Saturday, June 7, 2014

Embracing Mystery

Affirmation:  My faith is stronger when I allow mystery to have a place in my life.

In Rachel Remen's book The Will to Live and Other Mysteries, she offers up the opinion that most people are more concerned with mastery than with mystery.  She goes onto give examples of events she and others have experienced that cannot be explained with science or with logic but if one is open to believing in the unbelievable, the events not only take on meaning; they become powerful examples of spirit alive and at work in the world and in our lives.

My Christian faith is grounded in mystery.  At some point I had to decide to believe the unbelievable.  Let's admit it the whole story of Jesus Christ's birth, death and resurrection is pure mystery.  If I were to assume that my limited intelligence or anyone's, even that of the brilliant, is able to understand God, I would not only be arrogant but stupid.  For heaven's sake we may one day completely understand our own bodies but we will never be able to duplicate them.  Only Divine power could have created a human being.  We may one day be able to travel the Universe but will we ever reach its outer limits? Sir Arthur Eddington, British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician of the early 20th century said, "The universe is not only stranger than we imagined, but stranger than we can imagine." and David Finkelstein, a brilliant physicist said, "We haven't the capacity to imagine anything crazy enough to stand a chance of being right."  We are human and so we are limited in our understanding but we are also spirit, made in God's image and likeness and therefore we can tap into, connect to the unknown and perhaps even rest in it. 

I have discovered that in order for me to be at peace I need to embrace the mystery of my faith and the mystery of life.  I choose to believe in a personal God, one who can work miracles in my life, one who is listening to my dreams, concerns and petitions and even the whispers of my heart if I stay close, open and present. 

I am not aware of any personal acquaintances that have experienced significant miracles. I wish I were. Certainly, I have read about others who have and when my husband and I visited St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal, I was stunned by the hundreds and hundreds of crutches hanging on the walls that were left by people who had come there for a miracle and found one.  I recently googled "miracle locations" and one site,, listed the top ten recorded miracles.  You may recognize some of the more well known, Fatima, Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadeloupe, and more recently Padre Pio.  All of these places and events are known for the unexplainable.  Lourdes, the site of the appearance of the Blessed Mother to St. Bernadette, has 68 "official" miracles but thousands of unofficial healings.  

Are the healings simply the result of the power of positive thinking?  People really believe it will happen and so it does? Could be, so what?  Something miraculous occurred.  Maybe that's the secret to miracles; if we are open to them, if we truly believe, "even as a grain of mustard seed" our beings are transformed into receptors for miracles. 
Notice I have a tendency to focus on the illogical positive experiences that happen to people, this is after all a site for creating positive affirmations.  I avoid focusing on the occult or unsettling things one might hear about or see in the media.  Those don't help me in any way to feel hopeful, peaceful or grounded.  It's my choice on that which I focus. I know there is evil in the world. 

The news coming into my life these last few weeks has been very unsettling.  There have been multiple requests for prayers for the suffering and struggles of friends and friends of friends.  In two cases acquaintances that did not appear to be very ill were diagnosed with cancer and given less than three weeks to live.  I, myself, had a scare during my annual mammogram when a lump was found and I was sent for an ultra sound.  It turned out to be normal tissue but it shook me to the core.  Besides deciding to eat French fries and a cookie, "Carpet Diem! I needed, I need a way to find peace with the whims of the world and so I did what I have been practicing, I rested in my faith.  I not only don't know what the future holds other than death and I don't understand most of what life is about but once again, if I connect to the Divine, to my God, I find I can simply allow life to be and allow myself to be at peace with all as it is, at lease for this very moment. 

When I went through my yoga teacher training we were invited to "rest in the inquiry."  We were encouraged during our practice not to try to figure everything out, but to simply let our asanas unfold. I've taken that practice into my faith. I'm doing my utmost to shed Divine light on life and into other lives, perhaps even into the world. I'm offering us an opportunity to let go of our egos, especially mine and to allow my Loving Father, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother, my guardian angel and all those unseen entities who want to guide me and you to a richer, peaceful, blessed life the opportunity to do so.  For today, for now, I am allowing Spirit to inhabit my heart, soul and body.  I've invited it in and I am choosing to simply rest with it.  I know I don't know and that's ok with me in this moment. 
I know in today's world this is a path less chosen but my intention for this year is to "connect to the Divine."  My intention for my life is to strengthen my faith.  With those intentions in place I have chosen to focus on mystery and to release myself from trying to understand all things.  Once I adopted that approach even the unexplainable became meaningful and God's presence became more real.  Along with this gift I've given myself, even the great unknown, the future and the greatest unknown, life after death has become less fearful, less anxiety producing and I find I can still breathe and live peacefully, at least for these few moments.

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