Sunday, June 28, 2009

Praying Our Way Back On Track

And thus prayer makes accord between God and man’s soul, though while man’s soul is near to God, there is no need for him to pray, but reverently to contemplate what he says. For during all the time of my showing, I was not moved to pray, but always to have this good in mind for my comfort, that when we see God, we have what we desire, and then we do not need to pray. But when we do not see God, then we need to pray because we lack something, and to make ourselves open to Jesus; for when a soul is tempted, troubled and isolated by distress, then it is time to pray and to make oneself pliable and submissive to God. Unless we are submissive, no kind of prayer can make God bend to us, though his love is always alike; but while man is in a state of sin, he is so enfeebled, so unwise and so unloving, that he can love neither God nor himself.

-Julian of Norwich, from Revelations of Divine Love, short text, #18.


I have been slowly working my way through Dame Julian’s showings, her writings about the visions she was shown while close to death at around the age of 30. Although the language cadence is unfamiliar and challenging for a modern mind, the truth contained in her mystical visions is amazing. I always find myself rereading certain sentences or paragraphs to allow things to “sink in.” In fact, sometimes my reading of Julian is very similar to using Lectio Divina in contemplating the scriptures.

I often seek clarification of spiritual reading through prayer, and the angels come through, clarifying the “showing” God made to Julian centuries ago:

It may seem logical to you to pray when you feel that you lack something, but that’s not what this passage is about. God spoke to and through Julian to say that it is when one feels least spiritual, least close to God, that prayer is most needed. When one feels troubled, when one feels alone, it is natural to reach out to God. God wishes you to know that He is always present and always available, but just as clouds move between the sun and the earth on a cloudy day, one can have clouds in one’s thoughts, words and deeds that obscure God’s presence.

Surrender is a more modern word for being pliable and submissive. Often the human ego wants to micromanage things—I want this, I want this at this time, I want this in this particular way… but the human ego errs. If you focus on the substance of what you want, God will take care of the details. In this way, surrender occurs. Do you really know all there is to know about all the influences forming in your life? God sees all, and by surrendering and saying “I seem to have made a mess again trying to run my own life-please come back to the center of my life. Please help arrange what I want in my life in a much more effective way than I can,” you can realign your life’s schedule with God’s schedule, realign your agenda with God’s agenda.

You may have heard the admonition “this or something better, Lord” in prayer. There is often something much better than what you think you want, that God knows about…. It is a wise way to pray, to allow for God to bless you even more than you can imagine.

Then when you are realigned with God’s presence, when you feel God, remember that Julian said “while man’s soul is near to God, there is no need for him to pray, but reverently to contemplate what he says.” What He says—what God says…. There is speaking and listening in a conversation. Remember the importance of LISTENING as well as praying…. There are many of us angelic messengers who are ignored—please help us serve our Creator by being in closer relationship with you, by listening with your heart for guidance. Pray your way back on track in alignment with God's plan, then listen for guidance to stay on track. Thus you constantly return to God’s embrace—and live a richer, more fulfilling life as God intended.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

We Are One...

Yesterday I posted the following "Twerbose" tweet to my Twitter Account:

We are one... People are always saying "We are really all one" nowadays. And I remember that song "They'll know we are Christians by our Love" that starts off "We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord." But I confess to being really bugged by new agey "we are one" pronouncements that fail to differentiate between the human level where I'm myself, I like cats, I enjoy sushi, and reading poetry, and my friend Sarah who loves dogs, hates cats, likes hamburgers and won't touch sushi, and reads romance novels. We are very different on the ego level and we are NOT the same person.

I think where this idea goes wrong is not analyzing the "we". Which we? We in spirit or we in body? We in spirit are all one. The minister at a church I used to attend had a brilliant analogy--that of the hand. There is a palm with fingers attached. The hand is a whole, the fingers are part of the hand. If God is a hand, we as fingers, as extensions/emanations/creations of God are encompassed by an omnipresent God by definition of omnipresence--but that doesn't mean that the thumb is the forefinger. Each finger is individual--yet they are one as part of the hand. And in such a way are we each members of the body of Christ, and we are one--within God--yet as individuals, we are separate and unique.


I have asked the angels for further clarification on the subject, and I have the pleasure of having Archangel Michael step forward:

Beloved, if someone asked you whether you were Archangel Michael, or Jesus or the Buddha, would you say yes--and get locked away in some institution? Or no? It is interesting that the people who you could be a little more tolerant of, will be quick to be clear on that but still be vaguely spiritual in affirming oneness. It is true that you have a low tolerance for sloppy mental/logical processes, but in this case, the statement isn't even intellectual. It is a parroted spiritual truth, not a known spiritual truth. And it is therefore used profusely, and glibly.

This is not a criticism of the people themselves. It is, however, a commentary on the state of "spirituality" in your world. In a quest to avoid the negative aspects of religion, those who insist on having a non-religious spirituality often throw away some of the things like mental discipline, a consistent worldview/cosmology, and other aspects of religion that are quite positive. Most of these people will agree that God is omnipresent--or some other name they have for God is omnipresent... and then they will say "we are one" because they read it somewhere, not because it was experienced.

When you look at modern people who have somehow had a mystical experience of oneness outside of a religious context, you often find people who have had an epiphany following a harrowing case of depression, or some other tragic situation. Both Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie developed their philosophies following experiences of deep depression, existential depression--something that came from the soul--in fact, we might call their experiences dark nights of the soul in the way that John of the Cross famously described.

