OutRaged

I am outraged! 

My blood is curldling!

My spirit is revolting!

and

My Heart is weeping!

How could they!?! 

How dare they!?!

Imagine someone having the gentle cure, the thorough medicine, the easy remedy, to plagues that have plagued humanity over the centuries, and withholding it from the masses. Think of the lives it would have saved and the pain it could have spared. Think of the mass fear and hysteria it could have preempted. Think of the progress that could have been made but was not because time, resources, energy, focus was being directed at crisis management rather than on progress and growth. 

Imagine that there is hunger amongst the masses for food, for sustenance, and  for nourishment. Imagine that the masses are plagued by lack, scarcity, and a “not enough” mentality, yet, there is plenty but it is stored away and kept at bay. 

In our earthly timeline, imagine that a group of people had the cure or the knowledge or the insight or the vaccine for such epidemics as the cholera, the bubonic plague, typhoid fever, small pox, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, HIV/AIDS, and the most current one, cancer, and they are holding it back. They are holding it back because they want people living in fear. They are holding it back because they want to control people’s lives and keep them subdued. They are holing it back because they want the masses under their dominion, or as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned “under my thumb”. 

That is what the “church” has done to her people and to much of western thought by parsing, by curating, by editing, by cutting and pasting, by withholding Holy Writings, Inspired Scripture, Divine Wisdom, and TRUTH from the people, from the masses over centuries – a mass massacre of the Spirit of The People.

The TRUTH is that past lives and reincarnation are true and real. It was part of the knowledge and truth of the early catholic/orthodox church and christian beliefs up until about Constantine’s time. I know he is referred to as “saint” and “the great”, but not in my books. No longer. Just like he and his entourage took the liberty to “rewrite” the bible and withhold books and truth and Christian mysticism, i am now doing the same thing and choosing to see him as just another spineless man. 

The white paternal patriarchal brotherhood:

I do not trust them. They have lost my trust.

I do not respect them. They have lost my respect.

I do not obey them. They have lost my blind fidelity, for all of eternity. 

It is ironic that he is know for an edict, The Edict of Milan that stated that “Christians could believe what they wanted” (Wikipedia –  “In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan where they made the Edict of Milan. The edict said that Christians could believe what they wanted.”). Yet he and his entourage took out Truth from Scriptures. They and all those who were in the know withheld medicine and life from countless generations to come.  

I struggled and wrestled with the concept of reincarnation for six years. I actually did not choose the path, the notion, I “stumbled” onto it, or more accurately, was “led” into it. I was at a “Celebrate Your Life” conference in Scottsdale, AZ in 2007, eleven years ago now, when I found my self sitting in a huge conference room. I think I chose the speaker and the subject by a process of elimination and not by desire. In hindsight I now see that The Divine Spirit was masterfully at work in setting me up for massive healing and success. Hmmm, now that I think about it, perhaps Constantine was part of the Divine EntouRage that led me into this room, this speaker, this healing experience, this truth, and this path.

I don’t recall now who the speaker was, but my inkling is to say Dr. Brian Weiss. That session and that seminar and that group past life regression session changed the course of my life. It was the beginning of a new path, a new way, a new age. It opened up my Mind and Spirit to a path and a portal that answered many questions and showed me the healing work that I needed to do in this lifetime if I did not want to carry forward the same lesson into the next. 

When I first began my spirituality journey, there was a stigma put on it and on me that I was “cherry picking” my christian beliefs or that I was being a “cafeteria catholic” – thereby implying my not being in “full communion” nor a “true believer or supporter of Christ” and that “I was turning my back on the one true faith”.  There was guilt, fear, and emotional shunning used as an attempt at  manipulating me or steering me away from spirituality and new age books/gatherings with words and phrases such as:

  • it’s not in the bible, 
  • that is the devil talking to you, 
  • that is evil – thus implying that i am evil or partaking in evil, (in hindsight, i was parting from lies and untruth that kept me subdued and the Spirit of God from flowing through me)
  • that is the devil misleading you, 
  • that is bullshit, 
  • you are being misled,
  • you are being brainwashed,
  • you are so gullible and vulnerable,
  • the church does not believe in that. 

