A LOVE RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST
and through JESUS CHRIST
*Brian Kenneth Wilcox, "My Confession of Faith"
As first priority in your lives, put love on as your clothing.
Love joins us all as one in impeccable unity.
A GASEOUS CAMEL
He who complains and blames, disregarding
That his own choices have brought his lot in life,
More so than the actions of others, is like the fool
Who whines about the stink that he cannot
Escape, while he follows after the same
*Brian Kenneth Wilcox
Yes, in every situation, we do have a choice. One choice can begin a chain of choices that can make a life more beautiful than one dreamed possible.
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Where do you begin? Where do you end? Well, you cannot define that. There is more to you than skin, meat, and bone, sure? You are more than thought? Are you more than the sense of self, by which you see yourself mentally as your self, as a self? We go around thinking the way we feel our self as a self is the self. Are you more than the elements that make up your self? Then, who are you?
We are more than we think and feel. Our being extends, also, beyond the contours of our body. Indeed, we cannot locate at a fixed point, in any moment, a self that is not in flux, not in change, not in a state of transition. Our sense of a fixed self, separate from others and God, and from Nature, has brought us much advance. Yet, such a mentality tends to lead to painful feelings of separation from others and the Universe, and from the Divine.
We can choose to dissolve this alienation-feeling. We can plant seeds of union, connection, loving. Loving is the process of connection, even as humans share love in coitus. This symbolizes the universal longing to connect fully and fully, with others. This means, we are to practice extending our sense of boundary of self.
This demands no less than a first priority, as St. Paul notes, on Love. This is not the facile, feeling love of our cultures. No, this is the self-giving, self-extending, self-dissolving Love that is no other than the Divine Himself, Herself, Itself. This Love arises from our union with God, and this links us in complete union with the other, all others.
So, St. Paul says we are to clothe ourselves with Love. This is an intentional act. Say, you get up in the morning to go to work. You could walk out naked. You choose to put on clothes. Why? Well, partly, clothing is the way of the world you live in. And, let us say, you are a salesperson. You put on the clothes that are designed, appropriate for your workplace. You do not put on a bathing suit, or a biking suit. We do not show up at a funeral wearing our work clothes.
Likewise, we are to have the same intentionality spiritually. If we are to grow to be the Christ beings we are designed to be, then we must be intentional in what we wear. You can intentionally put on Love each day. Likewise, if you get drawn from Love anytime, you can stop and reclothe yourself with Love.
Any appropriate garment for the spiritual life is Loving. We clothe for the principles of the domain we wish to focus on. If that is spiritual, put on Love, daily.
There are ways to clothe with Love intentionally. One way to clothe or reclothe is through a thought. Even one loving thought of another is a new seed in your mind-stream. This one seed can counter much not of Love. Likewise, a small act plants the seed of Love, both in yourself, and in the other. We can change ourselves and others, in Love, through small acts of kindness. Then, too, the words we speak or write communicate energy. We can choose to share Love-energy through even brief notes of thanksgiving to someone.
There are so many ways to plant seeds of Love. Yet, being intentional is essential in this practice, for so much draws our mind-hearts away from Loving. We become, easily, like a person following a gaseous camel, complaining about the stick but not making conscious choices to spread the scent of Grace, which will bring blessing to others and joy to our selves. This is a reason to do devotion upon getting up to begin the day, and to take brief devotion breaks in the day and night. This is intentional and refocuses you on the first priority.
Today, I will offer a meditation practice on nurturing the Love-seed, or Love-energy, within your mind-heart stream. Then, more Love flows out to others and back to you. For, as Jesus taught, what we send out comes back to us. True? Yes. So, if I want more Love, I send more Love. Right?
Spiritual Practice: Meditation on Love
This is a meditation using poetry. I will select a hymn from my faith path, and a poem from Rumi. This is only an example, and any poem on pure, godly Love works; also, a secular song or poem is fine, provided it speaks to your mind-heart of Divine Love. In the hymn I alter “Lord” to “Christ” and “King” to “Love.” I retain the old English personal pronouns.
First, read over the poem as a prayer. Feel the words, the meaning. Then, take one or more verses of the hymn, and after going into quiet silence, begin repeating the words mindfully, prayerfully – again, feeling the words, the energy. Inwardly recite, and stop on any word or words, or image, you want to spend more time with. Remain in loving awareness throughout this practice. Do not feel or think you must finish the poem or any part of it. For example, you could spend an entire meditation time on “Take my life” or any other word or words. This is about nurturing seeds of Love, connecting to others and God, and even one word, one thought, can do that. Indeed, you could choose to take a phrase from the poem and carry it with your throughout the day and night, returning to it. You could do some of this meditation before going to sleep. A wonderful way, would it not be to enter sleep?
A. Love Poem Meditation One
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Christ, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my Love.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
*Francis R. Havergale, 1874
B. Love Poem Meditation Two
Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.
*Jalaludin. Teachings of Rumi (The Mahnavi). Trans. E. M. Whinfield.
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*OneLife Ministries is a ministry of Brian Kenneth Wilcox, SW Florida. Brian lives a vowed life and with his two dogs, Bandit Ty and St. Francis. While within the Christian path, he is an ecumenical-interspiritual teacher, author, and chaplain. He is Senior Chaplain for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Punta Gorda, FL.
*Brian welcomes responses to his writings at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, Brian is on Facebook: search Brian Kenneth Wilcox.
*You can order his book An Ache for Union from major booksellers.