A book that questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change.
Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery that changed our lives, called “Guidelines to Mystical Prayer” by a British Carmelite nun, Ruth Burrows. She describes Petra, a woman who lives only by faith without any experiences of God, and Claire, a “light on” nun who experiences mystical encounters. Both women know with absolute clarity that their core identity has shifted from ego-centric to Christ-centric. The Spirit of Jesus lives in them and they live surrounded by the Holy Spirit, plugged into the universal God.
We poured over this book, reading it again and again, soaking in every nuance, digging out every morsel, every detail which described this new life. My husband and I were filled with an exuberant joy because we finally we realized that our deepest longings could be fulfilled, that a simple spiritual life was real, was possible.
I saw a similar epiphany in a brilliant young friend who was a confirmed atheist, although when I asked what he had read on spirituality or Christianity he simply replied, “The library”! We were praying while Davin relaxed on the margins of the group when he suddenly started to laugh. Our eyes popped open in surprise. The quiet, subdued young man was beaming.
“I’m hot all over, especially inside my chest. It is like a glowing, warm, golden mist that’s all around me, inside of me…but it was there all the time; I just couldn’t feel it or see it. It’s like all of a sudden I am plugged into a circuit board of power that has been here the whole time. God is real. He exists. I can’t believe it. Why did I not see something all around me, in my face? Oh and I feel this energy flowing between everyone in this room and connecting to me as well, like electrical currents,like invisible bands or cords. I want to jump up and down and start yelling on the top of my voice that God exists and He is right here.”
We have all read of saints who claim to live in mystical union with Christ. The image that comes to mind is of a medieval monk, morose and miserable, wearing a hair shirt and living on bread and water. However I discovered that the claims of saints are not bogus but true and furthermore that it is completely realistic that I expect that I too will live joyfully in the Resurection. The accounts of the saints might be couched in fanciful, archaic laguage but they are not allegories or fairytales. This Resurrected life is not a for a select few because humans are wired for a life lived in and through a mystical connection to God.
It is true.
It is really true
It is not an allegory.
It is not a life for only a select few because humans are wired for a life lived in and through a mystical connection to God their Father
9 thoughts on “It Is Not a Fairytale”
I love being connected to God! You’re right it is for everyone, and can infuse our relationship with Him. So when we pray we should fasten our safety belts and hold on! Then again God can bless us with stillness and quiet. I think many of the Saints experienced both. Life with God is an adventure — for sure. Praise the Lord.
Yes. What we perceive dimly may be more real than what we think we see clearly.
I felt this before, whole body went hot, especially around my chest. I was a younger man and had a Priest, (He is still a good friend) ask me to hold his hands when we prayed. I felt it and on the TV was an image of a church, he just looked at me and said “God works in mysterious ways”
I often look back to that “First encounter” and smile because this is what made me who I am today. A lad that has a simple spiritual life. Many are different and I am also. Should we all be the same it would be boring. These are my words of course. Often when I pray I get this sensation, just from time to time. But being a man of science also it could easily be a placebo effect. This is where the science in me makes me think twice.
Please allow me to share one story out of three with you that made me have love for God and trust him with me and my children.
My sons who are older teenager now were 8 and 10 and were flying from Scotland to Portugal with Dawn, my partners parents. I was so worried I was crying like a fool. It was love, I know that looking back. The night before they went I was so worried. I took the dog out for a walk and leaned against the only tree there was, I was high up the side of an old dormant volcano, I started to cry and asked God “In prayer” to look after my sons, At this second I looked up, now I could see the entire sky, the place I looked suddenly 2 shooting stars came into vision, JUST WHERE I LOOKED. I stopped crying and smiled. I felt God also. So for me God and his love are real Mel.
I question not religion, but the people in it. I see and hear religious people cast stones and it confused me you know. I have family who go to church, in-fact my Aunt Liz, she is on my Facebook, Liz Gibson was the first Woman in the UK who could hold mass, do funerals and weddings, she does all the family.
She speaks to me often when I have questions. She told me “As long as you have God in your heart, that is enough” And so did Eddie Tatro, you will know him from WordPress”
What would you say?
Also wonderful read, I wish it was that easy for us all.
What a powerful experience! I KNOW you live in God and He lives in You! He understands and He is never upset oor indignant over all our doubts and anger, nor the failure of other Christians, nor the mistakes of church and religion, …