Truthfully though, these voices were my mirror of my inner belief paradigm too. I myself had once thought and spoken in the same manner: condemning and criticizing, but then ultimately and by The Grace of God, accepting and embracing.

These voices were loud and their decibel emotionally demeaning, deafening, and crippling.  They tried to block me, stop me, tackle me, and keep me down, low, and subdued. But BY THE IMMENSE GRACE OF GOD, the Holy Spirit and dispenser of Divine Wisdom and Truth, kept whispering in my ear, in my Heart, and in my Spirit. Sofia kept nudging me along, gently. Sofia kept giving me books and insights and healers and experiences, consistently and persistently. Sofia kept comforting me and consoling me on my seemingly alone journey into this world of eternal Truth and Wisdom, and eventual healing. On the earthly plane there was much resistance, but on the Spiritual plane there was immense support, guidance, and strength. All I had to do was walk by faith, by insight, and by intuition. All I had to do was lean on the crutches of Divine Right Judgement and accept Their grace. All I had to do was listen and respond to the whispers of the ONE TRUE VOICE.

This Voice, His Voice kept whispering to me, “You shall know them by their fruit”. If there was love, stay and learn. If there was fear, run, fast and far.

I found my self being very careful as to how I spoke and what language I used. When I was in the presence of “church people” I avoided Spiritual / New Age language and conversations lest I be laughed at, ridiculed, and shunned. Ironically, in Spiritual circles and healing ceremonies, I edited my church language since there was a strong undercurrent of disdain toward organized religion and its teachings. I was like a double agent double dipping in both gardens. 

At one point I did leave “organized” religion, orthodoxy-catholicism. I did leave control based on fear, guilt, UNworthiness, and servitude. But HE called me back. 

HE said, “Come to Me. Come to My Table. Come Feast at and with and on my Love. Come let Me heal you and nourish you. Come. Come. Come my sweet loved daughter.”

HE said, “Don’t throw out the baby with the dirty diaper or dirty bathwater.” Meaning don’t leave, discard, throw out the beautiful side of the church because of the smelly part. 

HE said, “I know. I see all that is going on. Leave that and them up to Me. I am and will deal with them, in My Way and My time. That is not your job. Your job is to Love Me, listen to Me, and do as I say. Focus on Me and Me only. Receive My Gifts and Me, and let the institution be. Ignore the institution, that is not your work.”

So, I did. I listened to Him. I listen to His Voice. I obeyed His Voice. In doing so He led me to a beautiful Holy Spirit filled community that is based on Love and Acceptance and Healing: a community that is rooted in tradition but not bound by tradition. I am beyond grateful and have been deeply blessed and enriched.

“FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO”, Jesus

In hindsight those external voices didn’t know any better. In hindsight, they mirrored and voiced back to me at what I was thinking and feeling myself. I’ve realized that while i am on wobbly feet in my own truth and skin, the world will reflect back to me my hesitancy and uncertainty. 

The church, although Divinely inspired is manly managed and run – just ask Galileo and St. Joan of Arc. 

Lastly, since I know that that which moves us to joy, tears, admiration and rage in others is also within us. Thus, I am left wondering how my outrage of the church withholding is a mirror of me. Mercy me! As the adages go, “when you point a finger at someone else, there are three pointing ball at you”, and, “it is a sin to know where the water is in the desert and not tell anyone” – I wonder was this is telling me about myself. 

Always, think for yourself, by the Grace of God,                                                            Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/23/2018

PS                                                                                                                            Despite all this i still love the church – the hierarchy and institution i struggle with and actually have disconnected from. I also realize that  in any tribe a code of conduct is needed so that everyone is on the same page and that there is unity and uniformity. I also recognize and acknowledge all the good that the church has done: schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages, social outreach, mentoring to name just a few. 

Why do i love her so? Well, she was founded and is ultimately guided by the One Beloved of many.