For the many, then, oneness is a belief rather than an experience. Mother Teresa saw Jesus's face in everyone's face. She truly beheld the Christ in those she served. But that was Mother Teresa. You see a homeless person and cross the street more than see Christ... And most of the oneness professing people would cross the street with you.

We angels do not advocate trying to feel "one" with everyone and everything all the time. This might be distracting from the world in which you live. On the other hand, we do advocate focusing upon oneness with God. Feel the Spirit of God move you as you make decisions. WWJD may seem like a trite thing now, but the idea behind it is powerful. Trying to see from God's point of view, feeling God's life lived through your life, gives you a totally new perspective, one in which others are acknowledged as other, but also acknowledged as others within this experience of God.

It is the experience of God that will allow greater compassion as you look upon the world through God's eyes, and as St. Teresa of Avila said, become Christ's/God's hands and feet upon the earth in present time.


***


To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tradition

I enjoy the tradition of daily prayer from a prayer book. By taking away the intellectual exercise of trying to "find words" for prayer, my soul experiences the worship more completely.

I have enjoyed The Urban Abbey's presence on twitter, and wanted to share a link with their midday prayer tradition. It is short yet meaningful. If you are of a different faith, please find a practice within your own tradition that suits you--but form a habit of prayer. Here is the link: http://urbanabbey.blogspot.com/2009/06/abbey-traditions.html

I always admired one of my coworkers from India who carries his prayer rug into another room regularly to do his five prayers a day facing Mecca. How many of us pray even ONE time a day, I thought. Well, if one uses a daily prayer format, one prays regardless of whether one is praying "for" anything.

This is why I have the badge on my site saying I pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I don't necessarily always do Morning and Evening Prayer. Sometimes it's Morning and Compline, or Midday and Evening... but I make sure I do two of the prayer services a day at least--plus I pray with my Anglican rosary in the morning to get centered for my day.

Prayer as a discipline really opens one up to feeling great. Try it!

***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Make An Anglican Rosary

The author of Rosary-making and history book "Bead One, Pray Too" did a step by step slide show on beliefnet about how to make an Anglican Rosary.

As my readers probably now know, there are plenty of different prayers that you may say on an Anglican Rosary, including making your own. You can even adapt them to non-Christian use (I suppose you wouldn't put a cross at the end...)

At any rate, this slideshow is excellent for those of you who have a creative side that would like to be used in making your own prayer beads--I must admit, if I took this up, it might be less expensive--or perhaps not....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prayer Request Site by Guideposts



I started following this prayer request service on Twitter and like to visit their site to offer prayers as well as request them. I encourage you to sign up for their newsletters and/or request prayer.

Shamanism and Healing

I thought this DailyOm link had a good, albeit short, description of shamanism as a healing method. I think that shamanism is enjoying a renaissance in the western world because our urban lifestyles have contributed toward a separation from nature. Also, people have been seeking a direct spiritual experience of the divine.

It is through shamanic practice that I encountered Jesus and was able to reconcile myself with Christianity. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to redeem humankind, and he is very kind, compassionate and loving--and very much a healer. When I do shamanic healing, I mainly work with Jesus, St. Francis (for animals), and St. Michael the Archangel (who helps escort any spiritually unsavory energies out of one's body). I have myself been the recipient of a shamanic healing that tremendously helped a longstanding lower back problem and helped me to understand its origin in a traumatic incident a few years prior to the inception of problems.

Traditionally, one works with "power animals" in shamanism. There are guardians in all cultures and all traditions. Native peoples often saw these as animals--in the Western traditions, we see them as angels. Our guardians are not physical beings. I happen to see my guardians in both animal and in angelic form because I have a practice of both core shamanism and of Christianity. As an aside, when I was doing my principal shamanic training with Carla Meeske, the majority of my fellow class members were also either Catholic or Mainline Protestant Christians.

Please read the article, and if you would like a distant shamanic healing for yourself and/or an animal, or have questions, I would be delighted if you contact me. Thank you.

***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Balancing Ecumenism and Our Own Beliefs

Please click here for a thoughtful discussion on the Urban Abbey's blog regarding balancing appeal to a "wider" spirituality and openness to those of differing beliefs, versus voicing one's own beliefs.

I particularly appreciated the comment by the blogger George that "The challenge is to continue to be open to seeing God's love in action in the world around us and in spiritual practices of other faith traditions while remaining grounded in who we are as Christians." He also quotes Fr. Don Talafous of St. John's Abbey as saying "I believe with St. Paul that God has not left any part of the world without some witness to God's love for us. For Christians that witness shines out in Jesus Christ. But I don't think that we can say that it is only in Christ that God has revealed something about God's love for all human beings. On the other hand, to ignore Christ in the interest of a wider appeal would be turning our backs on what has formed and nourished us."

In this society that misinterprets the First Amendment against the establishment of an official government religion to excise public religiosity to the extent that someone sued about the Pledge of Allegiance's reference to "one nation under God", it seems that people go out of their ways to avoid causing offence to those of other religions. We don't even call them religions anymore--the news refers to "faith traditions." So people hesitate to talk about God. In a way, I understand this, having had a pretty toxic hell-vs-salvation Baptist parochial school experience early in life. On the other hand, sometimes it's just easier to say "God" than use euphemisms to be all-inclusive like "All That Is" or "The Universe."

