Today is the "optional memorial" day for one of the most popular saints on the Catholic calendar.
I find this saint's words very inspiring, in the midst of my problems and afflictions.When I read these sort of quotes from the mystics who have experienced an intimate relationship with Our Lord, I am reminded of my own feelings, whatever is best among all the thoughts that go careening around in my brain, whatever is most beautiful in my inclinations. It is almost as if I breathe a breath of fresh air in the spiritual realm.
Today, in particular, I am reminded that, even though my earthly travails are many, my soul belongs to God, and, if I will only remember to look upon him throughout the day, I will experience great love.
When I was in the Hindu convent, I learned many techniques of directing the mind to what I wished it to think about or concentrate upon. While some people imagine that meditation involves "clearing the mind" and making it EMPTY, I rather found it to be an exercise of attention. One must gently take hold of the mind and, in one manner or another, restrain it from hopping from one topic to another, concentrating, instead, upon The Lord.
Now, when I say I was in a "Hindu convent," that is not strictly correct, as I belonged to a neo-Vedanta group that arose OUT of Hinduism, but which is not accepted as being Hindu at all, since it accepts that "all paths lead to God." (This is the Vedanta Society.) As with most religions, they are good people who mean well, and I respect anyone who is pursuing God.
While I no longer believe that "all paths lead to God" in a literal sense, I AM in tune with those aspects of that philosophical system that are true and useful. While the Vedantists certainly do not have what WE would term "the fullness of the faith," or "the fullness of Truth," one has to agree, as an obvious fact, that God cannot be restrained from entering the whole of His creation. We cannot limit him, no matter how much the fervor of our beliefs would have it otherwise!
There were several other nuns of my acquaintance who took as their "Ishta" or manifestation of God, Jesus Christ. This is not the same as being Christian, but it demonstrates the all- pervasive nature of Our Lord.
Noticing the presence of God in a non-Catholic establishment, many people become confused and come to believe that mixing up all the religions would be a good idea, plucking ideas out of a collection of religions, like plucking flowers for a bouquet. This never works, as the inconvenient practices or ideas are often dropped, to the detriment of the spiritual aspirant. Even Ramakrishna, the saint whose philosophy and life initiated the Vedanta Societies throughout the world, told his people to "dig deep" and not to run around digging shallow holes for their faith.
When the paintings are completed, and I have made the frames, I will post photographs of them, if possible.
This brings up a topic. In addition to the many items that are needed here at Silver Cottage, I am in desperate need of a digital camera, with an excellent zoom capacity. It doesn't need to be fancy, as I would not be able to figure it out, no doubt, but the resolution has to be good, and I will also need a tripod. This equipment will be used to photograph paintings for my portfolio, as well as for the craft items I produce, so that I may place them online to sell them and thus have the wherewithal to purchase medical equipment and other necessaries.
Please use the Paypal link, above right. If you have any questions, just make a comment. It won't be published, as I have to release comments prior to publication. This is a good way to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, God bless!
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