A Beggar and A Slave

Quite frequently in the Bible the passage about not being “slaves” and the healing of “beggars on mats” pops out at me. For a long time I dismissed these passages and messages about liberty and instantaneous healings from immobility as irrelevant and not pertaining to me. After all, on the surface I was not behind prison bars, nor was I sitting on a mat for cripples on the street corner with my hand out asking for alms. So plain of sight obvious – right? Well if there is one thing that I have learned about the Words in the Bible is that sometimes I need to approach them literally, while other times figuratively. 

This week, by the Grace of God I had one of those profound “aha” moments where it dawned on me how the above two topics did relate to me and were meant for me. I was shown just how much of a beggar and a slave I had been. In my healing journey I have noticed a pattern. The awareness of an unhealthy situation and the labeling of it, is half of the remedy. The other half requires effort on my part. I then need to implement and adopt permanently the newfound pearls of wisdom in my thoughts, actions, and life. The good news is that when we commit and ask for Divine Assistance, They always show up and help. 

LIFE OUTSIDE THE GARDEN

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, life outside The Garden of Eden is predicated on conditions – including love. There is the condition of gravity – we, trees, mountains, ants, buildings all stick to the earth because of gravity. It keeps us and everything grounded and from floating away into the eternal ethers. There is the condition of the flesh – our Soul needs the body vehicle for its earthen journey. Although the Soul is clean, pure, and holy, the condition of the body needs almost constant care, attention, and cleaning. Upkeep takes time, energy, and work. It is not enough to wash our face, comb our hair, and brush our teeth once, it has to be done at least a couple of times a day. In the realm of our Spirit, we constantly need to nourish it with hope, faith, and prayer to keep its energy balanced, strong and focused on Trust.

unCONDITIONAL LOVE

So too it is with human relationships. No matter how hard we try, there is always a condition on our love or on others’ love for us. The complete opposite would be the love that God gives us and offers us, TOTAL ACCEPTANCE always, in all ways and in every moment of who i am and as i am – the brilliance and especially the shadows. We all adore and admire the beauty of the rose, but do we give thanks to her thorns or the fertilizer/manure it took and takes to keep her blooming gracefully. We tend to overlook or dismiss the messy and smelly parts of the journey and focus on the final and closing act of the blooming soft petals. 

How many of us have the capacity to offer total acceptance to another – no matter what they do, how they behave, and the attitude they exude. I have tried it many times over, and it is just not in me. I do not have the capacity nor depth of graciousness for that kind of love. I have tried to keep “turning the other cheek” over and over and over again and again for years upon years. I thought I was holy in doing that. On the outside it may have appeared so. For my ego it was a bolster, but for my Heart it was a blister. For my Soul it was purification, but for my Spirit it was petrification. On the one hand I saw my self as a victim, but in truth, I was a voluntary martyr. In this there was pride too – “just look at me and the immense cross that i am carrying” was written all over me. The invisible sign on my forehead read “o woe is me – can i get a pity pence please”. But I was not aware of this subtle victim pride mentality back then. I was doing the best that I could with the love and level of awareness I was at. 

LOVE FOR AN ENSLAVED BEGGAR, AN INDENTURED SERVANT

In this period of my life, I thought that God’s love was predicated on my “turning the other cheek”. I knew others loved me because I was conforming and contorting myself to their projection of me. I thought I loved me. But then, I just could not take the pain anymore of being an indentured love martyr. The chains of earthly love became too heavy to bear. Thus, slowly and gradually by the Grace of God and much trepidation, I began to shift and change in my awareness, attitude, and resolve. It is said that “good fences make good neighbors” and thus I began building my wall, brick by brick, day by day, encounter by encounter. 

I began to set boundaries of what was and was not acceptable and respectable behavior toward me. I saw and felt the waves of disapproval toward me. I was no longer being praised but rather reprimanded. I began to wonder if I loved this new version of me since others were no too happy about it. But the most terrifying question of all was “did God love and approve this new version of me”. At that time I had equated human expectations and conditions of love and approval with Divine Love. It was a long and treacherous journey that freed me from this mentality. And, I am discovering there is always another subtle layer. I am on a journey of discovering and allowing God’s Love. It keeps amazing me pleasantly. 

