Is Christianity Really Monotheistic

Is Christianity really a monotheistic religion? That is the question that has been swirling around in my mind for quite some time now and not giving me peace. Not my Heart though, my Heart is at peace about my relationship with the Divine in its many forms, manifestations and expressions. It’s just that my mind needs a definitive, cut and dry, black and white definition. It needs a tidy answer and not one with loopholes and variations.

Christ Himself spoke about and to Abba, the Father. He also spoke about the Holy Spirit or the Ruach Elohim or The Spirit/Wind/Breath of God. Jesus, Yeshua also said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25. There are the three, the Trinity. One body, different parts. I get it. I accept it. And, I live it.

But!

 

Theotokos (God Bearer) / Mother Mary

Having been born into the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic faith/religion, (Ukrainian = national church of the Rus/Ukrainian peoples, Greco-Catholic = orthodox faith originating from Constantinople which is in communion with the bishop of Rome, the pope), and having been a very ardent participant in it for most of my life there are other entities to whom I/we had prayed to. One of them is the Theotokos, Mary, the God Bearer. Yes, I know that technically we don’t “pray to her, but ask her to petition the Son, her Son, our Son, the Son of Man/Woman” just like she did at the wedding of Cana and He listened and responded by turning water into wine.This is an explanation and maybe even a justification for reaching out to her and praying to/through her with the Rejoice*/Hail Mary.

It is very comforting at times reaching out to a feminine version of the Divine. It is as though sometimes in life we need the gentle, loving, and nurturing embrace of a Divine Mother. On earth we came through a masculine and feminine, a mother and father. Both provided a different kind of support and comfort. It is balanced between the male which is analytical and strong with female which is feeling and gentle. Both of these qualities and energies are in each one of us. Thus, why would they also not been the Divine Realm in whose “image and likeness”, Book of Genesis we are made.

Now, I am primarily a practicing Roman Catholic. When I made the switch I felt I was turning my back and being unfaithful and adulterous to my “mother church” and my spiritual mother. But it was she who kept pushing me out of her nest and every time I went back, she made it very uncomfortable and uneasy for me. She said, “Go. Leave. There is nothing for you here. Spread your wings. Grow spiritually. Savor, learn, and nourish yourself with other faiths, traditions, and understandings of the Divine.” I did, even though it broke my Heart and tore it to pieces to do so. But mother knew best. She was right. In hindsight I realize now that I worshipped her and her traditions more than I worshiped the Divine. My religion had become my golden calf. Had she not pushed me out of the nest, I never wold have fallen in love with the Divine. My love affair would have remained with religion, the earthly vessel to the Divine, instead of the Divine Themselves.

 

Saints

In both the catholic and orthodox faiths there are saints. Whatever your quest, query or quiver may be, “there’s a saint for that”. The technical term is “venerating” the saints as opposed to “praying to” the saints. Serious saint followers are ardent around saint relics and objects. It is a sight to behold – much significance and power is projected onto the items. Or maybe, subconsciously it is a practice in raising and attuning the vibration of one’s own energy to that of the saint.

I myself have at times have called upon and called in the Spirit and energy of certain saints. Growing up, Saint  Nicholas was one who was near and dear to me. I sang to him a lot. But I’m not so sure that I listened to him. At that point in my life, it was one way communication with the Divine. I had not learned how to listen yet. Then there was a period in my life when I was in a serious battle, a battle for the essence of my life, and Saint Joan of Arc and I, it felt as though we were One. Her strong, bold, courageous, determined and single minded trust in The Voice and Its message of ‘we can beat the odds and drive out the long-standing invaders’ energy was all around me, within me, and running through me. I do not think any of these saint connections were conscious choices but something that rose up from within me.

 

Angels 

In both the Hebrew and Christian texts there are stories and accounts of Angels. We each have been assigned a guardian angel or two. There are rote prayers to angels which we recite either at bedtime or in the morning.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here; Watch over me throughout the night, keep me safe within your sight.

or

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.

A times I find great comfort in reciting these prayers, either in my Heart or out loud. In my journey of delving into the Divine realm, I learned that just like with saints, there are angels for different needs in our lives, and that there are different levels of Angels. Now, I call upon specific angels for specific assistance.

I’ve also learned how to look out for their signs and methods of communication. They may use numbers, feathers, pennies/change on the street, songs, feelings, dreams, persistent thoughts, coincidences… to get our attention and direct our steps.

Angels are always in our midst. All we need to do is ask for assistance.

Icons & Statutes 

I like having visual aids and reminders in our house of the Divine Realm. I like seeing Them and being surrounded by them. They are reminders to me that I am never alone on either the earthly or the spiritual realms, regardless if a person is next to me or not. They raise my thoughts to the heavenly realm and remind me to “take the higher road” in my thoughts, attitudes, speech and actions. I do not think that I worship the icons and statues, but they do assist me in my worship.