I have no problems giving people of other faiths an angel reading, by the way. Or those of no particular faith. But I found it sad the other night when a sixteen year old boy called me the other night after finding my name on the web, asking about developing his intuition. One of my recommendations was prayer, and he said something to the effect of "well, I'm a basically secular person but I'm okay with the idea of angels--I just think of them a little differently." I was a little taken aback, since the idea of messengers of God without God doesn't really resonate with me. On the other hand, if he is able to open up to divine guidance, perhaps he might find a less secular view of the world. I believe that God works with us from where we are (although I have yet to have an avowed atheist to contact me to find out what their angels want them to know.)

But even as I respect others' paths, I will be myself and not apologize for referring to God, Jesus, or Christianity in this blog or elsewhere, as a way of expressing my beliefs and who I am.

I wish to turn now to the sentence "But I don't think that we can say that it is only in Christ that God has revealed something about God's love for all human beings." I agree that God has been experienced by many cultures in many ways, and I believe that there is truth in other religions. I disagree with the Father's use of the word "Christ" here though. I would phrase it differently--that it is not solely through Jesus that God has revealed Himself in the world, but I believe the Christ has been present in many cultures, even if He is incarnate as Jesus only.

The Bible says In the beginning was the Word. In the Nicene creed, we affirm that Jesus Christ is

the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.

If Jesus the man was born a little over 2000 years ago, but the Christ, the Word, the Logos is eternal and of one Being with the Father, then the Christ, or Word, has been showing itself to people throughout the ages and through all time, even if the human incarnation of Jesus and the paschal mystery in which I believe as a Christian, is specific to time.

From the Son of Light in ancient Celtic paganism to the Buddha of Infinite Life and Life Amida in Japanese Buddhism, the archetypal symbolism of light seems to transcend time and culture. While I am by no means making all religions "the same" as they are not, I believe strongly that God's Spirit has moved through people and places and times in ways that transcend human knowledge or understanding. So I honor other paths even as I choose to share my own faith in Christ-centric language.

I have asked the angels for a message about the various religions and they said:

God loves all people, all peoples, all beings, all nations, all worlds. God is not the God of Jews or of Christians or of a particular religion. God is the God of all. There is much to existence of which you know nothing. Do you really think that God has revealed Himself only to the authors of the Bible, the Koran, the Upanishads? Even all three?

God reveals Himself through each member of creation in every urge of goodness and kindness in your hearts. God reveals Himself in art, in beauty, in music. God reveals Himself in nature--and in structured modernity.

You cannot limit God, God's love, even God's salvation. You are fond of reading Julian of Norwich. Truly, all SHALL be well, and you need not worry about how God will accomplish this. The world, the universe, and other worlds and universes of which you know nothing, are all places of wellbeing. Allow God to be God. Allow that there are mysteries. Allow God to work through you, through your heart, your mind, your words, your being.

Let go of your own agenda and let God come through. Life is richer if you allow God in. You can never entirely shut an omnipresent God out--but your efforts will be respected. This is truly what Hell is--walling God out. It's not a place but a process, just as Heaven is allowing God into your life and opening up to a larger reality. You are at choice in the matter, as are all beings. You cannot understand limitless God with a limited mind.

Your understandings and the understandings of others are like a diamond--many, many facets. And together, they shine brilliantly.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

International Angel Day 2009

Mark your calendars: This year's International Angel Day is Sunday, September 12, 2009.

I am not going to host an event myself, but I will be staffing Dr. Doreen Virtue's event at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre that day in Los Angeles.

Please click here for details and to purchase a ticket. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LOL Cats

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I love the LOL Cats on icanhascheezburger site-always good to cheer one up! The picture cuts off slightly and the caption should be 'Today’s access password is “bellyrub”.'

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Prayer of Divine Union

Click here to see a quote from Julian of Norwich on prayer and my reaction.

The angels wanted to add:

If you stayed in that state of mystical union all the time, you probably wouldn't be all that productive. Julian was an anchorite, basically a hermit. Most of the saints were in a monastic setting--priests, monks and nuns.

The touches of divine grace that you feel when you pray, or in modern terms, the divine zoning out bliss moments, are there to give you a touch of the joy that we angels, and those in Heaven, feel as we focus on our love of God, our praise of God, our ecstatic union with all that is divine. You have glimpsed Heaven--for Heaven is not so much a location as a state of being.

Prayer isn't really about discipline. Getting in the habit of prayer is a discipline but as you have found, these bits of Heaven experienced in prayer, make it something you look forward to. You don't feel right if you don't spend time in prayer before you leave the house, even if you spend less than your usual half an hour in prayer.

If you think about how your cats luxuriate on your lap, that is how it is for you luxuriating in the energy of prayer and of your Creator.... Words are not sufficient for prayer, and words are not really necessary for prayer. Stillness and openness to encountering God are the only requirement for prayer.

We angels invite whoever is reading, to pray, even for five minutes, daily for three weeks. At the end of the two weeks, decide whether you wish to continue. We not only suspect that you will want to continue, but that five minutes will not be enough.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

I'm Supporting Meat Free Mondays




I'm not a vegetarian, although I avoid "red meat" and support sustainably raised and/or organic and humanely raised animals as the sources of the poultry or fish I consume to the extent possible. (And of course, I bless my meals....)