LIBERTY

By the Grace of God, I discovered that I do not need to beg for Divine Love and Acceptance. Conversely, it is a Gift which liberates and gives life to the Spirit. I also realized that it was my misconstrued paradigm of what human love and Divine Love require that kept me enslaved in unhealthy ways of being and relating. I realized that the respect that I give to myself and to others, is the respect that I receive from the Universe. Karma, or “do unto others”, or the energy and vibe we put out, does truly come back to us. I have also realized and am continually discovering that the Divine version of Love is sometimes completely different from the human construction of love requirements. Love is not for rent. Love is the deed endowed on our Souls. Love is our Soul’s Essence. Embracing and embodying this Divine Love is really scary, and ultimately liberating. It takes a lot of courage and Grace to deconstruct or unsubscribe from the human love laws. 

The real Gift I am realizing is that this concept of discovering and living Divine Love is not limited to our relationship with others – this is just the beginning. It extends to our relationship with God, ourselves, our body, feelings, image, finances (income, investing, spending (needs and joys), and sharing), contribution, leisure time and fun activities. The adage of “how we do anything is how we do everything” is also very applicable to love received and love offered. 

As I have expanded my notion of love and accepting love, I have also expanded my giving of love too. It no longer is from a place of duty, obligation, must, or a should. I do my best to give what God is asking of me and to set the boundaries that are healthy and necessary for my well being. My journey went from the Law of Rule, from stone tablets  to the Spirit of Love, to the tender Heart. My journey continues expanding in this space of eternal potential. 

LAWS FOR SMOOTH FLOW 

I do understand that we need basic rules of behavior toward one another so that we are all “on the same page” of what is and what is not acceptable. Just like traffic laws keep traffic flowing smoothly, so too do we need a basic framework of respect and dignity for one another. This framework is a guide for every day smooth living in a society. Ultimately though, discern and let the Spirit of Love flow out of your Soul and into the Universe. This is true Divine Alignment. This is the ultimate service to God. This is what gives Joy to the Heart, life to the body, and Love to self and others. This to me is the ultimate pursuit or journey of life, liberty, prosperity, and joy. 

Now when I come across the passages about being freed from bondage and being chained to an almsgiving mat, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how and where I can release human constructs and get my self with into greater Divine Alignment. By myself this is impossible, but by humility and abundant Grace, I KNOW i am assured victory.

God is God, and only God can offer total and complete Love and Acceptance. We as sojourners on our healing and wholeness earthen journey do not have this capacity. As we work on becoming more whole we need to ensure our safety and integrity by employing the Gift of Right Judgement from the Holy Spirit. With this Gift we know how vulnerable we can be or how closed off we need to be in order to be safe in each encounter.

Abundant Divine Wisdom, Humility, Strength, Grace & Love,                                         Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/10/2018

Why Such Brutality in Love

If God is a God of Love, then,

  • Why did Jesus have to experience such brutality?
  • Why did  Jesus have to go through the torturous and humiliating passion?
  • Why did Jesus have to die a death of agony through the crucifixion?
  • Why was Love so brutish to Love Themselves?
  • Why did Love not just find a more gentle and loving way of demonstrating Their love to us and for us? After all, anything and everything is possible with God.
  • Why did Love choose The Way it did for our salvation?
  • Why did Love not just go from the Letter of the Law to the Law of Love in a more “humane” Way?
  • If God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal, why not just “offer” it to us as a Gift, like so many other Gifts that are given to us?
  • Why put Themselves through such agony?
  • Why does this Gift have to come dripping with blood, skin lacerations, humiliation and ridicule, a crown of thorns, spikes through the flesh, and eventual death through asphyxiation?

God breathed life into Adam by blowing Their Breath into Adam’s lung. And then, God took away Their Life by denying that very same Breath to Themselves in a torturous manner. WhyWhyWhyWhy?

When I have asked others, the answers have varied but the most standard reply has been “love”. I get it. But it still does not silence and give peace to my “why”.