Mother Mary, or The Theotokos, The God Bearer

The Fourth Commandment 

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20 (NIV)

Every religion and every faith and even the way of spirituality has Divine “tools” and customs – even the Shamans. If the Divine is Spirit, then any and all Divine writings, paintings, statutes, traditions, trinkets, amulets, talismans are technically in violation of the Fourth Commandment. The Spirit is always flowing and always in a graceful dance with the Divine leading The Way without the need of any props or objects. Thus, are we all not in violation of the Fourth Commandment? Will we all be summed to the jurisdiction of the Divine Supreme Court of the Fourth Commandment? If God is Spirit then any material representation is a “no-no”.

 

Divine Hedonist or Divine Expressionist 

And yet, I do it. I bet you do too. Even atheists do it when they attach a certain meaning toward  any object  – even if that object is themselves or their intellect. We use the objects and traditions as a vehicle or a tool for worship, focus, grounding, centeredness.

I know this is taking it to the extreme. I am a purist though. I like to swing with the pendulum to both sides. It is in these extremes that I then can find my “just right” middle of the way.

By turing to all these different God “forms”, am I on course or am I off course? Am I being a Divine hedonist by indulging in all these Divine Expressions? Why don’t I just pray to God? Period. Or, are all these Divine forms nuances of that which is non-explainable, non-shapeable, but rather EXPERIENTIAL. In our life path and journey we encounter variety in everything. In life we need to be both fixed and malleable. Just like in relationships, cooking, painting a wall, or fixing a lawnmower, we need a variety of tools with which to approach the situation and get the job done, with Love.

Perhaps the fourth commandment may be all right with us having Divine “props” for our human nature. Perhaps the fourth commandment is telling us to not let anything that is earthly come in-between our relationship with God, be it work, relationships, hobbies, goals, ideals, religion, spirituality, tradition, and even objects.

Perhaps, at this stage of my journey, I am playing with the notion that Christianity may not be a monotheistic religion. Or maybe I am just not at the stage of my development, where my practice of Divine Worship is monotheistic. The road ahead will tell.

And on that note, let us remember what God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make wo/man in our image, after our likeness”.

Abundant Wisdom for All,                                                                                             Irena As I Am                                                                                                      03/12/2018

*Rejoice/Hail NOTE:                                                                                                        The term “hail” was a greeting used by Roman soldiers. The more accurate translation of the Angle Gabriel’s greeting to Mary is “REJOICE”.

Stay Free

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

Was the message the Angels were showering upon me, all around me, on the outside and on the inside.

There was a juncture in my life some time ago where I had left and was led out of a longstanding super committed relationship. I had poured all of me into this relationship and into the other and all the others around this longstanding super committed relationship. Later on I was to find out that I and the other have had many lives together in the past. This other  person and our relationship were the sun of the orbit of my life. And I used all of the sunshine  within me to lighten and nurture the other and others. It was my duty and obligation. And then it imploded. It was no more. It vanished. It became a nothingness, a vastness, an emptiness, a vacuum. And I lost all sense of me, my identity, my purpose, my purse, my meaning, my reason for being. Like an astronaut untethered from their spaceship floating aimlessly and in eternal perpetuity, I too was untethered from that and those that shaped who i was, why i was, and where i was going. For a period of time, my body was here on earth but the “i” in me or the “eye”  of me was floating in a black hole of nothingness. It was as though I was a walking, living, breathing shell of a body whose soul had departed. I knew not where my soul had gone, nor if it would ever come back and fill me up again. I knew I still existed because I could see and touch my body. That much was there and true, but the inside was hollow, like a dead tree. It was the weirdest sensation I had ever had over a period of time. I knew what depression was and how it felt. But depression was kindergarten to this sensation. At least in depression I felt something. With this encounter, I felt nothing.

As the adage goes, “The Universe abhors a vacuum.” and thus, in time another was brought into my life who could and would help me have a reason for me. Everything that I had wanted from the first other that I did not get and which had caused me great angst, this second other gave easily, freely (or so I thought initially), and abundantly. This second other was lavishing generous gifts upon me, flying cross country to see me and spend time with me – and all I had to do was “say the word”. Conversationally, this new other was brilliant and had a genius mind. To me and for me, this characteristic gave me an inside natural high. This was my own fairy tale unfolding before my eyes. I was excited again. I was alive again. I was feeling again. I had hope for the future. I began making plans for a future of togetherness, of “happily ever after”. But lurking behind all of this abundant external positivity and fortune, I was being hounded and stalked by a feeling from deep within of uneasiness, unsettledness, and like I wanted to RunRunRunRun.