I recently heard about "Meat Free Mondays"--pledging to eat meat-free at least one day a week in order to curb one's carbon footprint on the planet and I pledged to eat meat-free on Mondays. For information on the project, please click here for more information.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Prayers and Thoughts

During all that time, I never dared to sit down to pray unless I had a book close at hand. My soul was as terrified of praying without a book as it would have been if thrown unarmed onto a raging battlefield. Books were my companions, my consolation, my shield against the explosion of thoughts.

If I didn't have a book, I would suffer from terrible aridity. THe minute I found myself without something to read, my soul would become immediately agitated and my mind would start to wander. But as soon as I started reading, the words acted like bait to lure my soul, and my thoughts began to collect themselves again.

Sometimes it was enough just to know that I had a book beside me; I didn't even have to open it.

-St. Teresa of Avila


Contrary to what some people think of as the goal of meditation or contemplation, we think and it's pretty impossible to totally EMPTY the mind of thoughts and remain conscious. On the other hand, when one goes into prayer or meditation, it quiets down the usual part of the brain that is active.

It gave me great comfort to realize that even the great mystic and saint St. Teresa struggled with intruding thoughts when she would try to pray, and that she felt she needed to have a prayer book next to her (even if she didn't open it up) just in case.

We really don't NEED anything external to have a prayer dialogue with God, but it's comforting to pray a rosary (Catholic or Protestant), to light a candle, to do something as a ritual or touchstone that places us into a contemplative space. Even so, I will find myself "zoning out" sometimes and thinking about something else in between a couple of prayers, or find myself saying the "wrong" prayer on a bead. (There are no wrong prayers, just a different one than assigned to that bead....)

So I asked the angels to speak about praying and they said:

You don't need to feel guilty about drifting off. The automatic nature of the more contemplative, rather than active, prayers, are conducive to being in a state of receptivity to God. Of course, this state of receptivity can also be akin to sleepiness, or it can lead to receptivity to your own ego mind's thoughts rather than God's thoughts.

Notice the thoughts, release them, forgive yourself and MOVE ON. Berating yourself for anything, including thinking, IS THOUGHT. And God wants you to be prayerful--not fearful about praying.

Find a practice that helps you. You can write out your prayers if it makes you more comfortable, think your prayers, read from a prayer book, pray set prayers.... there as many ways to pray as there are people. The main thing is, that GOD LOVES YOU and wants to be in relationship with you.

Prayer can be communal in a church or group setting, but it is extremely important to pray alone too. If you read the gospels in the New Testament, notice how many times Jesus goes away alone to pray. If Jesus feels a need to retreat into prayer alone, then you can feel safe in following his example.

The main thing we would like to tell you is that you can't get it wrong. Sincerely intending to connect with God, whether you reverently walk in nature and have gratitude in your heart, or memorize a liturgical prayer format, is the main thing. God is both the magnificent, ultimate, and beyond understanding--and the still, small voice within. Prayer can commune with one or both aspects of the Creator....

Pray. It can be no words, many words, sitting or standing or kneeling.... The form matters not--the heart does. Feel your prayers and you will feel God touching you, breathing you--Holy Spirit indwelling you.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wisdom

This morning, I was reading my Bible--the first two chapters of the book of Proverbs. King Solomon was a very wise man, and there is a lot of wisdom that can be gleaned from the study of this particular book--even if you do not follow a Judeo-Christian religious tradition.

What struck me was a passage in the first chapter (verses 24-28) about Wisdom. Obviously this is a metaphor about Wisdom mocking at us and laughing at disasters, but it made perfect sense.

24 But since you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,

25 since you ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,

26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you-

27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me.


(New International Version)

I have been making more of an effort to consistently pray every morning--and if I am running late, I cut it short, not eliminating my quiet prayer time. I find that I FEEL better if I pray at the beginning of the day... But some people only pray when they're in crisis, or when they want something. Some people only think of God when they are in need. Please note that I am not condemning this--I once was someone who never prayed, and then someone who prayed when desperate myself. Prayer is not just talking to God--prayer is a state of communion, and seeking to listen as well.

I've been working on listening to God for quite some time now, but this passage is definitely right on target. If you never seek guidance, if you never seek wisdom, but in the midst of distress you suddenly do, you're not likely to find it. Not that Wisdom is really "mocking" anyone--but when one is in the thick of things and adrenalin is pumping, it's hard to tune into guidance--or trust guidance even if you're practiced in prayer or meditation or seeking divine guidance. I ask others for angel readings when I am too emotional to either receive guidance or trust the guidance I get. If you never seek guidance or wisdom at all, you're not likely to get a clear answer to your issues when your soul cries out for guidance in the midst of crisis.

I asked the angels to help explain this passage and they said:

God really doesn't want you to pray for results, whether they be for yourself or others. God doesn't want you to pray FOR anything. God wants you to pray because it's a natural state of being, like an old couple who doesn't really need to say anything but whose body language and smiles radiate contentment and togetherness. God is always with you. God is all around you. God is even within you. Prayer is about awareness of the Presence. Prayer is about Being, God as Being--and centering your being in God's Being. Prayer is about knowing that no matter what, all is well because God is here in the midst of this--whatever this is.

Healing prayers, prayers for guidance, prayers for others--these are important and wonderful. But beyond these prayers, there is the prayer of Presence. Giving your attention and your time to God--letting God's attention and time rest upon you in communion. When you center in God regularly, there is a feeling of peace, a feeling of joy, a feeling of relief. You have stepped into this space. It is holy.

