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Showing posts from November, 2010

Advent

The first Sunday of Advent was yesterday.  I love Advent.  It is one of those times that is often neglected, but can be truly beautiful and powerful.  It is a time of waiting, a time of watching.   To sit and do nothing else but look at/wait on the Lord.  Where can I see God?  The Gospel of Thomas says the light is within all people and all things.  For me that means I see God in the children, the trees, my family and loved ones...and if I look closely and do not neglect to look...I can see God in the sick, the sorrowful, and the hurting.  God can come in any form, and Advent reminds me to be aware and to serve God in whatever disguise God takes.

Thomasine Order of the Way

On Friday, November 19, 2010, Sister Shilo and I took final vows within the Thomasine Order of the Way aka the Thomasine Friars(link to the side of this blog).  These vows were witnessed by Bishop Mansell Gilmore.  These final vows have brought together the exploring of what it means to be a Thomasine in a vital lifestyle.  I am so thankful for this.  This is the culmination of my own private vows that more and more sought expression in community.How I am living out these vows is in ministry in my own local church.  Server, Lector, Acolyte, Contemplative Prayer Group leader.  But yet this is not enough...I also serve in offering free tutoring to kids in poverty, run a community garden in a low income neighborhood, and try to live like a twin of Jesus (failing often).  Pray for me that I may fulfill my vows daily.

I Need A Hole To Crawl In

Jesus said, "The foxes have their dens and the birds have their nests, but people have no place to lay down and rest." Gospel of Thomas 86

In the mainstream Gospels, this saying is about Jesus and that he was homeless.  But the Gospel of Thomas traces this saying not about Jesus so much as about us.  Humanity has nowhere to rest. Our rest is not in this world.  Our rest can only be found in the divine, in the spiritual.  A life without the spiritual is one clinging to attachments and not to anything eternal.

Adam....Where is Your Leaf?

Jesus said, "Adam came from immense power and wealth, but he wasn't worthy of you. If he was worthy, he wouldn't have tasted death." Gospel of Thomas 85

Adam came from God, and yet he chose to fall into ignorance.  The death is the blindness of the soul to that of the spirit.  He forgot where he came from, and who he was.  The practice of this way is not easy.  It is much easier to fall into ignorance again and again.  What a challenge to keep this fire going day and night.  Only those who pursue this gnosis will taste of it.  One need not convert to my religion or any particular religion to know this gnosis.  However one must do the work and be met by grace that changes everything about you.  The fruit of this is compassion.

Looking in God's Mirror

Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are thrilled. But when you see the image of you that came into being before you were born and that does not die nor become visible, how much you will have to deal with!"   Gospel of Thomas 84

Jesus here speaks of an us that existed before we were born.  This Self does not die either.  I believe Jesus is speaking about the Self (capital S) also known as the Spirit.  This is not to be confused with the soul -which is made up of the mind, will, and emotions.  The mind, will, and emotions are transient.  They change and develop.  They will pass away.  But there is something beyond that.  The challenge of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas is to use the soul...to align the soul with the spirit.  Use your mind, will and emotions to direct itself to the Spirit of Life within.  This is our true self...our true image.  And when we see that...when we truly see that light within we will be forever changed.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  In…

Hiding

I see you Beloved...
hiding in the laughter of a child.
in the prick of a thorn on the skin
in the stranger walking by on the street.
Do not hide yourself any longer.
I know you are there...
Though I only glimpse your light...
Even this is enough
Though having tasted
I want more.
Do not hide.

I Found God in that Rock Over Yonder!

Jesus said, "Images are able to be seen by people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."  Gospel of Thomas 83

The world we see hides the light of God.  Some argue that this light is trapped in matter...others say it fills matter.  In my opinion, that is just theological bickering, such as how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.  I simply don't care.  I tend to be an optimist and thus lean toward a more panentheistic stance, but if it is the latter it will not shatter my beliefs or theological systems.  But rather it is interesting what is said here.  God's light is within the images of things.  The flowers, the birds, the pleasant things, the unpleasant things.  We can see that light.  In fact, I think we are challenged to see that light.  We will not see the fullness of God for that would be too much to comprehend or bear but we can see that light.  Take time toda…

Flaming Jesus!

Jesus said, "Anyone who is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom."  Gospel of Thomas 82

Here Jesus speaks very much akin to a type of Guru or Eastern Teacher.  Once one takes Jesus (or Isa as he is called in the east) as ones teacher...one seeks to become like that teacher.  Thus that is why you have verses in the New Testament about counting the cost first...you even have such sayings in the Gospel of Thomas.  If you choose to become a disciple or student of Jesus, you agree to wear his yoke.  His way is not a totally do it yourself way... This is no different from Buddha, Krishna, or even the traditional role of a rabbi in Judaism (see this link for some great info:  Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DswAPdgfRMs ) 

To come near the teacher is to come near to God...to come near to the fire.  I believe this is why Jesus has us become his twin.  Jesus the messenger of God, the awakened one wants to guide an…

Power Over/Internal Power

Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce that power."   Gospel of Thomas 81

It is hard to fathom that my meditation on the saying of Jesus is on the downward slope.  81 sayings and only 33 to go.  And through these meditations, I am aware of an interior deepening within me.  The GoT has become a life spring to my spirit, even as I go back and meditate on a passage, every time it deepens.  This saying deals with power and wealth...and yet I believe the power and wealth that a disciple of Jesus should seek is not that of this world.  It is not a power over others.  Rather it is a type of internal strength...and power within.  One who has become wealthy in this power...through meditation, contemplation, and other spiritual practices..they will reign as they have learned to truly see things as they are.  Those who has learned to reign through the ways of the world, they are called to humility and even a renouncing of the power over.  I…

This Sack of Meat

Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has found a corpse, and whoever has found this corpse, of that one the world is not worthy." Gospel of Thomas 80

This saying is problematic for many people.  Many people assume that Jesus is speaking of the physical world.  I don't accept this as he says in another saying that split a piece of wood or lift a rock and Jesus is there.  I think that the world is filled with the light of God.  So how do I interpret this?  I believe that Jesus  is speaking the systems of the world.  The systems that oppress, neglect, and hold power over others.  Jesus is calling his students out of these systems.  He shows a new way of living...of power within rather than power over.  Of a kingdom of lovers, rather than lords and masters.

Breast Feeding and Other Matters of Spirit

A woman in the crowd said to Jesus, "How blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you." Jesus replied, "Blessed instead are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Blessed are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'" Gospel of Thomas 79

In this saying, Jesus puts down any specialness about himself or his mother.  Instead, he suggests that those who hear God are the ones who are blessed.  How do we hear God?  How do we have ears to hear that still small voice?  I believe the best way to know yourself and to hear God is through meditation and contemplation.  It is only in silence that the voice of God can be heard.  It is only in meditation that we learn to observe the mind and lay aside distraction after distraction like peeling away layers of an onion. When we have done the work then over time we come to know ourselves and God for we ar…