Is Your God Big Enough Close Enough You Enough?
That is the title of a book I read by Paul R Smith. I want to highlight what Paul refers to as the three faces of God.
Infinite God: God-Beyond-Us
God is the source of all that is. God is life itself. God is pure existence or being itself. God declared to Moses “I Am.” God cannot be contained within any image, thought or concept. God is beyond us: transcendent God beyond our ability to see. Meister Eckhart stated, “I pray God to rid me of God.” Thomas Keating mentions that, “God loves to be everywhere all at once.” Karen Armstrong reminds us, “When we’re talking about God, we’re talking about a different mode of reality.” “Being Itself is that which creates life, love, and consciousness because it holds these qualities in unmanifest form within its formlessness. Being is greater than life itself. It is the Creator and Container of life. We can rest in God’s being.”
Intimate God: God-Beside-Us
“The Intimate Face of God is our heart to heart devotional connection God. You know your God is close enough if God is like a loving mother and father to you.” We can have a personal relationship with God. We can talk to God whenever we wish. God is our mother, father, friend, personal companion and life long partner: an ever present and loving presence. St. Augustine exclaimed, “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” John Eldredge says, “Falling in love with God is the most important thing a person can do.” Jesus referred to God as “Abba”, someone with whom he had an intimate relationship with, a tender and compassionate parent. I sit with Jesus during silent prayer (centering prayer) so I can walk with him in life!
Inner God: God-Being-Us
“So this God beyond us and beside us also has a face that acts and speaks within us as us. This real “us” is one with God like Jesus was one with God.” I am not saying we are God. I simply say that we have divine DNA within us. Divine DNA is within all of matter. We are divinity in human form. We are both divine with a little d and human. Our humanity is an expression of our inner divinity. We are the voice, heart, hands and feet of God in the world today. I sit in silence to reconnect with the Divine within. I take silence pauses throughout the day, quietly utter the word Jesus so I can reconnect to my Inner Source. My outer world is an expression of my Inner World!
Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve by Paul R Smith
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I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault and Contemplative Living: An Invitation to a Deepening Journey by .
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.
Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)