It's kind of like the space you drop into when you seek a message from us angels. Different, yet similar. You have trained yourself to be receptive. Prayer and receptivity with God is a different space than that you use to interact with us, but it's like tuning into a different radio station. Turning on the radio and listening is similar. But out of habit, you know what this feels like--and you know what prayer feels like. And you know as well, how guidance comes to you and when we are communicating, when you are communicating directly with God, when you are transmitting communications, when you are receiving communications.

It's like exercise. You don't run a marathon without training (okay-we know you know someone who did, but that is not recommended or possible for most.) Get in the habit of seeking wisdom from God, opening your heart and mind to guidance, and you will better be able to tune in to wisdom's channel when in a challenging situation.

As far as seeking guidance is concerned, we are the messengers of the Creator so we can impart guidance whether you seek it from God or from us--but we encourage you to spend time in prayerful communion with God. We find indescribable joy in God's presence, in our own prayers, in our own praise and thanks. We realize that there are those who have been alienated from God through negative past experiences, yourself included. We realize that you have reconciled with God, with Jesus, and with religion, yet know that there are those who are not willing or able to at this time. God is patient and just, it says in the Bible. Trust that God is aware of your feelings and if you prefer to seek guidance through an intermediary, whether it be us angels or through others, your heart's intention to seek guidance will make sure that guidance is given.


***


To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Amazing, Amazing Grace

Thanks to @PastorFrankF on Twitter, here is a BEAUTIFUL video of the hymn Amazing Grace sung in Cherokee.

Click here to watch and listen.

I have always loved the song. I believe that Grace fills our lives, often invisibly. How many times have we he felt like avoiding a certain route or airplane flight, and then something happens? How many people were running late on the morning of 9/11? There is a reason for the saying "There for the grace of God, go I." Not that the other people involved lacked God's grace... but if it's not one's date with Eternity, then we are often spared in mysterious ways.

When I first learned of angels, I believed when I found myself braking for no apparent reason in the right lane of a major boulevard--until there was a wide open car door in my path which I was able to stop for given my lack of speed. THAT is grace.

So I leave you with this prayer:

Thank you, God for your grace. Thank you for sending me intuitive messages, for protecting me with angels, for showering me with good, every day even if I'm not aware of these things. For I am blessed. I ask that you make me more aware of my blessings, more appreciative, more aware.... I give thanks for the grace in my life. Thank you. Amen.

The angels want you to know that you are loved, you are surrounded in love, you are surrounded in grace....

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Sun's Rays

To say you're a Divine being doesn't mean that you think you're God and therefore don't have to answer to anyone. Think of this example: When you go outside on a beautiful sunny day, you can't enjoy the sun by looking directly at it or you'll damage your eyes. But if you turn your back on the sun and look at the rays of sunlight as they bounce off the water, the flowers, or a windowpane, you'll feel delight. Although that brilliant light and color isn't the sun itself but an emanation of it, its still powerful. That's how it is with you and me: We come from this great ball of pure, Divine light, and we reflect it.

-Ron Roth


There is a tendency in the "New Age" community towards what amounts to pantheism. "God is everything. So I must be God, you must be God, we're all God... " Yet we are human and we are limited, and God is limitless... We are not God. But we are emanations of God. It is God within whom "I live and move and have my being." So we live within God. I like the term "panentheism" all-in-God rather than "pantheism" all-is-god. All that is, is within God--but the individual things within God are not God but parts of God.

I have asked the angels to elaborate upon this.

There are extremes of thinking that take place within spiritual traditions. There are extremes of thinking within politics and other arenas of human life as well, but here we speak of religion. It is actually good that many people have moved beyond a fear-based theology where God is a damning, angry deity and people are solely focused upon sin. Yet in moving to the opposite extreme, people lose the power of the idea of redemption. And by deciding that humans are God, some people move into a greater frustration, because as they as beings with egoes try to identify their ego with God, they cannot honestly make a reconciliation. There are many leaders within different faiths who have experienced the fruits of what the Greeks called hubris--spiritual pride. Then scandals and heartbreak ensues.

Even we as angels know that we are not God. We too are created. We too are emanations of God. Those who identify the temporal ego with the immortal, will find that there is a distortion in their belief. It is your soul that emanates from God like rays from the Sun. It is your inner goodness that reflects the absolute Good that God is. It is your inner love, compassion and kindness that radiates and reflects the absolute Love that God is.

God is infinite Being. Yes, it is more positive to think of yourself as a Divine being. You are divine. Yet God is more than who you are. See yourself from the perspective of God. Just as you see your blood cells or nerve cells as part of the greater system that is your body, individuals are cells within the larger body of humankind.

You are a powerful and loving emanation of God. Reflect God's Light into the world. Reflect God's Love into the world. But let God be the Allness of Ultimate Beingness--and be content to be who you are, reflecting...


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where to Buy an Anglican Rosary

I have found a couple of excellent sources on the internet.

For an "everyday" rosary, you can find nice $10 rosaries at http://giftsofaith.com. They also have nice Catholic rosaries and chaplets. I bought one of their St. Michael "car rosaries" that hangs from my rear view mirror (it has a clasp and is short in length so it won't go anywhere.) Having the rosary there, with its attendant motion and bead noise reminds me if I forgot, to ask Archangel Michael and the angels of protection to help me, my car, and all those around it to be safe. It also helps me, as an identifying marker of a Christian, to be less demonstratively angry at other drivers, shall we say....

