“…I have made a practice of saying [the Lord’s prayer] once each morning with absolute attention. If during my recitation my attention wanders, or goes to sleep in the minutest degree, I begin again until I have once succeeded in going through it with absolutely pure attention…The effect of this practice is extraordinary…” (Simone Weil. Waiting on God. Collins Fontana Books, p. 38)
When you look within and see the radiance of Love, you remember your wholeness. You are wholly loving and wholly lovable. In the purity of Love lays peace, which you share with all in gratitude.
“Absolutely pure attention”. That phrase captures me. I want that. I want that for doing these Journeys.
You may have noticed that I have referenced two Christian mystics recently–Julian of Norwich, and Simone Weil. I’ve been reading their writings and I’ve been touched and inspired. I want that.
I want their consuming dedication. I want their desire, their longing, for God. I want their beautiful eloquence, their ease with which they express their feelings regarding the Divine. I want to be able to express with words that relationship that is so personal, yet so abstract that words never suffice.
People have done this. These women have done this. Others have longed, searched, and striven. There are fore-runners, who can teach and inspire me. I am so thankful for them.
I am so thankful for God, who instills in me the longing to seek Him, above all.
“Absolutely pure attention”.
Absolutely=complete, total, all-encompassing.
Pure=clean, untainted, innocent
Attention= focus, energy
I want that. I want to practice that.
In Buddhism one of the main practices is to reduce and eliminate attachment, or desire, or wanting.
But I want to want God. I want to desire God. I want to have God as my refuge, the One I run to, the only thing I attach myself to.
In the spirit of A Course in Miracles, which teaches the right use of denial, I feel like there is a right use of attachment, or a right use of desire. I do not want worldly things–that would be a misuse of desire. I do want Divine “things”, which is right use of desire.
It occurs to me that there is a bigger theme today than even what I have found in my writing. Yes, this is (again) about seeing, as several recent posts have been. But the underlying theme is actually do not judge by appearances. There is always something more going on. Tune in to the bigger picture, the picture you can’t see. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux: That which is essential cannot be seen with the eyes.
When you are aware of your Self of Love, you see the world through new eyes. Love is the Source of all you see, all you experience; it is the very activity of Life itself. Place your faith in the principle of Love and receive with gratitude all your experiences.
I was at the same light this morning, going the other direction, the third car in line. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get through the light in the morning, too–I’d been in line for almost 10 minutes already. The light turned green, no one moved.
You know that is unforgivable in New Jersey. When the light turns green in New Jersey, you have exactly half a second to start moving, before someone blows their horn and yells at you, generally accompanied by a gesture.
I noticed the light was green, just as the person behind me laid on their horn, the two cars ahead of me then started moving–we, the first three cars, were all turning right.
While the light was still red, I had been looking around, taking in the surroundings, as I so often do at that light. It’s quite quaint, really, a main light is a small town with a lot of small-town morning activity of people walking and biking and getting coffee at the little cafe. During this survey while the light was still red, I had noticed a man walking his dog, on the far side of the street. As I made my turn, I saw that same man and dog, on the near-side of the street–they had crossed, which is why none of the cars ahead of me moved; they were waiting for the man and dog to cross.
There was a reason the cars had not moved immediately when the light turned green. I saw it. I understood. The person behind me, who blew their horn, was not in that line of vision; they were just far enough back (or not surveying their surroundings) that they did not or could not see what was happening ahead, and so became angry at the situation, at the cars which were not moving.
And I thought about sight, as applied to this very literal example: The person in the car behind me could not see what was happening ahead.
How often do I not see what is happening just ahead? How often do I not see Love as the Source? How often do I not see Love at the very center of everything I experience? How often do I not see Love as the very activity of Life itself? How often am I back just one car too many, that I do not understand what is going on ahead? If I could only see…
And this is why Faith is important. Because we cannot always see Love’s reason’s. We cannot always see what Love has in store for us. But, Love always loves us, and has our best interest at heart. So, why be angry? Why get frustrated? Keep Faith in Love, and be grateful for everything that comes, because everything is Love’s gift, whether you see it or not.
For those of you who would like a more (strictly) Christian view on this, I have this to offer, from Julian of Norwich:
One time our good Lord said: All thing shall be well; and another time he said: Though shalt see thyself that all MANNER of thing shall be well…
He willeth we know that not only He taketh heed to noble things, and to great, but also to little and to small, to low and to simple, to one and to other. And so meaneth He in that He saith “ALL MANNER OF THINGS shall be well”. For He willeth we know that the least thing shall not be forgotten…
Another understanding is this, that there be deeds evil done in our sight, and so great harms taken, that it seemeth to us that it were impossible that ever it should come to good end.
