

Moreover, the Great Mother arranges whatever is necessary for each one.

She certainly knows the real need of every individual.

If one has at least this much faith, there is no reason at all to feel fear and distress…

Sustain the flow of God’s Name and no fear of any kind can exist is His Presence.”

Sri Anandamayi Ma

From the Mystic Treatises of Saint Isaac of Nineveh

As long as a man is negligent, he fears the hour of death; when, however, he comes near to God, he proceeds firmly and both kinds of fear are taken away. How does this happen? While his knowledge and his behavior are of a bodily nature, he is frightened by death. But when his knowledge is of a psychic nature, and his behavior is steadfast, his mind is moved by the thoughts of Judgement every moment. In the first state he belongs wholly to nature; in the psychic state he is moved and guided by his knowledge and by his discipline. And he is happy in the neighborhood of God. But when he reaches true knowledge by the motion of the apperception of God’s mysteries and he becomes confirmed in future hope, he is consumed by love.

He that is bodily fears as an animal fears being slaughtered; he who is rational fears the Judgement of God. He that has become a son, is pleasing to love, not to the staff of him who testifies. ‘I and my house will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15). For love annihilates fear. It not only fears but it even longs after departure. Love is the dissolver of temporary life. He that has reached the love of God, does not desire to stay here any more.

My beloved ones, because I was foolish, I could not bear to guard the secret in silence, but am become mad, for the sake of my brethren’s profit. For true love is not able to cling to the cause of love apart from friends.

Oft when I was writing these things, my fingers paused on the paper. They could not bear the delight which had fallen into the heart and which made the senses silent. Blessed is he that has constant intercourse with God and has withdrawn himself from worldly things, being with Him only, in intercourse founded upon his knowledge. And if he has to be patient, it will not be long before he sees fruits.

Gladness in God is stronger than earthly life. He that has found it, is not only free from the trial of the affections, but he does not even turn towards his life any longer. Furthermore, he has no other apperception, if he really has been deemed worthy of this.

Love is sweeter than life. An understanding concerning God, from which love is born, is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. What is the sweetness of love which excels life? Love is not spiteful if it has to undergo a myriad of deaths for the sake of it’s friends.

Love of God Annihilates Fear

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Rosicrucian Reflections #34

 

 

“The law of manifestation operates like a triangle: First, know what you want and visualize it as if you already had it; Second, see it behind the illusion of reality, practice it in your decisions, choose the people you hang out with, etc; Third, believe, have faith and work on your emotions to be at the right frequency. This triangle of manifestation is one of the secrets of many religions: Christianity, Scientology, and Freemasonry. In Masonry is seen as “heart, mind and desire”; in Scientology is perceived as “reality, communication and affinity”; in Christianity is understood as “Father, son and holy ghost”; basically, “actions, learnings and emotions”. In Christianity, the Father equals reality or the Creator of the illusion, the son is the way, the path, the road of our decisions and actions, and the holy ghost is our heart, instincts and desires manifested in that same path. In words, through Jesus, and with the power of the holy ghost, you reach God. This is an allegory that not many Christians can understand. Jesus represents behavior – right and wrong, the holy ghost is our faith, your heart and emotions reflecting back at you what you attract, it’s the energy that connects you to your dreams, and God represents the Architect of Reality. So, through moral behavior and positive emotions, your understand God and life, and then you receive “paradise”. This paradise is whatever you dream for yourself. Furthermore, if someone has shown you this way, he has been as an angel to you, a messenger of God; if someone stopped you from reaching it, he has been as a demon, a worker for Satan, the enemy, if you failed in seeing this path, you have redirected yourself towards hell. And if you hate your life, you are already in hell. If you want to get out of hell, you must accept the truth, and this truth is that you must know God, for He is the truth. He and the truth are one and the same.”
― Robin Sacredfire

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Keep smiling, keep shining.

Seth Kelly Curtis

Selections From The World’s Great Wisdom Traditions #16 Christianity

 

 

Be Ye Therefore Perfect

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?

“And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:38-48

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Keep smiling, keep shining

Seth Kelly Curtis

 

 

 

 

 

Selections From The Worlds Great Wisdom Traditions #8 Christianity

 

 

Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and

when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of

heaven.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after

righteousness: for they shall be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the

children of God.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’

sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute

you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my

sake.

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward

in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were

before you.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his

savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for

nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of

men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill

cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,

but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the

house.

“Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your

good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

-Matthew  5:1 – 16

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Seth Kelly Curtis