Whenever I ask God the “Why?” question, I always get the same response: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth…tell Me if you understand such things.” Job 38 (For the full Chapter of God’s questions/statements to Job’s “Why?” question, see below this article.) This response always lets me know gently that i am way out of my league in even asking the “Why?” question. Its natural implication is that i TRUST and keep going. Sometimes, on the rare occasion or in time, the “why” is shown to me. I have realized that with God, I am on a “need to know basis”.

Annually, when we celebrate The Passion in Holy Week, it almost feels like we keep reinforcing and reigniting the brutality by going there, being there, and partaking in it. It almost feels sadistic. And yet, as I reflect over my life’s journey, I have felt a deep connection to the various  people in the Holy Week events. Yes, I have felt that I have been the victim, the allower, the betrayer, the observer, the one who would not stand up to the crowd, the accuser, the plotter, the warner, the mocker, the nail driver, the cross carrier assistant, the self-righteous one, and,  the weeper and wailer, oh yes, very much the weeper and wailer.

And yet, simultaneously, in my journey, Holy Week, with all its brutality and eventual Resurrection has been comforting and healing. By associating with the various roles, it has helped me process my thoughts and emotions in my journey. Crying silently in public, in church with others as nonactive, silent, non-aware witnesses is reassuring. Seeing others cry is bonding. It takes great courage being so vulnerable in public. I see them in a different light. I see more of their Hearts and not just their external persona and projection. This is a wonderful and Grace filled moment.

However, as of the past few years, my perception is and has been shifting. As i am, and have been embracing the concept that The Soul chooses or is Divinely assigned certain lessons for growth and evolution, i am now realizing that “the victim” outlook is no longer fitting. i have now even reached a point to where i am GRATEFUL for the “thorns, scouragings, mockery, and betrayal” in my journey. I now see that these experiences actually SERVED me because they purified me and humbled me. Although, it certainly did not feel like it when in the midst of the lesson. They helped me get a better grip of my ego/pride. They helped me reign in my wild and untamed ego. They helped me get closer to God like i had never imaged i could. Now, is that not a wonderful Gift.

And then, the Resurrection. Oh! That glorious Resurrection. Being in a sanctuary full of like minded Minds, Hearts, Spirits, and Voices all singing, praising, and worshiping, is a holy gathering. It is heaven on earth.  The unity and the focused energy strengthens my faith, my hope, and my resolve for the journey. I learn from others and grow stronger through their example of faith. Onward seems not only possible, but inevitable. It is like the Light in our individual Spirits and Souls gets brighter and recharged when it is near others praying, worshiping, and reverencing God. This is a beautiful Gift. For this i am beyond grateful.

Will i ever in this earthen journey understand why Jesus’ last few hours were so heart wrenching? Probably not. i am quite certain that most likely i will find out upon reuniting with Him in full Spirit. Until then, i keep on trusting and taking the next step in my faith journey.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1

Abundant Wisdom, Love, Blessings, and Trust,                                                             Irena As I Am                                                                                                      03/31/2018

 

The Book of Job, Chapter 38, NIV

The Lord Speaks

1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2“Who is this that obscures my plans

with words without knowledge?

3Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

4“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

7while the morning stars sang together

and all the angelsa shouted for joy?

8“Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

9when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

11when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;

here is where your proud waves halt’?

12“Have you ever given orders to the morning,

or shown the dawn its place,

13that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?

14The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;

its features stand out like those of a garment.

15The wicked are denied their light,

and their upraised arm is broken.

16“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea

or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?

18Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

19“What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

20Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

21Surely you know, for you were already born!

You have lived so many years!

22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27to satisfy a desolate wasteland

and make it sprout with grass?

28Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

29From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31“Can you bind the chainsb of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

32Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasonsc

or lead out the Beard with its cubs?

33Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’se dominion over the earth?

34“Can you raise your voice to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

36Who gives the ibis wisdomf

or gives the rooster understanding?g

37Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

38when the dust becomes hard

and the clods of earth stick together?

39“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness

and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in a thicket?

41Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

and wander about for lack of food?Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Can you tell me?

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”.

And Lead us With The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

I have been on my journey of deepening my intimacy with The Word and becoming more aware of the power of the Word since about 2004 or so – about 13 years now.
 
God SPOKE and crafted and created Creation with Their Words (Book of Genesis).
It is also written that “life and death are at the end/tip of the tongue”.
 