And upon this we look, sorrowing and mourning therefore, so that we cannot resign us unto the blissful beholding of God, as we should do. And the cause of this is that the use of our reason is now so blind, so low, so simple that we cannot know that high, marvelous Wisdom, the Might, and the Goodness of the blissful Trinity.
And thus signifieth He when He saith: THOU SHALT SEE THYSELF and all manner of things shall be well. As if He said, “Take now heed faithfully and trustingly, and at the last end, thou shalt verily see it in Fullness of Joy”. (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Skyros publishing, Chapter 32, emphasis mine)
There is only one Will. That Will is Love. That Will is my Love, your Love, our Love, together. Only when I will in Love is the outcome assured in Love. Only when I will in Love do I know the results are truly beneficial to all, including myself. Only when I will with Love am I Free and I affirm with certainty “All is as it should be”.
All is as it should be. There is only One Will, Love. We are always in Its service. Always. Thus, all is as it should be. Always.
One person does not respond… for 8 weeks; the other responds quickly! Then, the first person, after 8 weeks of silence, responds! And the second person, who responded quickly, now wants to wait a few weeks. All is as it should be.
A language barrier prevents accurate communication. Both people involved feel confused, frustrated, taken advantage of, even lied-to. Without words, one steps through the misunderstanding, shows generosity. Peace ensues. All is as it should be.
Full steam ahead to make that business deal! Everyone is working hard for it happen. Out of the blue, an unexpected offer. Take the offer, and let all that work go? Keep working hard? Or release? All is as it should be.
Difficult. Obstinate. Petty. Immature. Vindictive. Stupid. Bullying. All is as it should be?? Learn: Patience. Humor. High road. Respect. Standing up for oneself. Forgiveness. All is as it should be.
“See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom, and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?” -Julian of Norwich
I am the key in my life to living in the knowledge all is as it should be. I am the only one who can see through my eyes, experience my experiences, assimilate information for myself, for my own understanding.
The only way to do this within the Peace and Harmony of the Divine Will, is to will with Love. Every moment, in every situation, Love, Love to all, for all. I cannot see all the pieces; I cannot know all the outcomes, but I can be assured that all is as it should be, when I do my utmost to be with the Will that Wills through me.
I always know I have everything to give—thus, I may always give freely! I know my worth, I give it; I give it freely, and I Know in the giving!
As I give, I learn, allowing Joy and Peace to lead and to guide me. I follow willingly for I know: Where there is Joy and Peace, there is Love; where there is Love, I am; where I am, I am giving my inestimable worth.
Do you believe the first sentence above? What do you feel about saying to yourself, “My worth is inestimable, beyond compare”? Some days I know it and believe it more powerfully and concretely than other days.
For me, having been raised in the Catholic tradition, I find the Christian idea of God’s Love very useful in feeling, understanding, and knowing my worth. Julian of Norwich said, “God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.” There is something about the assurance of God’s Love that gives me assurance of my worth. If God loves me, am I not worthy of God’s love? And, if I am worthy of God’s love, is that not all that matters?
And yet, the same Catholic tradition uses words like, “wretched” and “unworthy” to describe people, and our interactions with God: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed” (Matthew 8:5-13). “Yea, O Lord, hearken unto me, thy sinful and wretched servant, in confession and conscience; grant me, when I arise to be instructed in Thy sayings” (Prayer IV, St. Macarius the Great). Too often, when I was fully immersed in my Christian upbringing, I held on to the ideas of “wretched” and “unworthy”. Indeed, I prayed, as a “good Christian” in this way to convince myself of my wretchedness and unworthiness! My young, impressionable mind took in these words whole-heartedly!
It took me a long time to understand these feelings are meant to be transcended, and they are given to us so that we might embrace God’s love fully, in all we are, in all that we do.
This is part of forgiveness; this is what repentance is about. Forgiveness is seeing ourselves and others from God’s perspective: we are Divine and Perfect in all we are and all we do; He orders our lives as He Wills, and loves us as we do His Will; there is nothing for God to forgive, for we are already His, already doing His Will. Repentance means, “to turn away”; when we repent, we turn away from our purported wretchedness and accept God’s love for us–we accept ourselves as God created us.
For a long time, I thought it good and right to pray to God, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”. But then it occurred to me: If I am healed, I have received. If I have received, I am worthy. So despite myself, God finds me worthy, giving Himself to heal even those parts of me that deny my worthiness to receive Him.
Why does all this matter? Because we must find ourselves worthy. We must find ourselves worthy. Everything else hinges on this. We can only give as much as we believe to be true about ourselves. Love is infinite, and we are infinitely worthy of this Love.