For beautiful rosaries with more "heft" made of semi-precious stones, http://fullcirclebeads.com is an excellent resource. Owner Cynthia Grua does wonderful work, and I really love the feel of my amethyst bead with sterling cross Anglican rosary.

The less expensive rosaries totally collapse into a small space so are more useful for pockets and carrying around. I use my amethyst one at home.

The third place I am recommending, I have not had personal experience ordering from, but I recommend because the sales help fund their organization. Solitaries of DeKoven is a Religious Order of hermits within the Episcopal Church, although they accept Christians of other denominations who believe in a Triune God, the sacraments and the creeds of the ancient church. http://www.solitariesofdekoven.org/Prayer_beads.html

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Quasi-Pagan, Christian--or Both?

The Canticle of the Sun
by St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,
to Thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
and blessing without measure.
From Thee alone all creatures came;
no one is worthy Thee to name.

My Lord be praised by brother sun
who through the skies course doth run,
and shines in brilliant splendor:
with brightness he doth fill the day,
and signifies thy boundless sway.

My Lord be praised by sister moon
and all the stars, that with her soon
will point the glittering heavens.
Let wind and air and cloud and calm
and weathers all, repeat the psalm.

By sister water be thou blessed,
most humble, useful, precious chaste;
be praised by brother fire:
jocund is he, robust and bright,
and strong to lighten all the night.

By mother earth my Lord be praised;
governed by Thee she has upraised
what for our life is needful.
Sustained by thee, through every hour,
she bringeth forth fruit, herb and flower.

My Lord be praised by those who prove
in free forgivingness their love,
nor shrink from tribulation.
Happy who peaceably endure;
with Thee, Lord, their reward is sure.

For death our sister, praised be,
from whom no one alive can flee.
Woe to the unprepared!
But blest be they who do thy will
and follow Thy commandments still.

Most High, omnipotent good Lord,
to Thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
and blessing without measure.
Let creatures all give thanks to Thee,
and serve in great humility.


"The well is located just off a country road, on a small parcel of land in the midst of pastures where cows and sheep graze. The well produces so much water that the rushing sound of the flowing stream creates a meditative ambience where it is easy to enter a contemplative state of consciousness. Leading up to the well is a row of five small standing stones, which according to local tradition represent virtues of Brigid: meditation, hospitality, charity, peacemaking, and reverence for nature."
-Christian Mystic and blogger Carl McColman
On the Well of St. Brigid--click here for his blog and wonderful photos.

I know quite a few people who find Wicca or other pagan spiritualities to be spiritually satisfying. I find them interesting, although not for me--not only do I not really resonate with personified deities in the form of a goddess and god--it just seems to be too much work. I can pray at any time, any place, and no one but me and God will know as it can be only internal. Spells take supplies, and moon phases, and other complications. But I do love and share their connection with nature, their sense that the planet and rocks and trees are alive, and that we should be connected to and stewards of our planetary home and its other inhabitants.

I have other friends who take comfort in different forms of Christianity--for example, literalist interpretations of Scripture, or alternate Christianities such as that found in the Mormon faith. These don't really suit me either. But I share with them an enthusiasm for a life of faith, a love of God, a quest for truth, relationship with Jesus...

And I have to ask--aren't there others out there who love the rich heritage of Christian worship and love Jesus, who also find the earth sacred, who see the world as filled with consciousness? Are there other people with pagan sensibilities and Christian faith?

I didn't intend to be a Christian. After a Baptist parochial elementary school experience turned me off the idea of a judgmental God who punished and damned, so that I repeatedly "accepted Jesus" almost every night but never felt a sense of redemption, only my own imperfection, I got mad and abandoned the whole religion thing. As an adult, I had reconciled with the idea of God. I could envision a different God now--not an old angry man in the sky on a throne, but a divine Mystery, a creative beingness that was within me and was around me, both seen and unseen, created and void, material and potential, immanent and transcendent. God was good, God was omni-everything so God was always here. Might as well get to know God then....

Jesus, I had a hard time forgiving. I blamed Jesus for my elementary school fears, for the harsher forms of Christianity--I couldn't forgive him being the way, the truth and the life either--how dare you damn other people who can't or won't believe in you to damnation?! At the time, I thought of Jesus the man as the "way"--whereas now I think of the "Christ" as the way--the loving energy that he embodied, that has been seen in divine renditions in various religions and cultures throughout time. But I digress...

So it was with the greatest surprise that when I took up the study of core shamanism, the core spiritual practices common to so-called "primitive" cultures universally, that Jesus showed up as one of my teachers. Most of my shamanism class were Christian so there were various people working with Jesus. I didn't mind St. Francis as a teacher because I am an animal person. I didn't mind Archangel/St. Michael because I love angels. But I was really taken aback by Jesus appearing in my shamanic journeys--or you may call them meditations....

Interacting directly with Jesus was a surprise. He's funny. He's witty. He's a powerful healer and very wise. I was so surprised that he is LIKEABLE. Everyone focuses on loving Jesus, worshiping Jesus--no one talks about LIKING Jesus. Well, I like Jesus. I even love Jesus now. And I have found enough peace in His presence during my shamanic practice that I sought out church and am okay with being a Christian. Of course, it helps that I told the priest when I first attended that I was there because I had met Jesus on shamanic journeys and she not only understood and accepted this, but said she had personally met Jesus meditating as well... The direct experience of interacting with Jesus meditatively during journeys, of having no barriers, has given me a close relationship with Him. I always felt God present in the outdoors, in the sacredness of connecting with earth. Now I could also feel closeness in the liturgy, in a church, in repeating the same prayers people have said for centuries, taking communion like people have done for millennia.