The tongue is a very powerful instrument which we are well advised to use it WISELY and for the good/blessing of ourselves and others.
 
Within this background,
and combined with spending a lot of time in understanding the power of affirmations
and then seeing the evidence with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water study (see YouTube video),
I found myself
PHYSICALLY NOT BEING ABLE TO SAY
(almost restrained and refrained from deep within)
the last parts of the “Our Father” for a few years now – the part that the pope is talking about in the video below.

Lord's Prayer | ABC News December 8, 2017

Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer line “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation”. He fears the original suggests God can lead people to sin.

Posted by World News Now on Friday, December 8, 2017

 
The deep feeling that had come into my Heart was “why are you paying homage to what you don’t want – to the seducer and deceiver, to the one who sows doubt and fear, to the lier – and out loud too, with your voice, and with a group. Say instead what is good and Holy and how you do want to live”.
 
Thus, for the last few years, in this last part, and when in a group, 
I silently replace “that part” and instead ask for the
Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
💗WISDOM
💗UNDERSTANDING
💗KNOWLEDGE
💗RIGHT JUDGEMENT
💗COURAGE
💗COUNSEL
💗CLARITY
💗AWE & WONDER
and
I’ve also added,
💗GRATITUDE
💗HUMILITY
💗REVERENCE
Amen
 
Also,
The “I am not worthy” part bothers me a lot too. I just does not sit right, nor feel right. Worthiness and feeling worthy is a lifelong journey of acceptance of ourselves, and we need a lot of help, a lot of GRACE in feeling worthy. Thus, it does not feel right nor good to add with my spoken word and to speak these words over myself and in the presence of others. We all need the opposite affirmation and prayer – feeling worthy of all of God’s Love and Blessings so that we can be a blessing onto others.
 
Thus,
What the pope is proposing is good,
but not enough.
This I deeply feel to the marrow of my bones.
Yet,
I commend him for the courage he has had to even bring up the subject and I pray that The Holy                                                                                                                       Spirit of Truth
Spirit of Love
Spirit of Understanding                                                                                                      Spirit of Wisdom
overshadow him and all the Human Family.
 
When we change our language,
We change our vibration and reality,
Irena As I Am
 
Note:
They don’t tar, feather, and burn people
at the stake any more.
Do they?
 
It’s a fear that I’ve had to overcome in the past several years that I’ve been sharing on social media.
At one point I was so afraid of excommunication that I actually went to talk to a priest about it.
I was already pretty sure that I couldn’t be burnt at the stake – but it still did not stop me from looking over my shoulder every time I posted something dogmatically risqué.
 
It’s a past life thing, and I/we are healing that fear this time around.
I sat on the fence for about six years of the past life notion. It was not until I had my own past life answer sessions which helped me answer questions and understand my own patterns of behavior, that I embraced the concept.
Had I not, I would have stayed stuck. Instead, I received the gift of knowing what I/we needed to resolve and dissolve this time round. Otherwise, I would never have been freed.
In those six years of undecidedness, I read/listened to many books, had countless conversations, and attended numerous seminars in order to acquaint my self with this notion.
 
The UGCC (Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church), who is a bi-ritual priest, meaning that he can celebrate both the western Roman Mass and the eastern Divine Liturgy told me he was aware of only one case of excommunication in the UGCC. He said that there had been a group of monks in Western Ukraine who had decided on their own to excommunicate the Bishop of Rome (the pope), and then in his place they themselves amongst themselves voted in and ordained their own “pope”. Thus by virtue of
excommunicating the Roman pope, they had excommunicated themselves too.
Then after some time their new founded “vatican” was not working out so well, so they disbanded it and asked to rejoin the Vatican in Italy. I think (?) this was in the time of pope Benedict, and I don’t think leniency and clemency was in their favor.
 
This story made me chuckle,
VERY VERY NERVOUSLY.
 
