Monthly Archives: February 2014

Resist Not Evil

Blessed is he who is so firmly established here

that he does not spill out what God has poured into him.

Mechthild of Magdeburg

A couple of weeks ago I had the unexpected opportunity to watch a program featuring a reenactment of an exorcism.  The young boy who was possessed by the demon spirit was about ten and the experience had unfolded when the family had just recently moved into a new home.  The program detailed all the events leading up to the family finally approaching a local Catholic Church for guidance and through the actual exorcism that followed.

A critical turning point had been when the boy’s father had decided to challenge the demon and, as a result, had been immediately injured. It was interesting to me that the Church investigators said that this was the worst thing the father could have done.  Shortly after, an initial rite of exorcism was scheduled.

This initial session continued on for several days.  What was so striking to me was how the priests, particularly the one in the key role, were completely unemotional.  As the spirit continued to rage through the boy, the priest just kept sprinkling the boy with holy water and affirming, calmly and persistently, the presence of “Our Lord Jesus Christ is here.” Over and over.  No reaction.  No resistance.  Just affirming the Truth.  And, finally, the spirit left.

To me this spoke of the importance of seeing the darkness that may show up around us as, for example, Mother Teresa saw the deep poverty and suffering, and Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. saw political and racial injustice.  In each case, they responded with the same intention as the priests in the exorcism with unwavering action, not reaction, to restore harmony as only the strength, resolve and clarity of Love, or Truth, can.  We immediately recognize this Love as it, in the language of the Bhagavad Gita, creates dharma, not karma, freedom not bondage.  In the Bible, we hear it as the truth that sets us free.  Emmet Fox in The Sermon on the Mount: The Keys to Success in Life reminds us that goodness, love and truth are eternal and, when offered, go on forever whereas the energies of darkness, error and fear need resolution to be returned to Love.  Same principle.

While it is our duty, as well, to acknowledge and show up to any darkness that may appear on our doorstep, it is not advisable, as the father of the boy discovered, to challenge or resist as it is then we can often find ourselves in the playpen, so to speak, weakened and struggling against.  But if we can hold the Truth, the Love in such a situation, we are better able to rise strong and untangled and become single-pointed lazars for good.  Now, we are able to turn the other cheek, to demonstrate another way, the way of Love.

Let’s not spill out what God has poured into us.

Let’s fight for not against.

And set ourselves, and others, free.

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Become a Living Prayer

Everyone loves a secret. But ahhhh, there’s a secret known as the greatest of all secrets–indeed so profound that it’s capable of unlocking within each of us the full awareness of our place in the cosmos, our place in the divine plan. Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you’re not ready to Know! For once you Know, you can’t not Know. There’s no going back. There’ll be no more reasons not to create a life of beauty–to truly become a living prayer.

This greatest of all secrets is that God does not live in you…but, rather, you live in God. (BG 9:6) Pause for a moment and allow this secret to settle within you. These were the words of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, when He, divine personified, was guiding Arjuna on the path to his greatest service and toward full emersion with Him, eternal bliss. Yet, Truth, being universal, is not contained within any one faith tradition. Saint Therese of Lisieux said it this way in her poem, The Atom of Jesus–Host, I am the atom of Jesus…for I have the Host as my support. 

 I find something so very comforting, embracing, supporting, that I can do nothing but exhale into some deep place of slumber when imagining it, even as I also feel myself inhale, stirring awake, stretching into ahhh–liveness. Can it really be? I too am an atom in the body of the Beloved? I too am a living pulse of the greatest of all secrets? Just the ever so faint imagining of it leaves me still and silent, yet bursting, frolicking in some childlike exuberance, as Grace has its way with me.    

And how does this blessed awareness birth each of us into becoming a living prayer?  Well, for example, you may have wondered, with literally millions of people praying to God, or to Jesus, Shiva, Quan Yin, or another representative on a regular basis, how all of these prayers could be held equally by any one entity? The mind struggles with this if we think of God, or the representative, as outside of our self. Once we remember the great secret, that we live in God, a fundamental shift happens. Recognizing, just like Saint Therese or Arjuna, that we too are an atom in the body of Jesus, or Christ Consciousness, as we too live in the heart of God, we start to get that it’s our job, as an atom, to attune ourselves to the body of our blessed creator, our Host. Now, we do not pray to but, rather, as one who recognizes that it’s our birthright to become, as Jesus said, perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:48)

Perfect, you say. And, why not? Perfection as an instrument of Grace has nothing to do with perfection as our ego might imagine it. In fact, it’s exactly in such moments of Grace or pure attunement, with the One within whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28), we instantly get that it’s not about us at all. As Krishna reminds Arjuna, we too are just here to fulfill a purpose, to play a part, to get something done, and to, along the way, fully experience that we too are, graciously, a spark of the light of all lights forever beyond darkness (BG 13:17), birthing all of creation.     

 Jesus said the same by reminding us, Ye are the light of the world (Mat 5:14). Realizing this, our lives naturally become a living prayer, sparking, serving with delight some greater purpose of which we are, often, only partially aware. And, how perfectly so. It is not our job, after all, to focus on the destination or outcome. It is our job to attune our heartbeat to the One heartbeat, our breath to the One breath, our will to Divine Will. In this way, we bring our light out from hiding, out from under that bushel of ours, as the great song This Little Light of Mine sings, to let it shine, shine, shine. And the whole world becomes ablaze with our light as we step into our birthright to spark with the light of all lights and answer the charge of Jesus, Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works (Mat 5:16). It’s the intention and purpose of all spiritual practice.


Dare to imagine yourself an atom in the body of all creation.

Dare to ignite your spark to shine, shine, shine!

Dare to imagine your DNA contains a unique role to play in the vital functioning of our Host, the Host of all Hosts.

Dare…and create a life of beauty far beyond your imagination…

Dare…and become a living prayer.



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