So I was wondering if anyone else had Christian beliefs and a pagan sensibility, and I came across Carl McColman's page on the St. Brigid's Well, and I saw how the celtic Christian tradition overlaid Christian belief over pagan practices, sacred sites, and a deep sense of spiritual connection with nature. I found St. Francis's Canticle which talks about sun and moon, water and earth in a filial way--that these are fellow children of God. I realized that St. Francis, deeply Christian St. Francis, also had a pagan sensibility. Not in the sense of goddess-worship or theology, but in terms of seeing the sacredness of all creation and feeling connected to it all....

So here I was going to ask the angels about my feeling like a quasi-pagan Christian, and instead Jesus spoke to me. His message was not through words, but through feeling, and as I felt enveloped by His love, I write:

All of creation worships at the altar of the Father. Why should you feel separate from the earth? Why did you once feel separate from me? If it is good, it is of God. There is the belief in the communion of saints--what would you say if I told you that the communion of saints includes rocks and stars, brooks and trees, galaxies and kittens? What if the communion of saints is about the connection between fellow creations being part of one creation? What if being love as God is Love is important? What if being peace as God is Peace is important? What if the real worship of the heart is feeling God within you, and allowing God-within to express outward in the world as creativity, as charity, as being a loving presence in the world? Bring my message to the world, my message of love. Feeling connected to the earth, sensing sacredness always is how I am--how can this be incompatible with following me?

***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

St. Francis Anglican Rosary Prayers

For those unfamiliar with the Anglican rosary, it's a newer form of prayer beads developed in the 1980s with flexibility to create one's own prayers, for those who don't wish to recite the Roman Catholic (Dominican) rosary. Because it has 33 beads for the years of Jesus' life, one is able to do three cycles of prayers totalling 100 prayers, which is also the number of beads on the Orthodox Chotki prayer beads.

Because I am an animal lover and practice animal communication, I wanted a way to pray in the spirit that St. Francis of Assisi prayed. Although there already exists a St. Francis version of the Anglican rosary, I found it less complicated to repeat "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace" as the principal prayer.

Here is a diagram of the structure of the beads.



On the Cross: pray the sign of the cross (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)

On the Invitatory Bead, pray the last stanza of St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun:

Most High, omnipotent good Lord,
to Thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
and blessing without measure.
Let creatures all give thanks to Thee,
and serve in great humility.

On the Cruciform Beads, pray the Trisagion prayer:

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us.

On the Week beads, pray: Lord let us/me be an instrument of your peace.

After the initial cross and invitatory prayers, you pray starting with the first Cruciform bead around the rosary three times. Then you pray the Lord's Prayer on the Invitatory Bead, and end with the Cross, saying "I/We bless the Lord. Thanks be to God."

28 Week beads x 3 = 84
4 Cruciform beads x 3 = 12
Praying the Cross and Invitatory bead on the way in and on the way out adds 4 more prayers, totalling 100.

Here is the pre-existing St. Francis Anglican Rosary prayer (I do not know the author but have seen it from several sources:

A Prayer for Peace

On The Cross, Pray:
In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

On The Invitatory Bead:
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

On The Cruciform Beads:
The peace of God Be with us, the peace of Christ be with us, the peace of the spirit be with us, and with our children.

On the Week Beads:
The peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.

After Each Week, Pray;
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

On The Third and Last Month (Four Weeks) and Invitatory Bead:
On the first Cruciform Bead, say the Lord’s Prayer
On the Cruciform and Week Beads (Collectively);
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

On The Cross, Pray the Concluding Prayer;
Let us bless the Lord. Thanks Be to God.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Desperately Seeking God

Often we think that evangelism is all about converting the unconverted. My experience has been that it’s all about reaching out to people who are looking for something that they can’t find. St. Lydia’s has been designed around filling that need. We’re building our congregation around the idea that there are people out there who are desperately seeking God, and haven’t found a Church to do that with. . . . It’s about bearing witness to what God has done with the whole of our existence, within the context of our cultures and the patterns of our lives. I bear witness to my Good News every time I sit on a bar stool on the Lower East Side and meet some new people, because that’s what I like to do. Through that act, which is fully and wholly natural to me, I’m telling a story of how God doesn’t need me to hide from the world within the confines of the Church, but to be a part of the whole of the world around me. I bear witness to my Good News every time I’m sarcastic, edgy, questioning, breaking the stereotype of a “good Christian girl.” I’m telling a story of a God who gave us brains and guts and bodies so that we could use them to love the world. I bear witness to my Good News every time I refrain from invitation, and try, instead, to listen.

Emily M.D. Scott Click here for full article.



I remember hiding with my mom in the back of the house whenever the Jehovah's Witness ladies came by ringing the doorbell as a child. I always thought it was rude how we had to hide in our own home to avoid being subjected to their sales pitch. That's what it felt like--a sales pitch.