HOWEVER,
My excommunication fear had not been unfounded, for I had found myself “excommunicated” in another area of my life.
It was because I spoke my truth which I had held inside for a very long time. Had I not spoken my truth, it would have eaten me up from the inside out and just left a hollow shell of a woman and an existence. Yes, it did set me free. Yes it took herculean courage to get it out. It took herculean strength to withstand the back lash. And then it took herculean humility to reconcile. Actuality it took ABUNDANT GRACE & Humility on all parties involved for reconciliation to take place.
(It also helped me that I went on a three day water fast – water only for nutritional intake – to break the spirit of pride and entitlement (to my anger) that had overshadowed me. Around the same time too, I had me a field trip to the ER (not related to the fasting). Sitting there, lying there, all vulnerable and scared, sure put things into perspective: instantaneous clarity.)
 
It is the Eucharist that had brought me back to the church when I had wondered off and away.
It is the Eucharist that keeps me in the church.
There is nothing more Holy, more powerful, and more grace filled than receiving the Eucharist.

Come to Me

Once upon a time, a long long, LONG, time ago, it was 2:49 am on a southern Sonoran Desert winter’s night. I was snuggled warmly and safely in the arms of a blanket and a bed in a retreat house in a little corner of Holy Trinity Monastery. My sleep was peaceful, deep and restful. And then, The Voice came, hovered in me and awoke me.  Oh, The Voice always comes at the most unexpected times.

“Wake up.”, were the words whispered into and onto me.

I awoke and was immediately at attention.

Then I heard, or rather more like, felt on my Heart these words,

“Come to Me.”

“What!”, was my response and defense and denial.

“Come to Me.”, came back softly, gently, lovingly, and understandingly, for He too had been in flesh once and knows very well its frailty.

“But it’s 2:49 am. It’s the middle of the night. It’s SCARY out there. There are no lights. There are “things” out there in the night, in the wilderness. Unimaginable things that may do unimaginable things to me.”, was my plea and retortion, to no avail.

“Come to Me.” The Voice said, but now it was more insistent.

“Yes.”, I finally acquiesced with my Heart.

The Voice did not have to tell me where The Voice wanted me to go. I just KNEW in my Heart where I was being summoned to. I knew that He was calling me to Him. I knew He wanted me to visit Him at the foot of the “old rugged cross”. I knew He wanted me to spend some time with Him in the middle of the night, in the dark of the night when it was quiet and still. I knew He was testing me. He was testing my faith in Him. He was testing my trust in Him. He was testing my love for Him. He was testing my devotion and commitment to His Way. And, He wanted to prove to me, just how trustworthy He truly was. This, of sorts was an invitation to an initiation. It was an initiation into a way of life of obedience to Him, no matter how I felt, how things looked, or the defense my mind was preparing. It was His High Way or I was going to be on my own and at the mercy of my thoughts and the thoughts and expectations of others. Luckily, Grace stepped in and bolstered me with a heavy dose of Spirit Courage and Humility.

Even though I had a choice, if I wanted peace in my Heart, I knew I had but one choice, and that was to listen and respond. With this in mind, I got out of bed and since I already had pant pajamas on, I put on a warm jacket, shoes, and went out into the dark night. My Heart was beating, my mind was racing with fear thoughts, my belly was squeezed tight, and adrenalin was flooding my body. As I stepped out into the night and walked down the gravel road, I tried to be as silent as I could so as to not draw any attention to myself from whoever or whatever may be peering at me from the dark forest. I kept my head low and my gaze focused forward. I dared not look sideways into the darkness. In my mind and Heart I was not just praying, but begging for strength and courage. And They gave it to me. But the plot thickens, because I also had to walk past a cemetery. Oh yes, They always make a Faith invitation an interesting course.

But with all this inner noise and turmoil going on I did have the presence of mind to notice that the moon had been so large and so bright that I did not need my flashlight. I noticed that I could see very clearly and distinctly. I noticed that from the light of the moon, I cast a shadow on the road ahead of me. My shadow was the scariest thing that I had encountered.

I knew that I had to walk and not run the distance to the cross which was about a city block long.  By forcing my self to walk and not run, I was keeping the fear in check while still being able to keep my presence of mind. Had I ran, I would have let fear overcome me, overshadow me, dictate my behavior and then I would have lost all sense of me. Thus, as I walked past the cemetery and up the hill toward the cross my main goal was just to take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. I was totally and completely in the moment. Nothing and no-one else existed anywhere, but my breath, my step, and my Heart attuned to Divine Support.

