Friday, August 8, 2014

Not owned by Christians


This story from friend and fellow writer Marilyn introduces my theme. She and her husband drove to Little Falls where she had an interview. After that, on a whim, they decided to drive to the Franciscan Convent.
The receptionist told us no one was available to do a tour, that we should walk around by ourselves. We got to the end of a corridor and a nun stepped out of an office. Harold noticed her name . . . related to a friend of Harold's. . . . after a few exchanges, she offered to give us a tour, very extensive; just all over the place where many never get. We had a great time with her.

When we left her, I said we should stop at the gift shop. I thought I should buy a little something. I found a very nice little wooden box with a verse in it that I liked. I took it up to the counter and the nun there told me Sister Loretta made it; that it's the only thing in the shop she makes and sells there. Sister Loretta was the nun that had given us the tour.

I immediately wondered why I picked up that little box. My knees actually felt weak. What prompted me to select this one item made by her? Harold heard it, too, and was just as astonished as I was.
Jung identifies these incidents as synchronicity. I think they signal the heart of spirituality, and they are not religious.

I obtain more spiritual nourishment from such moments when the Inner Reign bursts into our awareness than from any religious tract or service. Marilyn and I conversed together after she emailed this, and we wondered together about their mystery and our response of feeling gifted, awed. When I’m down, they console me with the assurance that the Inner Realm exists.

The happening at St. Francis followed hours in a military camp, where Marilyn and Harold were jolted by the title given to what we usually call “The Civil War.”  There it was titled “The Second Civil War.”
The first?  The one with Native-Americans. A Momentous Realization, this one.
How do the two striking incidents fit together?  Once she had been broken open by the first, her spirit was ready to accept the second.

Messages from the Other Side like to crowd in together. When we are broken open, realizations and insights tumble in too fast to capture in words, which I always want to do. I can’t capture this morning, but I’ll trudge on, trying to capture as much as I can.

Marilyn’s story perfectly fit the happenings in my life now, another example of synchronicity.
Our womanpriest group, Mary Magdalene, First Apostle, is looking at the Emmaus story (Lk 24: 13-35)—the disciples of Jesus having an encounter with a stranger after Jesus’ death and suddenly recognizing him as Jesus. An encounter with the Invisible Reign breaking into material reality.

For me the Emmaus story is not exclusively Christian but an example mirrored in countless similar religious stories from other traditions and stories that have nothing to do with religion, like Marilyn’s and mine.
The synchronicities underline the clarity I received this week about my personal purpose at this time in my life—to challenge outmoded Christian claims and assumptions.
that Jesus is the supreme human being, the ONLY son of God.
that our religion is supreme.

Divinity is opportunistic, striking when the soul is open. When I was going through the womb/tomb period in my life—midlife crisis is another name for it—I was flooded with synchronous events. Accounts of them dot my writings here and there.

And what about you, dear readers? Don’t you have moments when an Invisible Hand manipulates reality just so to nourish you, or calm you, or save you?  Perhaps you need something and for some unreasonable reason the object you need appears right in front of you? 

Years ago a committed atheist in my neighborhood was trying to shovel out after a humungous snowfall. Seeing how impossible it was without mechanical help, he mentally threw out a desperate plea for help. Along came a snow-removal machine from another neighbor and quickly cleaned out his drive.  When he almost sheepishly told me the story, I laughed uproariously.  He interpreted it as “coincidence,” because he didn’t want to credit any spiritual source.  I didn’t bother trying to explain what I thought, but as I remember it, he was a little rattled.

How fittingly the Transcendent Realm nourishes us! Marilyn bought the box for someone who is going through alcohol treatment. Inside was this verse:
This box is for your worries, the aches within your heart. A place to tuck away your fears, where love and hope can start. So keep this little box beside you, and know how much they care, for when you need peace and joy the angels will be there.