One of the things I like about blogging is that no one is forced to read my blog. People land here who want to read it. If my messages resonate, people come back--and if they don't, they don't. I have long felt that I am meant to help people reconcile with God--not the judgmental bearded ultra-Santa in the sky who puts you in hell if you're naughty and heaven if you're nice--but the God who loves us, who is conciliatory, the God who is immanent within all things, as well as the great and sacred Mystery. I want people to forget the God I rejected after childhood and feel good about the God I embraced as an adult. I reconciled with Jesus after meeting him on shamanic journeying meditations--but it took a while to open back up to Him after the hellfire-and-damnation Baptist dogma I was exposed to in childhood.

So I blog. I believe the angels have a lot of value to say about God, and about life. I believe that God should be a positive subject, with a positive association and I am grateful to have an opportunity to share about God and angels and my own journey of faith in a way that doesn't intrude upon others' space. Whatever your faith or lack thereof, God will meet you there.

I have asked the angels about evangelism and this is what they said:

You've been on diets. You've been off diets. You've instantly craved that which is forbidden and gotten tired quickly of the "healthy" things you forced down your throat. Your weight has come into balance as you sought your own path, your own tastes, and accommodated eating what you like to eat. So is it with religion and spirituality. Each has his own tastes. Each has his own likes and dislikes.

You don't want to be a Jehovah's Witness, or a fundamentalist Christian, or a Hindu, or a Muslim. These don't appeal to you. There are young people who love rock and roll church services who would despise the liturgical nature of your church as "boring." There are different ways of interpreting God, experiencing God, communing with God. None of these are right or wrong.

From a human perspective, you really are limited by your finite perspective. You can't really comprehend the infinite. So you approximate. Each path, each religion, contains aspects of truth. Each path involves setting aside ego and putting the Spirit first.

There is no need to try to "convert" others to what appeals to you. Everyone will find what appeals to them. But you can share what you get from God. You can share how important your faith is to you. You can share your joy and your love. The idea is to get people to sit at the bar of Life and ask the divine bartender "I'll have what she's having." Don't share the particulars unless asked. You have fun conversations with your friends who share faith because you all know none of you are trying to convert one another--you are sharing your faith and enhancing your own experiences by talking about what you're passionate about.

Spread kindness. Spread love. Pray for the earth and her inhabitants. Do good in the world. This is what will turn hearts toward God. Let the spirit of love and compassion that inhabits Jesus, that inhabits Buddha, that inhabits Mary, that inhabits the Holy Ones of all times and all cultures--let it flow through you. This is the essence of evangelism, the heart of understanding, love, compassionate listening.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Faithfulness

The great challenge here is faithfulness, which must be lived in the choices of every moment. When your eating, drinking, working, playing, speaking, or writing is no longer for the glory of God, you should stop it immediately, because when you no longer live for the glory of God, you begin living your own glory. Then you separate yourself from God and do yourself harm.

Henri Nouwen, quoted in Therese Borchard's "Beyond Blue" blog.


I was in intense pain yesterday after overindulging at a church potluck-eating for taste sensation rather than stopping at being full. My eating had ceased being for the glory of God--it was for the glory of my tongue... So today I have asked God to help me get back on track and eat more modestly, nutritiously, move lovingly to my body's needs. I don't believe that God intends to punish me for my "gluttony"--it was punishment of itself. But I do believe I need to move back into alignment with what God intended--a nutritious and modest diet that sustains health.

What Nouwen speaks of as "living your own glory" is often spoken of as "ego", when we separate ourselves from God. But what about self-esteem? you might ask. I asked the angels about this and received the following message:

We angels are perpetually doing ALL that we do in the service of the Creator. All is for the glory of God. All we do, all we say, all we think, all we feel--we are in constant communion with God. His words are our words, His will is our will. We cannot imagine the misery of separation. We cannot imagine the cessation of the joy and peace that comes from perfect communion with our Creator.

Have you ever known someone who is profoundly narcissistic who is truly happy? Have you ever known someone in the throes of addiction, or other enslavements to the ego, who finds satisfaction in life? There is nothing that slakes spiritual thirst like drinking from the fount of God.

God does not turn away from you--it is you who turn away from God. If you turn TOWARD God, and allow God's joy to be your joy, God's love to be your love, you will be filled and not empty. There will be no need to seek poor substitutes for spiritual satisfaction. You will be at peace.

Your prayer should be to see through God's eyes, hear through God's ears... Not that God has a human body--but to live as God perceives is the ultimate joy. Not that humans are able to sustain this all of the time, or as you might say, 24/7... but if you seek to live as God would have you live, even 15 minutes out of every day, you would see a life transformed.

Does thinking/saying/doing this help me or harm me? Does thinking/saying/doing this help others or harm others? Think beyond the self to your Greater Self, the part of you that lives and breathes and has your being within God and KNOWS it... Within you, you KNOW what brings you closer to how you were created, and what takes you away from your divine, loving nature.

We do not ask you to beat yourself up for falling short--we ask that you turn back to God when you sense that you have fallen away. Be loving. Be at peace. Be the joyous being that you were created to be. When you see yourself through your Creator's eyes, you have self-esteem. How could you not have self-esteem as a beloved creation, a child of God? Self-esteem does not have to involve the ego. You can esteem your connection to God, esteem an expanded consciousness of God's presence in yourself and all that is.


***

To contact Sue to get angelic guidance, to contact your animal companions both here or beyond the veil, to schedule a shamanic healing session, or simply to say "hi" and give me some feedback on my blog,please click here to email Sue. Please go to http://budurl.com/grcn to follow my Twitter feed. My rates are in the "About Me, My Rates and What I Offer" section in the Links Section to the right of my page. Many blessings and thanks to you!