Sunday, November 21, 2010
Varying Degrees of Success
Am coagulating thoughts from conversations, observations, and experiences. Up to now have been mostly in research and development, now am merging into sales. Why is it that some either are not interested in remaining in Christ's love, or resist, or report varying degrees of success?
The Irish Da suggests that some resist due to a sense of competition, one with the other. A friend to whom I was giving the pitch and remarking on resistance or down right refusal, suggested people fear this. I have accepted that it could also have to do with the messenger, with some wary, thinking... "off on another tangent".
But seriously, fear may capture the majority of resistance or refusal cases for trying Remain in My love. Some may fear the unknown of what might happen, fear the intensity, fear a change, fear it may take work or effort, perhaps fear of failure. Could be fear of leaving a perceived contentment in life, temporal or spiritual.
What is behind fear? Loss of something? Loss of "possession" or "control"? Success or failure (and the varying degrees between) resides in depth and focus of desire for Christ and to remain in His love now and forever. What blocks a person from remaining in Christ's love can be lack of belief, or faith. He said to believe in Him. He said to obey His command: Love others as He loves us. Note no mention of self-love.
In honesty, our greatest "possession" may be ourselves. Many of us spent years building upon our egos-- and society cleverly promotes the means to do this at a price, monetary and spiritual. Origen wrote that we must mortify our members. Mortify means to die to self. Jesus told the rich young man that to enter the kingdom of heaven he must sell all his possessions.
If we are unwilling or do not recognize our possessions, or if we have not come to a point of dying to self, then we have blocks to remaining in His love from the onset. If we still possess ourselves and are possessed by ourselves, we cannot remain in His love. Only when we lose ourselves, lose the deceptive need and desire to control our lives and surroundings, then submit ourselves to Christ, can we remain in His love.
Pride at its root and power is possessiveness. Pride causes us to possess our selves, or at least to think we are possessing ourselves. Pride is in the thoughts. When we desire to love God above all else, we can then be material for remaining in His love.
Even so, if we have died to ourselves and desire to live in Christ in every present moment, to remain in His love, there will be other possessions besides the main, blocking pride of self love. These others are like fruit flies that multiply rapidly and bombard annoyingly. While on earth these "possessions" take the form of various attachments but do not constitute a block precluding us from remaining in His love. When the Holy Spirit of truth shows us these fruit fly "possessions", we brush them aside, or if need be, clap them between our hands, mid-air. Do not let them feed on our egos or multiply in force.
As example, they could be the books I have accumulated, if they possessed me. Or as a friend pointed out, could be the gardens here, if they possessed me. Or could be television programs, football or golf, food, alcohol, shopping, hobbies, collections. Other "possessions" can be grumpiness with chronic pain, situational depression, disrupting conversations, ill temper, making wrong assumptions, being late, attachment to austerities or charismatic experiences, fame or career.
All that hinders full and perfect union with Christ--the ability to be possessed by Him versus the temporal or spiritual "possessions" that we let possess us--must be brushed aside or exterminated. These attachments possess us more than we realize. Cooperate with the Holy Spirit of truth who spotlights these possessions, for they hover and annoy until they are all swept away...and kept away. This purifying is an on-going process until heaven, as we remain in Christ's love.
As we remain in Christ's love, calling upon Him always, the more we are sensitized to any and all that tempts to possess us. Thus the more we will expose and rid temporal and spiritual possessions that keep us from secured, divine union.
As for spiritual experiences or mystical phenomena, some think them proof of remaining in His love, of union. But no. Remaining in His love is present moment practical. We know we are in His love by humility's presence. Perhaps for years Christ was sought in austerities, books, certain devotions, or more humbling--sought very little or not at all.
Humility is realized when we recognize the "possessions" that possess us, or when we see our foolishness in thinking we were not really attached to or possessed by these possessions: spiritual matters, temporal items, personality disorders, bad habits or corrupting vices.
Some may say they experience being in His love for years, and perhaps true. Only the soul and Jesus know for sure, and it is really nothing to canonize ourselves about, our remaining in His love. Some cite spiritual experiences and feelings as proof of union in Christ and insist that this comes and goes. From our experience thus far, remaining in His love can very much be now and forever. However, we have no need to debate where others remain, or to what degree.
But we should know how to discern for ourselves, privately and honestly, with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the angels, saints, or our confessor. Sign posts will be the actual fruit of the union: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22). Selflessness is born of divine union, remaining in Christ's love, He in us and us in Him. While our annoying attachments hover or attempt to possess us, by the grace of His love, we are His possession and in Him possessed.
Humility will blanket us and tuck us in, all the more quietly, simply, remaining in His love. We will experience enduring love, not feelings, but the actual effects of remaining in His love, as His promises state in Scripture (cited in previous posts). Our souls silently sing and glow, remaining in His love. The past will not haunt us nor hinder, nor create a false hedge in ego or fame. What will prevail is the now and forever key to His Heart: Remain in My love.