When I got to the cross, on my knees I immediately went, without even thinking. My hands wrapped themselves around the wood and my forehead touched the rocky ground. I was called here to revere the life giving cross. I was called here to take up my cross. I was summoned here to make my bond with the cross. I was going to take cues from the cross in how I was to live, in return, the cross would espouse me and wrap His arms around me and my life. It was our union. It was our reunion.

The cross has remained faithful to me, even though at times I have wavered and hesitated and delayed in my love response to the cross. This is the human condition. This is normal and nothing to be ashamed of nor scorned. But rather, gently accepted for what it is, live with it gracefully, and just do our best in each and every moment.

When I did make it back to my retreat room, and closed and locked the door behind me, I signed a huge sigh of relief. I am human after all: and humans waver. Otherwise we would not need the support of Love. As I snuggled back into the cocoon of the bed, I was in awe and wonder of what had just happened. I savored every moment like lovers savor every glance and  touch. It was also a profound lesson in observing and feeling the fear, but doing it anyway. It showed me to not be at the mercy of my fear, but rather at the mercy and grace of Love.

Little did I know back then, that this was just the beginning of these invitations to trust. There were going to be many more in the years ahead. But the good news is that each invitation to trust was accompanied with the Grace of The Universe at my back. I was not alone. I was not expected to do it alone. I was surrounded by Love. Love imbued me with strength, courage, power, wisdom, gratitude, and profound humility toward The Voice.

Abundant Wisdom, Grace, Courage, & Humility to All,                                                      Irena As I Am,                                                                                                                      In His Service and In His Love

OMg – My Dear Zeus god

Omg – My Dear Zeus-god

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Boys & Girls,
Introducing the likeness and image of the god with whom I grew up with. I now like to call him my formerly beloved, or rather much FEARED zeus-god.

Zeus-god for some unbeknownst reason to me was always ANGRY at me and with me. He was always DISAPPOINTED with me. I could never please him. I could never live up to his expectations of me. He instilled great insecurities and self-doubt. I could never live up to the standards he set. Just by virtue of breathing, I seemed to break some law or another of his – I was inconstant sin, sin, sin mode, thereby gladdening and satiating his ferociously fierce appetite for lightening-bolt punishment.

This caused me to always be looking over my shoulder so that I could gauge  zeus-god’s fickle mood de jour. I was always ready to duck should a lightening bolt come my way as atonement for my being “bad”. And if I managed to duck the lightening bolt because he happened to be preoccupied with bad boys and girls in another village, well then, zeus-god always kept the eternal flames well stoked for my long term “warmth”.

A Herculean Effort
Fortuitously, or rather, an Ocean of Grace intervened and said,
“Let Us show you a different Way.
Let Us show you what and how
Love,
Mercy,
Compassion,
Acceptance,
Free Will
Peace, and
JOY
in and with Us look like and feel like.”

They brought books, teachers, radio/tv evangelists, and friends into my life that showed me how to TRANSFIGURE my fear biased and based zeus-god relationship to one of
LOVING DEEP INTIMACY with the Divine.
I learned how to develop a friendship with Him, with Jesus.
I learned how to make Him, make Jesus, my BEST FRIEND EVER and ALWAYS, my lifelong BFF.

They also showed me how to practice being loving, forgiving, accepting, and merciful with me, no matter what I did or did not do. They showed me that I am always WORTHY of these Gifts, and that it is i who at times can withhold these Gifts from myself. Lastly, They showed me that the more that my Heart grows and is anchored in these Truths, the more I will be able and capable of offering Them to others, to those whom I encounter.
The healing becomes the balm for others.

As our intimacy developed and grew, I realized, and still am realizing, and will continue doing so for the rest of my life, just how wonderful He is and just how wonderful I am.
It’s a day by day and moment by moment journey.

It’s all about Love.
Love is Good, always.
Irena
as i was
as i am
and
as i will be