This was a period in my life where I was a neophyte to understanding and responding to my feelings and to the messages my body was sending me. I was on the border, in that liminal zone between discounting them, ploughing through them, or bulldozing them down with the might of my bull-like will and to actually stopping, feeling them, discerning what they were telling me, and then proceeding with this newfound wisdom. Interestingly, one of my major mantras back then reflected this shift. It was, “Stop. Feel. Think. Then Act.”. I even had a t-shirt made with this slogan. I needed to wear these words and have my body and being absorb this lesson and way of being and living.

Even though my mind was elated and my Heart alive again, my body was SCREAMING something completely different and opposite. My body’s wisdom and intuition was feeling, reading, and responding to the vibes in this encounter. My body, God bless her, was figuratively and literally saying RunRunRunRunRunRunBabyRunRunRun! I am sure that you Dear Reader can figure out and make the connection how the RunRunRun… part manifested itself in my body. But just to give you little hint and clue: whenever I left my house, my predominate thoughts and concerns were, “where is the nearest rest room” and “how long before I reach the nearest restroom”. Get it? My body was so anxious and so distressed that she was always on the run from the present moment.

Around this time I was reading books on how to develop my intuition. I wanted to know how to hear and respond to God, rather than to the whims and desires of others. God responded by presenting to me in my path books about intuition: Laura Day, “Practical Intuition” and “How to Rule The World from Your Couch”, Sonia Choquette  “The Psychic Pathway” are the ones that I remember now.

Meanwhile I was teetering and tottering between co-joining my path with this new other or go at it solo. A wise person suggested that I visit and spend some time with this other person in their home and native land. And so I did. And oh Dear Lord what an eye opener this was. My trip was slated for seven days but after about day three or four, I KNEW I wanted OutOutOutOutOut! I called the airline and they wanted almost eight hundred dollars to re-issue my ticket to a flight a few days earlier. Um, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just tough it out, I thought. There is always a silver lining because if before my “no” was the size of The Rock of Gibraltar, after the extra few days my “NO” solidified from the surface down to the core and it became the size of the Rocky Mountain Range.

The Universe in It’s part was also signaling to me Their View on the situation with Their communication. We were driving in the city and a bus stop advertising caught my eye. It’s prominent message was “Stay Free”. Then while we were stopped at a red light, an elderly couple crossed the street right in front of us. I looked at them and they looked and felt MISERABLE. In that moment, I had a deep impression and feeling that said,                  “Irena if you co-join your path with this other, you will be this miserable couple down the line”. On my! Not good grief, but miserable grief. Later that night as I retreated into the safety and sanctuary of my hotel room, I had something happen that had never happened to me before – and at one point in my life I had done a a lot of business travel and hotel rooms had been my second home, so I had a cache of reference points of what a good hotel experience should look like and feel like. I had taken a long hot bath to wash the day away and then enveloped myself into the cocoon  of white bed sheets. I finally relaxed when I heard someone fidgeting with the door. By the Grace of God, I had engaged the chain door latch. I got up to see what was going on. The hotel staff had somehow mixed up my reservation with someone else’s who could not get into their room, which was my room. They tried to get in but could not. I was fuming mad! But in hindsight, it was just another sign along the way. I now see the innocent mistake of attempted intrusion in to my safe space as a signal of what would happen down the path line: my i would be intruded and invaded. Since I was so stressed and anxious, my monthly visitor, the feminine kind, came early. I always travel prepared and reached for my feminine product. Although I had used the same brand for years, it was as though I saw it for the first time. It read “Stay Free”. Need I say more! I laughed with deep gratitude at the affirmation and confirmation.

I could not wait to get into that metal cylindrical man made bird, sit into my seat  and fly home to my little safe nest. I thought I was home free. Again, at one point in my life for a few years, I had gotten on a plane several times a month and had always had a pretty good experience. Not this time though. The flight was delayed couple of hours due to an electrical issue related to the set belt safety light overhead our seats. All the passengers remained on the plane while the service crew repaired the short circuit. Meanwhile, I prayed and prayed and prayed. Finally a few hours later we were airborne. Home safe! I thought! Not so fast, said something else. About an hour into the flight the seat belt light started flashing uncontrollably, the pilot came on and said that although it was not a major issue and we could continue flying, regulations required that we turn back. WHAT! TURN BACK! NoNoNoNoNo!!! Turn back we did. Change planes we did. This I had never experienced before. Eventually, after much hassle, fuss, inconvenience, we made it to our destination, safely.

“Stay away from this person and this path. Very Very Very Far Away.”, the Universe not only whispered, pleaded, hinted, but screamed too. By the Grace of God, i listened and i obeyed, even though on paper and to the naked eye the positives were in abundance. This time I didn’t override The Holy Spirit. This time I took Her Eternal Wisdom and heeding.

Upon my return home, I severed ties with this person. Within a relatively short period of time, my body calmed down and stopped “running”.

Grateful beyond words.                                                                                                    Take Charge of you, your choices, your life, your health, your outcomes,                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                      02/23/2018